Questions tagged [problems]

Chess problems consist of a board position and a task. Most ask for a line of play that mates black in a set amount of moves, or a combination that results in a winning position. Many other types exist, including, but not limited to, construction tasks for various positions and proof games that have numerous goals, selfmates, helpmates, and retrograde analysis. Tournaments and championships exist for composing of original problems and for speed-solving.

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6
votes
3answers
650 views

Solvable studies that computers fail to crack

Are there chess studies that require an outside of the box thinking that goes beyond the concrete calculation capabilities of today's engines (e.g. Stockfish)? I have sometimes seen certain endgames ...
-6
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2answers
461 views

Is 6 the limit for the most pawns possible on a single file?

As far as I can calculate, 6 is the limit for the most number of pawns on a single file possible. Is 7 possible at all, ignoring promotion? I only took into account using the edge of the board, not ...
1
vote
3answers
356 views

What are the quckest helpmates delivered by the rook, knight, bishop, and pawn?

What are the quickest helpmates, which is where both sides help administer checkmate to one side, delivered by the rook, knight, bishop, and pawn? The said piece has to deliver the checkmate on the ...
4
votes
2answers
364 views

Black only has pawns: Mate in what?

In a standard opening position in chess, imagine that all Black pieces are removed except for the king and pawns. [FEN "4k3/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQ - 0 1"] What is the ...
4
votes
1answer
697 views

Searching for a “where is the black king” problem

Sometime ago, a friend showed me a position where he had the Black king removed. The goal was to find where is the Black king using some pretty weird reasoning. There were only a few pieces on the ...
19
votes
5answers
4k views

What is the theoretical maximal material difference of a dead draw which is not a stalemate?

I have noticed the following example, which should be a dead draw: I am wondering what is the theoretical material difference of a dead draw which is not a stalemate? (I am not asking about agreed ...
1
vote
6answers
374 views

Position with the largest material imbalance that is a draw, no matter whose turn it is?

I am curious if there is a known position with the largest material imbalance that, no matter who it is to move, the weaker side can hold a draw.
3
votes
3answers
300 views

What is the quickest way to reach a mutual, symmetrical stalemate?

What is the fastest known game that ends that in a mutual stalemate position that is symmetrical?
3
votes
2answers
366 views

Can we say for sure that Black's king has not moved?

The following position appears as the 7th puzzle of Raymond Smullyan's Arabian Knights, a book about retrograde analysis. [FEN "3qk2r/p2pp1bp/bpp2n2/8/3N3Q/1PN1P1P1/P1PPP2P/3K1n2 w - - 0 50"]...
-2
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3answers
378 views

What are unsolved problems in chess? [closed]

Are there any problems in chess that remain unsolved?
13
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1answer
3k views

What is the least number of knights needed to cover the entire board?

I’ve seen the solutions to the lowest amount of queens, bishops, and rooks are needed to cover an entire board, as in they can attack all squares and are the only type of piece on the board. What is ...
-4
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2answers
271 views

What is the fastest en passant checkmate after all other such captures?

I had an odd idea. What is the fastest way to checkmate via en passant after all other en passants have been completed?
3
votes
1answer
443 views

What is the maximum number of en passants possible?

Out of curiosity, how many en passants can theoretically be done by both sides and the fastest way to achieve that result?
0
votes
1answer
162 views

super stalemate [duplicate]

Your challenge. Find a position such that one side cannot make any legal or illegal moves. I.E. Make it such that that even if you were allowed to move your king into check there would still be no ...
11
votes
2answers
782 views

Benko's three-mover that stumped Fischer

In Christian Hesse's book The Joy of Chess one reads about a mate-in-3 problem composed by Pál Benkö that stumped Bobby Fischer. Hesse gives the following diagram: [FEN "8/8/8/4k3/8/8/8/2BQKB2 w - - ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the longest proven forced win (including 50 & 75 move rules)?

What is the longest (currently discovered) number of moves for a forced mate position where players will use both the 50-move draw rule and the 3-fold repetition rule if it will help them avoid losing?...
13
votes
3answers
978 views

Using the king to prevent castling

What is a more difficult problem which involves using the king to prevent castling than the following problem? White to play and win: [FEN "r3k3/5p2/2K2P1P/b1N1P2P/8/8/4n3/8 w q - 0 1"]
0
votes
3answers
323 views

How does white mate in two?

[FEN "7Q/p1p1b1B1/6r1/2p3kp/4Bp1q/7P/PPP2PP1/6K1 w - - 0 1"] (source) In this problem, it’s White to move and mate in two. What is the solution?
0
votes
1answer
439 views

White gives checkmate in two moves

[FEN "5rk1/2Q2ppp/p7/2P5/1p6/1B5P/Pq2nPP1/3R1K2 w - - 0 1"] White, to move, gives checkmate in two moves. Can anyone find the solution?
5
votes
2answers
383 views

Easy mate in three

This time an easy puzzle I made up today. White mates in three. [FEN "7k/4Kp2/P4Np1/6R1/8/R6P/8/8 w - - 1 0"]
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Can white win in this almost 20 year old puzzle?

It's White to move-can they force a win?. The left bottom is a1 as usual. [FEN "4k2r/6p1/p4pKb/p2N3p/p7/p5Q1/p1n5/qrn5 w - - 9 9"] Note for people who saw an earlier version: the position ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Fastest possible checkmate by en passant

En passant is somewhat of a rare move in chess. Checkmating by en passant, however, is an even rarer occurrence. But suppose both sides had the same goal to help cause a checkmate to their opponent ...
7
votes
4answers
449 views

Is this selfmate solvable or fixable?

This is a kind of a repost of a fascinating chess problem that appeared yesterday. The original poster got shy or something, and bafflingly deleted his own post, which was beginning to attract some ...
10
votes
4answers
874 views

Can you mate with each of your 16 pieces on its original square?

An opinion poll conducted by problem composer Roberto Osorio over 10 master-level chess players in the Argentine Chess Club produced 100% wrong answers! :-) When the right answer is posted here, I ...
10
votes
2answers
447 views

E.Umnov's chess problem, 1944. Checkmate in two moves

White to play and checkmate in two moves. [title "E.Umnov's chess problem, 1944"] [FEN "k7/5QK1/3n1pb1/1R1p1r2/5p2/8/1p6/4R3 w KQkq - 0 1"]
2
votes
1answer
138 views

Checkmate in two moves [duplicate]

White to play and checkmate in two moves. [fen "5Kbk/6pp/6P1/8/7R/8/8/8 w KQkq - 0 1"] Is it possible? If so, please write a solution.
9
votes
2answers
928 views

What is the maximum number of passed pawns in a position?

Something I have wondered about recently is the maximum number of passed pawns that is theoretically possible. What is the answer, and the fastest way to achieve that result?
25
votes
2answers
4k views

Why underpromote in this KNNP-KR endgame?

In the position below, I'm promoting my pawn. The app says promoting to a Queen is incorrect, but a Rook is correct? In this setup it doesn't make sense. [FEN "8/1P6/3N4/8/8/3k4/r7/4KN2 w - - 0 1"] ...
5
votes
2answers
184 views

Endgame analysis : white to play and..?

R3nk21B1K4/4r3/4P3/3Pb3/8/3P4/8/1B1K4 w - - 0 1 White to play and ?, D.Antonini 09/2017 I wouldn't qualify this position as a study, at least according to modern canons for study composition, as ...
9
votes
1answer
323 views

Which chess position requires the most moves to reach?

For each legal chess position there exist a shortest sequence of moves from the starting position to that position. Which position requires the most moves to reach?
15
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3answers
1k views

Beautiful retrograde analysis problem by Alexsey A. Troitsky

I saw this beautiful, subtle & accessible problem a couple of days ago, and wanted to share it with you folks. (It's by the ground-breaking endgame theorist who e.g. invented the "Troitsky line" ...
5
votes
1answer
344 views

Shortest sequence of moves to create biggest material imbalance

What is the shortest game with the largest material imbalance? This of course means that one side will have 9 queens, 2 rooks, 2 bishops, 2 knights, and a king, and a bare king on the other side. From ...
4
votes
3answers
442 views

What was Black's last move?

It's White to move. What was Black's last move, and what could have happened before that? [FEN "8/8/8/8/8/3P2P1/3P2Pk/2KR3N w - - 0 1"]
21
votes
3answers
6k views

White to play and checkmate in two moves

It’s White to play and checkmate in two moves. This puzzle was created by Frank Healey, and published in 5 Family Herald on 7/17/1858. 7R/1B1N4/8/3r4/1K2k3/8/5Q2/8 w - - 0 1
4
votes
2answers
413 views

Puzzles that highlight the finiteness of the chessboard

I'm curious as to whether there are compositions of chess puzzles/problems where the solution really emphasizes the boundedness of the board. Put differently, cases where the solution would be ...
14
votes
4answers
19k views

Chess Problem Database with PGN or FEN

Is there a database of chess probpems that have the game or positions PGN and or FEN?
5
votes
1answer
364 views

Prove the pawn's color and the knight's position

I was recently given a retrograde analysis problem to solve. Even though I've managed to at least intuitively get close to an answer, I don't know how to put it in the form of an acceptable proof. For ...
-5
votes
3answers
137 views

What black piece can you capture?

What black piece can you capture? This is homework from school. [FEN "8/8/2n5/1p6/4r3/1Kb5/3p4/8 w - - 0 1"]
3
votes
2answers
663 views

What is the highest number of pieces from one side that can be involved in a checkmate?

What is the highest number of pieces from one side that can be involved in a checkmate? "Involved in a checkmate" is defined below. A non-king piece is involved in a checkmate 'if removing ...
46
votes
4answers
15k views

How fast can checkmate occur by just moving the king?

How short can a game be in which (after the first move) one player moves only their king, and yet checkmates their opponent? This is assuming that the players cooperate, i.e. this is a kind of "...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Euwe-Aljechin Amsterdam 1935 problem

I came across this puzzle that I couldn't solve and after looking at the solution I am still not sure what is going on here. [FEN "5k2/p5pp/r7/2pB2p1/b1P5/6P1/4PP1P/R5K1 w - - 0 1"] The best move ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Mutual Stalemate

You are required to find position such that: 1) Any move made by White or Black leads to stalemate for both sides immediately. 2) The position can be reached from the starting position of a chess ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Maximum number of pieces on board in dead position

It is possible in a chess game to have a dead position in which both players have all eight pawns, one bishop, and a king--20 pieces total. If the two players' pawns are interlocked in "zig-zag" ...
11
votes
7answers
1k views

Helpmate of arbitrary length

One of the FIDE rules states that if someone's flag falls, and there exists a legal sequence of moves such that the other player mates the first player, then the position is a win for the second ...
43
votes
2answers
7k views

How is this position possible in a normal game of chess?

A friend of mine gave me this problem. It goes like this. In a normal game of chess, the white player checks the black's king with a rook and a bishop as in the following image. 8/8/8/8/8/7k/8/...
5
votes
2answers
607 views

Biggest Possible Material Advantage But Still Losing

Assuming: Queen=9, Rook=5, Bishop=3, Knight=3, Pawn=1 The below position is evaluated at +411 for White but he still loses by force (mate in 9, pawn promotes to a bishop just for the fun of it) Is ...
13
votes
3answers
470 views

Fastest King vs King endgame

What is the fastest possible game that ends in a King vs King endgame? Please post a game and tell me the number of half-moves you've achieved. By some simple logic, I can prove that this number is ...
2
votes
1answer
363 views

The Black knight challenge

[FEN "8/8/8/8/8/pNnbPPpN/RBppPbrP/pkKPrqQR b - - 0 1"] I was introduced to a challenge a few weeks ago with the above position. The challenge is to move the Black Knight such that it must ...
5
votes
5answers
827 views

How can I control my nerves during chess tournaments?

I always get nervous during a chess match and that really affects my performance. I can easily beat a 1400-1500 in a friendly match but when it comes to a tournament, I can't even win against 1300s. I ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

“Knight rebus”-Decipher an encoded chess position

Here is a knight rebus. Each letter represents a different type of piece. Uppercase letters are one color and lowercase letters are the other. Determine the position. If possible, also determine the ...