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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8
votes
5answers
622 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
884 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
457 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
140 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
974 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
187 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
342 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
2k 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
357 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
461 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
3answers
460 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
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4answers
22k 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
371 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
142 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"]
5
votes
3answers
752 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 ...
49
votes
3answers
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 ...
12
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 ...
44
votes
2answers
8k 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/...
6
votes
2answers
769 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
534 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
375 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
875 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
608 views

Where to find specific endgame practice exercises/puzzles/practice bots?

I'm looking for a set of exercises (contained in a book, website, or chess engine) where I can practice what I know in regards to rook and pawn vs. rook endgames. I could find a friend to randomly ...
8
votes
1answer
646 views

Chess challenge from a newspaper in 1927 (win in 2 moves)

I have been trying to solve this for a long time, but can't find a solution. How can white force a checkmate in 2 moves? 1R6/4p3/2pkB3/4n1N1/8/1N2K1B1/8/8 w - - 0 1
2
votes
3answers
212 views

Where to find Tactical Exercises on the Decoy

A decoy tactic is forcing an enemy piece to move to a square that prevents it from guarding an original square. For example, if the black queen is at c7 and the f7 square is being attacked, getting ...
4
votes
1answer
678 views

Checkmate in 6 moves

Can somebody tell me the right six moves, and what has to be done? This puzzle was created vy Fritz Giegold and published in Zeit-Magazin in 1976 [FEN "n1N3br/2p1Bpkr/1pP2R1b/pP1p1PpR/Pp4P1/1P6/...
4
votes
1answer
123 views

How many attacks can be focused on one point?

How many "possible" attacks can be focused on one point on the board? For instance the pawn in E5: What is the maximum (realistic) amount of attacks that are focused on a single point on the board?
3
votes
3answers
183 views

Good format for library of chess positions w/tags?

I'd like to create a library of chess positions with associated tags. For example, one position might be tagged "Tactics", "Counterplay", and "Knight Forks". The goal is to be able to search the ...
2
votes
2answers
237 views

"chess problem" software (free/paid) to download for PC?

I tried one a while back but it was quite elementary, it had a few thousand problems but did not give detailed answers, just one single move as correct and that's it! I do play Chesstempo sometimes ...
4
votes
1answer
637 views

Generate Simple Mate In 1 From Tablebases (for kids)

I was trying to find a kid's app for chess that has some incredibly simple problems. However, all the apps I found had rather tricky problems. So I thought I would download 3 piece table bases and use ...
3
votes
1answer
221 views

A chess problem (need help with analysis)

my question is about the position below. This is, if I copied it correctly, from a book called "How Good Is Your Chess" by Evans. I'm an amateur so pretty much every single problem is difficult and ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a master list of FEN chess positions for advanced beginner/intermediate?

I'm an advanced beginner. I don't have internet access as much as I like to, so I'd much rather have a series of chess position FENs that I can put into some free chess engine and then try to play ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the longest known stalemate your opponent in x-moves problem?

What is the longest known stalemate your opponent in x-moves problem where the given stalemate is the fastest one from the initial position? A win is not possible, but stalemating your opponent so ...
4
votes
1answer
776 views

Where can I find collections of chess problems (ideally direct mate) with solutions?

I'm working on a chess program that gives the user various compositions for them to solve. So far I'm only including mate in n problems where 1 < n < 5, and I'd prefer to only deal with this ...
17
votes
5answers
928 views

Is the chess problem a dead form?

Or, to ask the question a bit less opinionatedly, "what new ideas have been introduced in chess problems over the last 20 years?" I imagine many problems have been composed in that time, but it seems ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

Ideal move in this situation

https://en.lichess.org/training/5571 Why is White knight to f5 not an ideal move in this situation? As far as I can see, unless Black takes the white bishop with the rook, it's mate in 2.
22
votes
5answers
2k views

Least number of moves to achieve a complete switchover of nonpawns in starting setup

[fen "RNBQKBNR/8/8/pppppppp/PPPPPPPP/8/8/rnbqkbnr w - - 0 1"] During a comp, my friend an I had a team kill and we decided to make this position(legally) before drawing. Then we continued to find ...
8
votes
3answers
524 views

Problems: record for most mates-in-2

Does anyone know what the record for most mates-in-2 is for a composed problem? Example: this one has 58 different moves that mate in 2. [FEN "6R1/8/8/8/3Q3B/5K2/7k/1R6 w - - 0 1"]
5
votes
1answer
297 views

Simple mate in 2?

I used to be a problem composer and the thing I loved most about creating and solving chess problems is that you can't just rely on simple patterns. You need to think outside the box. This is one of ...
29
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the highest number of different mates in 1 you can have in one (legal) position?

A friend and I yesterday asked ourselves what the highest number of possible mates in a (legal) position is. We were able to come up with the following position which has a total of 76 unique mates in ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

Prove that White is not allowed to castle here

A friend recently gave me the following weird chess problem to solve. I'm afraid that I'm struggling to see the key idea that would ultimately count as proof. From the position, intuitively speaking, ...
8
votes
1answer
630 views

How is this retrograde analysis position legal?

On his page on Harry Goldsteen's "Horse Concoction,", Tim Krabbé gives this position by "N. Höeg, 1935." [FEN "4k3/1p4pp/p1pQ1p2/1q1pp3/8/8/1K6/8 b - - 0 1"] [...
7
votes
2answers
825 views

Retrograde analysis of a position in "The Flanders Panel"

Has anybody tried to verify the retrograde analysis of a game from the book "The Flanders Panel" by Pérez-Reverte? So far, I have found only a board reconstruction in a post on The ...
4
votes
1answer
350 views

Why go for stalemate here?

In a Daily Puzzle of the Chess.com app, playing as white the solution to the puzzle was as follows: [Title ""] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/p1Q3bk/P2N2p1/5p1p/7P/6q1/8/7K w - - 0 1&...

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