Questions tagged [puzzles]

Often, a puzzle type of problem in which a tactical or positional solution is required, like White/Black to move and win”, in what is often a middlegame of endgame-esqe position. But a puzzle can also be a chess riddle, chess math. or any other non-normal chess problem. Questions about solving puzzle, puzzle apps and websites, how to understand the idea behind a puzzle, etc. are also on-topic.

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How do you analyze this position holistically?

So I was solving a puzzle, and I got it wrong in my first attempt, so I checked with the engine and understood the solution. But I think that I am missing some aspects of the puzzle as I'm able to get ...
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  • 115
2 votes
2 answers
113 views

Most different mate-in-N depending on black's move

The puzzle (this may have a known answer) is to construct a position such that: If Black makes move A, it's mate in 1 for white. If Black makes move B, it's mate in 2 for white. ... If Black makes ...
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2 votes
1 answer
203 views

Find a forced checkmate on dark squares only

In a recent Youtube video, the black player reaches the following position [White "NN"] [Black "Chess Simp"] [FEN "r2r4/ppp2p1k/2n4P/4p3/P3n3/B1P1P2P/P1qPK2P/R6R b - - 0 1&...
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2 votes
2 answers
608 views

Which legal positions with White to move are also legal with Black to move (if colours and board are flipped)?

For every reachable position, is the equivalent position for black also reachable? If so, can you prove it? If not, which reachable positions for white are not reachable for black and why? Definitions:...
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5 votes
2 answers
821 views

How does white win/get an advantage here?

In the board below, I'm not entirely sure who is winning, black's rook looks dangerous at the moment. Its white to move How does white have an advantage? 4rk2/5p1p/2p3pP/8/p7/PqP1Q3/1P1R1P2/1K6 w - - ...
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  • 1,039
17 votes
6 answers
4k views

How does Black win this position?

I recently ran across notes I made from a book on endgames (I don't remember the book). According to my notes, Black wins this position regardless of whose move it is. I don't see it, and Stockfish ...
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  • 339
0 votes
1 answer
103 views

How to place certain pieces on a 4x4 chess board without any of them attacking each other?

How to place 2 bishops and 7 knights on a 4x4 chessboard without any of them attacking other pieces? There are no other restrictions.
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9 votes
4 answers
3k views

How can I place certain pieces on a 5x5 chess board without any of them attacking each other?

How can I place one queen, two bishops, two knights, and two rooks, on a 5×5 chessboard without any of them attacking other pieces? After placing just queen and rooks, I can't make room for the other ...
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5 votes
4 answers
268 views

Explanation of Hard Puzzle #34

Wikipedia defines a chess tactic as: In chess, a tactic refers to a sequence of moves that limits the opponent's options and may result in tangible gain. I'm having a hard time understanding a ...
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11 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why can the bishop just take the knight in this Lichess puzzle?

In this Lichess puzzle, after the initial moves [title "Black to move"] [fen ""] [Startply "17"] [StartFlipped "1"] 1. c4 b5 2. cxb5 Bb7 3. Nf3 g5 4. Nxg5 Bg7 ...
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  • 1,644
5 votes
0 answers
100 views

Why do these convergent lines evaluate differently?

I recently analyzed alternative lines for this puzzle on chess.com. [Event "French Championship"] [Site "Val d'Isere FRA"] [Date "2002.08.23"] [Round "5"] [...
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  • 151
9 votes
1 answer
571 views

Chess.com daily puzzle question (Gruenfeld's endgame magic)

In today's chess.com daily puzzle, I have no idea why the first move of the solution makes sense. [fen "8/8/8/pp6/P7/7K/1k6/R7 w - - 0 1"] The first step in the suggested solution is Ra3. I ...
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  • 363
5 votes
2 answers
152 views

2P winning against Q

Inspiration BCLC guessed (see link) that even only 2P can win against Q, even if the Q side has the move, if they are advanced far enough. I quickly checked a few promising position candidates in a ...
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16 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why did I fail this puzzle?

I just failed a puzzle at chess.com, despite being 2 moves away from check mate. I am quite sure that there is no move I could have made to get check mate in 1 move, so I am wondering how I failed. I ...
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  • 363
4 votes
2 answers
262 views

On an 8-by-∞ board, who wins between an infinite number of pawns and a rook?

I've had this puzzle rattling around in my brain for the past few days and I want to know what you all make of it. Imagine chess played on a board with eight ranks and an infinite number of files. ...
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  • 435
7 votes
2 answers
204 views

What checkmating move takes the most moves to set up?

An extension of this question. What checkmating move requires the greatest number of moves to be played in a game? A move is distinguished by: what colour is moving [unlike the previous question] ...
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12 votes
1 answer
241 views

How long could a player last with all their possible moves written out in advance?

In this scenario: Black plays normally (and optimally). White has prepared a long list of possible moves for each turn before the game starts, then movement is automatic. Each turn, each move for that ...
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36 votes
13 answers
5k views

What move requires the greatest number of moves before it could be played in a game?

The move e2e4 could be played on move 1. (One half-move) The move e7xd6 could be played no earlier than by black on move 3 (6 half-moves). What move(s) has the latest "earliest possible move it ...
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0 votes
3 answers
207 views

Why doesn't greek gift work in Pozsonyi vs Pataki 2005? Or does it?

original game. i'm asking about move 21. [Event "Ch Hungary (team) 2005/06"] [Site "HUN"] [Date "2005.12.04"] [Round "?"] [White "Istvan Pozsonyi"] [...
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  • 1
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is there a resource for chess puzzles that are altered just enough to discourage easy engine use to solve?

I'm hosting a chess night and would like to post a few wallchart puzzles but would like to discourage folks from secretly whipping out their phone's chess app/engine and scoring points unfairly. For ...
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  • 3,283
0 votes
1 answer
124 views

I can't solve this puzzle

I can't, for the life of me, figure out how to solve this puzzle. White to move. [FEN "r5k1/6p1/1pp2p1p/p2n1q2/3Q4/P4PB1/2P3PP/4R1K1 w - - 0 1"]
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  • 19
1 vote
2 answers
172 views

Till how many moves we have to think?

I am rated around 2150 on lichess. Recently I was reading a book which is on middle games "Imagination in chess" by Paata Gaprindashvili.On page number 10 there are some puzzles available. I ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
132 views

Most difficult puzzles for chess engines [duplicate]

I know this type of question has been asked a few times but each of the puzzles in the answers are solved by engines. For example Plaskett’s puzzle and other common ones such as Mitrofanov deflection ...
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5 votes
1 answer
293 views

I can't understand this puzzle

I came across this puzzle and even after I learned the answer I couldn't quite understand what's going on. I understand that we amaterial advantage by capturing the knight with a pawn, but I can't ...
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0 votes
1 answer
109 views

Why are these sequence of steps played to solve this puzzle?

[FEN "rnbqkb1r/pp4pp/2p1pn2/3p1p2/3P4/BP4PN/P1P1PPBP/RN1QK2R b KQkq - 0 1"] [StartFlipped "0"] 1... Bxa3 2.Nxa3 Qa5+ 3.Kf1 Qxa3 FEN: rnbqkb1r/pp4pp/2p1pn2/3p1p2/3P4/BP4PN/...
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  • 109
3 votes
3 answers
239 views

Why does Stockfish evaluate this Lichess puzzle position as so advantageous for Black?

[Event "Rated Rapid game"] [Site "https://lichess.org/tZI4OlZ3"] [Date "2021.04.20"] [White "Paulinos"] [Black "Qedesh76"] [FEN "r3qrk1/2pbbppp/...
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  • 1,097
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

How can white gain a slight advantage in this position? (puzzle for beginners)

Try solving the following puzzle authored by me (for beginners). White to move and gain a slight advantage, despite being a Queen down for a bishop at present: [FEN "2k1r3/pp6/n5q1/1N3p2/8/3B4/...
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  • 357
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

Can black convert a +5.6 game into a draw (assuming both players play optimally)?

This shows a +5.6 winning for white at depth 33 (Stockfish 13+). White does have a bit of material advantage (knight) and black has more pawn islands. Can black convert this into a draw (assuming both ...
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2 votes
2 answers
231 views

Another mobility puzzle

This is the "opposite" of A mobility puzzle - I held it back because it could have interfered with Schwalbe 2021 construction challenge. Thus: Put a maximal number m of pieces on the board ...
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3 votes
1 answer
216 views

Longest forced win after 3 moves

It is possible to reach (exactly) #8 after just 3 moves: [Title "#8 after 3 moves"] [FEN ""] 1. e3 f6 2. Qf3 Kf7 3. Nh3 Qe8! 4. Ng5+ Kg6 5. Bd3+ Kxg5 6. Qf4+ Kh5 7. g4+ Kh4 8. Qg3+...
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  • 2,323
-1 votes
1 answer
407 views

Normal puzzles vs puzzle rush performance on chess.com

I have been doing normal puzzles and puzzle rush on chess.com for the last 6 months. And I noticed that my performance in normal puzzles now jumped from 2100-2200 to 2400-2500. However, in puzzle rush,...
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  • 950
-2 votes
1 answer
98 views

Illustrative puzzles for chess themes [closed]

This is a big-list question regarding chess themes (mostly tactical). There are some puzzles that illustrate important aspects of a tactic (esp. useful in a chess coaching setting). For example, the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
143 views

I'm struggling to find the full solution of a chess problem

I'm starting to think that this puzzle, found on chess.com here in the 5th post down, does not have a correct full solution. But it features a nice line if Black moves wrongly, so judge by yourself. [...
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  • 265
4 votes
1 answer
137 views

A mobility puzzle

[FEN "8/8/8/8/pp6/kp6/1p6/1K6 w KQkq - 0 1"] This is a well-known position: both sides are stalemated (if it's their move). It's the lightest position with this property. Devise the ...
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5 votes
1 answer
350 views

Trying to remember a zugzwang puzzle/study position

I am trying to remember a puzzle position, or maybe was it originated from a real game, i dont remember. Something like (white to move): 7R/rp6/pk6/p7/P7/8/1K6/8 w - - 0 1 I would like to know where ...
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  • 265
1 vote
2 answers
354 views

Is there any android app or software that allow me to create my own chess puzzle so I can solve or study it later on?

I want to improve my tactics skills; is there any Android app or software that allows me to create my own chess puzzle so I can solve or study it later on?
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2 votes
0 answers
106 views

Is there a solution to this puzzle in Clive Ke's "How to improve in chess" book? [closed]

I am wondering if there's a solution to this puzzle anywhere. [FEN "3r4/p4k2/1p2bb1p/2p2pp1/5P2/1NP1B2P/PP4P1/4R1K1 w - - 0 1"] Here's the description of the puzzle in Clive Ke's "How ...
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  • 121
-3 votes
1 answer
148 views

Quick you have 5 seconds on your clock, what’s your move? [closed]

Here is the position: What would you do if you only had 5 seconds on the clock?
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  • 809
13 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why move bishop first instead of queen in this puzzle?

In this puzzle (white to move), the solution first moves the bishop (to pin the knight) and only then the queen. Why is it better to move the bishop first? [FEN "r2qk2r/pbp1bpp1/1pnp3p/8/3NP3/...
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0 votes
2 answers
147 views

Another chess puzzle

I was playing white here, and after Rd6+, Kb5, Rd5+, Ka4, is there any winning move for white?
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10 votes
3 answers
461 views

Why can't I play puzzles on Lichess?

Lichess is a blind-accessible chess site that I like to play. But for some reason, it doesn't support puzzles in an accessible way. I've done everything that I need to do to make them accessible. But ...
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3 votes
1 answer
144 views

Board Vision Puzzles

There's a plethora of tactics puzzles out there. However, I'm looking for board vision puzzles. For example, given a certain position, how many legal moves does X piece have? How many pieces are ...
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9 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the best move in this puzzle rush?

[FEN "2b2r1r/2k1q1b1/2p1p2p/1p1pPp2/pP1P1RB1/P1N5/2P1Q1PP/5RK1 w - f6 0 1"] [starpPly "2"] 1. Bh5? In this puzzle rush from chess.com, it says that Bh5 is the wrong move, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
208 views

Reasons why castling may be the only winning move

I recall at least one game of mine where my last move was castling (around move 20 or so :-), it saved my ugly posterior, it was the only move and we immediately agreed on a draw after that. (Do not ...
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7 votes
3 answers
1k views

Square Free Position

[FEN ""] For the purposes of this question, a “square” is a set of four occupied cells on the chessboard whose centres form a geometric square. The cell may have any orientation. For ...
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  • 325
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is black's idea in this puzzle?

This is one of Lichess's puzzles, taken from a real game. Black is on the move. [FEN "1r1q1rk1/5pbp/3pbnp1/1p1Np1B1/1p1nP3/P1N2P2/2P1B1PP/R2Q1RK1 b - - 0 1"] 1... Nxe4 2. Bxd8 The ...
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3 votes
3 answers
624 views

A question about a puzzle

It's White to move. Why does Stockfish evaluate 13. Kh1 so much higher than 13. Rf2? They both seem like reasonable options for me, yet the former is evaluated +7.95 for white and the latter is at -0....
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7 votes
1 answer
445 views

How to think this end game puzzle and play this position

I encountered the following puzzle on Lichess. I instinctively knew I had to play Kc4 and then it would be about counting possible moves since neither king can move with out losing a pawn but I was ...
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  • 345
27 votes
6 answers
12k views

Why is this a checkmate?

I'm new to chess and I'm confused about a puzzle I was practicing. As you can see my black queen has put the white king in check, but I'm confused how this is possible if a rook is right next to my ...
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4 votes
0 answers
149 views

Chessboard Domination from Opening

From the opening position for black (with no white pieces on the board), what is the fewest number of moves in which we can dominate the entire board, that is, reach a position so that each square is ...
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  • 149