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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1answer
88 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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1answer
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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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1answer
153 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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3answers
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 ...
3
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1answer
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 ...
4
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2answers
541 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....
7
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1answer
409 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 ...
27
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6answers
11k 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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0answers
116 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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3answers
269 views

Why is Ng5 a draw here?

Was shared a chess position and reached this position. I didn't understand why Ng5 is a draw. I analyzed h6 and h5 as responses but they fall to the same checkmating theme of rook checkmate on h8. ...
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4answers
3k views

Difference between chess puzzle and chess problem in this episode of The Queen's Gambit?

While a chess puzzle is any puzzle involving aspects of chess, a chess problem is an orthodox puzzle in which one must play and win or draw a game, starting with a certain composition of pieces on the ...
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1answer
207 views

I need help understanding this puzzle

With White to play, I have trouble understanding what goes on in this puzzle. First of all, how exactly Kh1 is preferable to Kxh2? I know that Black can give checks after Kxh2, but there really is no ...
12
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3answers
672 views

Chess positions that are easy for humans but near impossible or confusing for computers

I noticed that one student is performing exceptionally well and beyond his level during an online class. I was wondering if there are particular chess positions that I can use during class to find out ...
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5answers
3k views

Mismatch between my puzzle rating and game rating on chess.com

On Chess.com, I recently passed 2000 in the puzzle section. However, in 10 minute games, I can't reach 1600. How do I bridge that gap and increase my game score? Is 10 minutes maybe too short of a ...
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1answer
257 views

Is there really a checkmate after 1… Bxf5?

This puzzle on chesstempo caught my eye. We play as Black: [FEN "1r1r3k/7p/5Pb1/p2BpRpq/1pP5/1P1Q4/P5RP/7K w - - 0 1"] 1.Rgxg5 Note: the solution is not quite important here, so no large ...
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2answers
97 views

What are some of the best free puzzle rush apps?

I'm looking for a puzzle rush app that's free and does not require a subscription. I tried using the Chess.com app, but there's a limit on the number of times you can play in a day.
5
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1answer
99 views

White to play and win

I don't normally post puzzles but this one is particularly beautiful [title "White to move and win"] [fen "1rR2b1r/3n1k1p/p4npP/1p1q1p2/1R6/BPp2N2/4QPP1/7K w - - 0 1"]
4
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1answer
121 views

How is a perpetual check reached in this puzzle?

This puzzle on chesstempo caught my eye. We play as White: [FEN "4Q/4p1bk/1p1qp2p/p1p1n2B/4P/2P3B1/PP4P/6K b - - 0 1"] 1. Nf3 Side Note: The answer is of no importance here, so no spoilers ...
2
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1answer
112 views

Why does White play Qxd4?

This puzzle on chesstempo caught my eye. We play as Black: [FEN "r2qk2r/1p1bppbp/p1np2p/4P2n/Q8/2N2N1P/PPP2PPB/R3KB1R w - - 0 1"] 1. exd6 My solution is: if we play 1... Nb..., a ...
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1answer
1k views

Why Qxd5 instead of Rxd5?

This puzzle on chesstempo caught my eye. We play as Black: [FEN "1r1r2k/p4pp/2q/2p1p2P/P1P1Pn/B3NP/4Q2P/R6K w - - 0 1"] 1. Nd5 The White queen is under attack, yet one shall not rush and ...
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3answers
219 views

What's the deep idea behind this puzzle?

I'm trying to get better by doing many tactics puzzles a day. This one I found very interesting. The solution is 1. Qxg7+ Rxg7 2. Rf8+ Rg8 3. Rxg8#. I'm trying to figure out what should have jumped ...
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2answers
267 views

Why Is Black forced to give up the queen in this puzzle?

[FEN "1r4k1/3q3p/p2P2r1/4pNNQ/5p1P/P7/6PK/8 w - - 0 1"] I got this position as a puzzle with White to play. The correct move was 1. Ne7, followed by 1... Qxe7 and 2. dxe7. To me, it seems ...
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1answer
126 views

lichess puzzle 61124

I am a beginning chess player, and just had a look at lichess puzzle 61124. The following contains spoilers. The solution to the puzzle is supposedly Rd4, then the follow-up move from white is Nb6, ...
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4answers
486 views

Why should I expect that black moves Rxd2 after I move Bxe3 in this puzzle?

I've been playing a few puzzles for a couple of days, and I see that often the final move to chessmate is easy to spot, but earlier moves aren't (to me). In this case, for instance, why should I ...
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3answers
2k views

How to solve this puzzle of Martin Gardner?

Martin Gardner mentioned the following "chess" problem in his column, Mathematical Games, for Scientific American (he got it from Smullyan, who learned about it from a high school math ...
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2answers
2k views

Why does Black play Bh3+?

This puzzle on chesstempo caught my eye (we play as White): [FEN "2b2rk/1p3ppp/r/p1p/3pP1Pq/1P1P/P3BPK/1RB1QR2 b - - 0 1"] 1. Bg4 I reckon Black needs to try skewering the rook with the ...
9
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1answer
852 views

From Mate-in-3 to Mate-in-1

Here is my new problem in 3 steps - the key designates here the piece that moves first in the solution. An other way to reach a mate in one I hope you'll enjoy... [Title "From Mate in 3 to ...
15
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2answers
470 views

How many moves of head start does white need for a guaranteed win?

As we all know, it is not known whether white can always win in chess with optimal play. If, however, white got to make two moves before black made their first move would they be able to win with ...
24
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5answers
3k views

Another Unusual Mate in One

Here is another mate-in-one of my own i.e. a not quite usual one... [title "Mate in one"] [FEN "3b4/R3P3/2kPR1n1/P1p1n3/4K1p1/2Nr4/5p2/1b6 w KQkq - 0 1"] Imagine, you ...
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1answer
367 views

Mate in One the Missing King

The post "A mysterious mate in one" made me think of one of my last problems which is also a Mate-in-One with no black King: [Title "White to move and mate in one"] [FEN &...
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2answers
384 views

Why doesn't Black play Bd4?

This puzzle on chesstempo caught my eye (we play as White): [FEN "4q1k/p4pb/r4npp/4P/n2B/5NNP/5PP/Q4RK b - - 0 1"] 1. Nd7 The move I made was e6, and it was the right one. Yet, the Black's ...
4
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2answers
405 views

Why does White play Nc4?

I was solving some problems on chesstempo. This one caught my eye (the White just played Ng2, we play as the Black): [FEN "1k5r/pp4p/5b1p/qPP/N2r1p/P4P/K1Q3PP/2R3R w - - 0 1"] 1. Nb2 I saw ...
2
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2answers
256 views

Why does White play g5?

As a total newbie, I've been solving some medium-level problems on chesstempo. This one caught my eye. We play as Black after White's first move. [FEN "6k1/5p1p/5bp1/p7/P1r3PP/2n2N2/4NP2/1R4K1 w -...
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4answers
2k views

Why does this puzzle offer f8=R as better than f8=Q?

Here's a chess puzzle that gave a confusing response. https://chesspuzzle.net/Puzzle/52112 [FEN "5R2/1p6/p4Ppk/3r4/7p/1P6/P7/1K6 w - - 0 1"] 1. Rh8+ Kg5 2. f7 Rf5 3. f8=R If you play f8=Q ...
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2answers
82 views

What makes a chess puzzle hard to solve? [closed]

A couple friends and I built a mobile app (Chess Puzzle Blitz) where we allow people to compete for fun or money solving chess puzzles. We have a pretty large puzzle database but are always adding to ...
2
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1answer
216 views

Castling vertically problem

I've once saw a joke chess study about castling vertically. However, I have forgotten who has composed it. I remember that in the positions, all the pawns were locked, but not much else. Does anybody ...
2
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1answer
161 views

What am I supposed to learn from this puzzle?

I'm still in the learning stage of playing chess, and was a bit frustrated by this puzzle. https://www.chess.com/puzzles/problem/683680 After my initial attempt failed I tried all the moves I could ...
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1answer
123 views

What is this position called? [closed]

I'm working on a problem for this cyber security camp, and we're doing a CTF right now. I have one problem left, and I'm almost certain in relates to chess, so I've come here for advice! Having ...
4
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4answers
262 views

How can I deal with frustration in not being able to solve puzzles in time?

I've been doing 1700-2000 puzzles for some days now. My problem is that when I cannot find a solution within 10 minutes, it literally kills me inside. I just get so frustrated and angry. Theh I just ...
1
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1answer
314 views

Mate-in-10 that Stockfish missed!

Stockfish 10+ at depth 19 evaluated this position as a draw: [Title "White to play and mate in 10"] [FEN "r1b2r2/5pk1/pq2p3/1p5Q/3p1P2/P2Rn1NP/1P4P1/7K w - - 0 28"] However, it is actually checkmate ...
5
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1answer
715 views

In this puzzle, why does white play dxe5?

I came across the following puzzle on lichess (black to play): [Event ""] [Site ""] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round ""] [White ""] [Black ""] [Result "*"] [FEN "1k5r/1pp2q2/p2p2n1/4pp2/2PPP1p1/1P2B1P1/...
6
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1answer
185 views

How can white force a quick win here?

This is from a tactics puzzle I encountered today. The given solution was 1. Qxf6 gxf6 2. Bxf6#,” but to me 1... Ne6 seems to halt white in his tracks, even if it does give up a rook. My moves as ...
3
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1answer
2k views

Chess.com's daily problem-Why doesn't 1…Nf8 win the Nh7?

Shouldn't 1...Nf8 win here too? Why not? [FEN "r2qk2r/pp1nnp1N/4p1pQ/3pP3/4b1PP/P1B5/1PP1B3/R3KR2 b Qq - 0 1"] 1...Nf8??
8
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3answers
826 views

Why is this the solution to this puzzle?

[FEN "2r3k1/5pp1/1q1bpn1p/pB1pN3/P2P4/5R2/1P3PPP/3Q2K1 w - - 0 1"] 1. Rxf6 Qc7 2. Rf3 This is a puzzle (and its solution) I found on lichess. But I simply do not see the expected logic of this ...
15
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11answers
5k views

Where to start with a child learning chess?

From here: What is the best age to learn chess? it seems that consensus is that that kids can start learning chess at almost any age. From around 5 years old they are big enough to learn the names ...
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2answers
259 views

Why did Puzzle Rush stop at the second fail?

I was playing the popular Puzzle Rush game on chess.com (3-minute version), and the game stopped when I missed the second puzzle (I had 8 seconds left on the clock). The statement is "Three strikes ...
5
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2answers
455 views

What is White's motivation to give up the Queen?

I received the following tactics puzzle on lichess.org. Even though, I ended up solving it correctly, I am still not clear about the move 2. Ng5, because this loses the Queen. What prevents 2. Qe2, ...
5
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2answers
123 views

Position-jugdment problems simulating actual play

I'm interested in collections of chess problems where we are not told beforehand what is happening in the positions presented, but we have to decide by ourselves, whether something clear exists (a ...
6
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3answers
548 views

Is it better to start without a queen or without any pawns?

I think that this question really can be answered rigorously with good analysis. It is opinion-based, but not completely since some results in this direction can be obtained, and strict and general ...
3
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2answers
293 views

How many different knight's tours are there?

How many solutions does the Knight’s Tour puzzle have when the knight first moves from square a1, through all squares (on each square once), and return back to a1? Please give some solutions. Also, ...