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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 or endgame-esqe position. But a puzzle can also be a chess riddle, chess math, or any other non-normal chess problem. Questions about solving puzzles, puzzle apps and websites, how to understand the idea behind a puzzle, etc. are also on-topic.

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16 votes
5 answers

Effectiveness of a spaced repetition system (SRS) for memorizing tactical patterns for long-term skill gain?

After reading Micheal de Maza's article 400 Points in 400 Days and the paper Training in Chess: A Scientific Approach by Gobet and Jansen, I have come to the conclusion that effective gains in chess ...
Dider's user avatar
  • 831
10 votes
4 answers

How much time you spend on one puzzle?

I know solving tactics puzzles is one of the recommended ways to improve in chess. I spend around 30 min solving puzzles. How much time I should spend on one puzzle? During games we don't think 15-...
Alex's user avatar
  • 305
28 votes
6 answers

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 ...
Sandrine Lorin's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers

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, ...
Ginger Bread's user avatar
36 votes
13 answers

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 ...
Steve Bennett's user avatar
24 votes
5 answers

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 ...
Xavier Labouze's user avatar
19 votes
1 answer

How many such positions are there? (chess/math checkmate puzzle)

I'm interested in this kind of position: There are only 4 pieces on the board. If Whites goes first, they can checkmate in one move. If Blacks goes first, they can checkmate in one move. For example: ...
Mike's user avatar
  • 293
16 votes
2 answers

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 ...
Milo Moses's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers

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 ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 1
11 votes
3 answers

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 ...
Favst's user avatar
  • 221
10 votes
2 answers

Lichess Puzzle 82753: Can white win with a queen and two pawns vs. rook and four pawns?

Lichess puzzle 82753 involves a rook and pawn endgame where white sacrifices their rook to queen a pawn. The final position is the following (with black to move): [FEN "2Q5/6p1/1K3pkp/8/8/4p3/r5PP/8 ...
Rebecca J. Stones's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers

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 &...
Xavier Labouze's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers

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] ...
Steve Bennett's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer

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/...
Lt. Commander. Data's user avatar
5 votes
5 answers

Where can I find exercises where the best move isn't always a tactical one?

I know solving a lot of tactics problems has its benefits, but also its limitations. In a real game there is no way to know if a tactic is present — maybe the best move is defensive. I am seeking ...
Ian Olsen's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers

Calculate the first N unknown moves of a chess game

Greetings fellow chess friends, Here is a quick idea that came to my mind. I am interested in writing a software that is able to calculate and/or guess the first n unknown moves of a given chess ...
Adrenaxus's user avatar
  • 193
4 votes
1 answer

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 ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer

Non-Tactical Puzzles

Its surprisingly hard to find chess puzzles where the solution is not necessarily tactic resulting in checkmate or a heavy win of material. The problem with these tactical puzzles is that they do not ...
Johnny Blaze's user avatar