# 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### Why do chess puzzles need a unique solution?

Why do chess puzzles need a unique solution? This is different from real games, where such situations do occur, but more frequently, there are multiple avenues to success. Contrary to what one might ...
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### 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: ...
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### 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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### 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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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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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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### Sherlock Holmes vs Professor James Moriarty, A Game of Shadow-Chess Game Position Reconstruction

The chess scene between Sherlock Holmes and Professor James Moriarty in the movie Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is one of my favorite movie scenes of all time. What intrigued me even more was ...
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### 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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### 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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### Lichess puzzle 87510: How much calculation would a strong player do before playing Bg4+ when white has a range of (all losing) responses?

Lichess puzzle 87510 has this position. [FEN "r1b1k3/pp4R1/2q3RQ/4p3/5P2/bP2P3/2P1K2P/8 b - - 0 1"] The solution is 1...Bg4+,.after which White has 6 legal moves: 1...Bg4+ 2. Rxg4 Qxh6, ...
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### 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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### Why was 49...Rb4+ played in this puzzle?

I was looking at the answer of today's puzzle in chessgames and see that the reason I wasn't able to solve it because I missed a key move in the solution: Black played 49...Rb4+ note: this is not the ...
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### 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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### 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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### 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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### How can white gain a slight advantage in this position? (puzzle for beginners)

Try solving the following puzzle (for beginners), where it is white to move and gain a slight advantage, despite being a queen down for a bishop: [FEN "2k1r3/pp6/n5q1/1N3p2/8/3B4/5PPP/5RK1 w - - ...
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### Brainteaser: What is the one thing a queen cannot do that all other pieces can do?

A simple brainteaser - A queen cannot do something all other pieces can do. What is that? April 18 2014 9:15 PM GMT. EDIT: In this context, by "doing" I mean making a move that leads to the desired ...
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### 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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### 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 ...
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### 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-...
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### 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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### 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 ...
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### 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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### 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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### Strategic implications in this puzzle by S. Polgar/P. Truong

Usually chess puzzles at my level (beginner) have just one or two forced variations and a clear achievement, like a substantial material gain or checkmate. Once in a while, though, a puzzle leaves me ...
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### White to play and win - only moving the rook once

[Title "White to play and win - only moving the rook once"] [fen "k7/8/8/8/8/8/8/K1R5 w - - 0 1"] This is an exercise in using the opposition and outflanking from John Hawkins' ...
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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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### Why is Nb5 a strong move here? Why is there a guaranteed material gain?

Taken from: Chess Academy: A subtle blunder [Title "White to move"] [FEN "r1bqr1k1/pp1nbpp1/4pn1p/2pp4/2PP1B2/P1NBPN2/1P3PPP/R2Q1RK1 w - - 0 1"] White can play Nb5 followed by Nc7 but wouldn't ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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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### 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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### 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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### Why does Stockfish recommend this queen sacrifice in this puzzle?

[Variant "From Position"] [FEN "r1b1r1k1/pp3ppp/2p5/2Ppn1q1/1P1Q2B1/4P1N1/P4PPP/R4RK1 w - - 9 18"] [Title ""] 1. Bxc8 Raxc8 2. f4 https://lichess.org/training/fRzq3 The ...
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### 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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### 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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### Most mate options after 6 moves

Found this construction problem from '83 and liked it. I don't know the best solution (yet), and maybe you can top it anyway. Consider the (help) "game" 1.e4 a6 2.Bc4 a5 3.Qh5 a4. Now White ...
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### 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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### Chesscademy Tactic: Is my alternative as good as the right answer?

I've been playing with the Chesscademy app for a while, solving some tactics (which I'm not sure is improving my chess, but it's a good puzzle to kill some time). Today I ran into one tactic that I ...
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### 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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### 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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### 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 ...
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### 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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### 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 ...
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### Is my solution to this puzzle wrong or a transposition of the official one?

I saw the following puzzle recently in a newspaper: Black to play and win 6rk/6qp/2Bp4/P1pP1p2/3bnP2/6BQ/7P/5R1K w - - 0 1 My proposed solution was 1. ... Nf2+ and the lines I foresaw were ...
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