Questions tagged [puzzles]

A problem in which a tactical or positional solution is required, like 'White move and gives mate in two'.

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41
votes
4answers
13k views

Win the game by just moving king?

How short can a game be in which (after the first move) one player moves only his King, and yet checkmates their opponent? (Assume that the players co-operate: i.e. this is a kind of "helpmate". This ...
39
votes
2answers
7k 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/...
30
votes
4answers
4k views

Endgame puzzle: How to avoid stalemate and win?

I'm stuck on this problem a friend shared with me recently, with barely any pieces left and apparently white is able to force a win but I've been hitting a wall with everything I've tried so far, as ...
28
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
27
votes
4answers
5k views

Stalemate situation with all pieces on the board

Suppose all the pieces are on the board. Does there exist a position such that A) one of the players can't make any move (a stalemate)? B) neither player can make any move (a double stalemate)?
22
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
21
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"] ...
20
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the solution to this mate in 2 puzzle?

What could be the answer to it?
19
votes
5answers
2k views

Longest sequence of mutually forced moves

In this position, the black move 1. ... Qc3 results in two consecutive forced moves, Kxc3 and Ke7: 2rkr3/2p5/2q5/8/8/8/3KP3/3R4 b - - 0 1 1... Qc3 2. Kxc3 Ke7 What is the longest sequence of ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there any position where not promoting(illegally) would be the best move?

Is there any position, where moving a pawn to last rank but not promoting it to any piece would be the best move? By the way, I know this is an illegal move. Assume it is legal. Edit: Now we have a ...
18
votes
1answer
2k views

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: ...
15
votes
11answers
4k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Prove that white is not allowed to castle here

A friend recently gave me the following weird chess problem to solve, and I'm afraid I'm struggling to see the key ideas, that would ultimately count as proof. From the position, intuitively speaking ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Can white win in this almost 20 year old puzzle?

White to move. Can white force a win? (left bottom is a1 as usual) [FEN "4k2r/6p1/p4pKb/p2N3p/p7/p5Q1/p1n5/qrn5 w - - 9 9"] Note for people who saw an earlier version: the position was edited (...
15
votes
3answers
1k 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" ...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

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 ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

Sherlock Holmes vs Professor James Moriarty. A Game of Shadows. 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the shortest number of moves from the starting position required for Black to mate White with a pawn?

Interesting puzzle that is quite hard to stop.
11
votes
7answers
782 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Shortest possible game with 18 queens?

The selected answer to this question shows a game in which all 16 pawns promote to queens so that there is a total of 18 queens on the board. It takes 80 moves... What is the shortest sequence of ...
11
votes
1answer
773 views

Puzzle. Find color of the pieces

Please help me to find solution of the next puzzle, by the legendary composer Andrej Kornilow It appeared in Shakhmatnaya Kompozitsiya 41 2001 and was dedicated to A.Lobusow on his 50th birthday ...
11
votes
3answers
719 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

White to force the end of the game in two moves

I found this hilarious problem and hope people will have fun solving it: Niels Hoeg, Skakbladet 1907 [FEN "8/8/6p1/5pP1/5P1K/5PpP/4p2p/2Q2Bkr w - - 0 1"] White to end the game in two moves. In ...
10
votes
2answers
311 views

Uniquely Satisfying Puzzle

Here is a fun puzzle I found some time ago. It was created by Karl Fabel in 1952 and published in Rätselstunde. Goal [title "White to move and NOT checkmate in one!"] [fen "B5KR/1r5B/6R1/2b1p1p1/...
10
votes
2answers
554 views

Puzzle rebus. Reproduce the game

There is a chess "rebus" puzzle: In this position white circles correspond to white chess pieces, black - to black. Each letter corresponds to exactly one piece type (king, queen, rook, knight, ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it possible to have a double self-smothered stalemate?

I came up with this rather amusing and bizarre stalemate where Black stalemates itself by self-smothering. [FEN "8/8/8/8/8/3p4/pp6/krb1K3 b - - 0 1"] 1...d2+?? 2. Kd1 The peculiar feature of ...
9
votes
3answers
565 views

Chess problem - don't understand the solution

Black to move: [fen "4rbk1/pp3pp1/1nq4p/8/1PP5/P3N1P1/Q2BrP1P/3R1RK1 b - - 0 1"] I've tried to solve this chess problem - black to move, find the best move. I couldn't work it out so I checked the ...
9
votes
4answers
10k views

Chess Puzzle Database with PGN or FEN

Is there a database of chess puzzles that have the game or positions PGN and or FEN?
9
votes
2answers
309 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"]
9
votes
4answers
2k views

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-...
9
votes
2answers
281 views

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
245 views

Giving moves as odds, what's the least number of moves by White which forces checkmate by the time it's Black's turn?

If one player (Black) gives another player (White) odds of x moves, stipulating that White must not move any man beyond his fourth rank until Black has made one move, what's the smallest value for "x" ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Mate in N. What is the largest N known?

What known position has one side with a forced mate in N moves, with N the largest? I came across one with 517 moves using only 7 pieces, so there should be much be larger. (Ignoring the 50-move rule)....
8
votes
5answers
4k views

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 ...
8
votes
4answers
483 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
1k 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" ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

Creative chess puzzles! [closed]

What are some of the creative chess problems that can never be solved by computers? Question changed to Creative chess puzzles! What are some of the creative chess problems that computers can never ...
8
votes
1answer
330 views

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 ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Stalemating the opponent in order to not lose

There are some defensive ideas to get one's own king stalemated in order to not lose the game (mostly in the endgame, but sometimes also in the middle game). Have (master) games been played where the ...
8
votes
1answer
576 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
8
votes
1answer
229 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?
8
votes
2answers
786 views

Puzzle: Find White's second-to-last move

For the following position to occur in legal play, with Black on move, what would White's second-to-last move need to have been? Note that Black is checked by two pieces on the h1-h8 file and two ...
8
votes
1answer
740 views

Self-Solving Chess Problems

Are there any longer "problems" like this, which is white to move and mate in 6? (Namely, where one is actually forced to achieve the "goal".)
7
votes
3answers
2k views

“Knight rebus”. Decipher an encoded chess position

Here is a rebus: Each letter represents a different type of piece. Uppercase is one colour, lowercase is the other. Determine the position. If possible, also determine the last moves ...
7
votes
3answers
575 views

Puzzle: reconstruct the game

In the following position, each side has made exactly 4 moves (8 in total). [fen "rnbqkbnr/pp3ppp/2p1p3/8/4P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RNBQK1NR w KQkq - 0 1"] I need to find what these moves were.
7
votes
3answers
264 views

Useful solving composed mate-in-2 problems?

I'm solving mate-in-2 puzzles from the Polgar 5334 problems book. Many of these are composed problems, and are hard (for me) to solve. Often I have to spend 10-15 minutes before finding the solution....
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Longest Sequence For Any Piece To Reach A Certain Square

What is the longest sequence of moves (by both White and Black) wherein White attempts to move one of their pieces from one square to another? Assume Black makes every move optimal towards the purpose ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Longest forced sequence that ends with checkmate and every move is a check

What is the longest move sequence that ends with checkmate and every move is a check? Disclaimer - every move by both players is a check.
6
votes
2answers
980 views

Could you show me some very easy mate in 20?

I am looking for some puzzles where there is a forced mate in as many moves as possible (ideally 20 or more). Yet the puzzles need to be as easy as possible! You will probably need to find some ...