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72 votes
Accepted

Can you solve this unique chess problem of white's two queens vs black's six rooks?

It's checkmate in 20 moves. White's queens circle around the board giving checks, and Black interposes horizontally/vertically moving pieces. Black only has one choice because the other piece is ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 24.9k
61 votes

Stalemate situation with all pieces on the board

Here is an example of a 12-move game after which White (to move) is stalemated. All 32 units (pieces and pawns) are still on the board. The original version of this concept game was created by Charles ...
Rosie F's user avatar
  • 6,425
56 votes

How can I prevent checkmate in this position?

Initial Analysis White is clearly in a dire situation, since Black is threatening mate in one on either h7 or h8 if White doesn't do anything. But the White king can't move nor can White get rid of ...
Rewan Demontay's user avatar
54 votes
Accepted

How fast can checkmate occur by just moving the king?

Here is a starter solution in 7 moves. Can we do better? [FEN ""] 1.g3 e5 2.Bh3 Ke7 3.Bxd7 Kxd7 4.Kf1 Ke7 5. Kg2 Ke6 6.Kh3 Kf6+ 7.Kh4 Kg6# If this is best, interestingly, the play is ...
Evargalo's user avatar
  • 16.4k
54 votes

Can all 64 squares be attacked or defended by the eight pieces?

If the two bishops travel on the same color squares, then all 64 squares can be covered by the eight pieces. However, if the bishops must travel on opposite colors, then the maximum number of squares ...
Pete Klimek's user avatar
52 votes
Accepted

How is this position possible in a normal game of chess?

Double check is only possible by using discovered check. So either the rook check or the bishop check was discovered by moving something in between on the previous move. I don't see how that's ...
RemcoGerlich's user avatar
  • 28.2k
49 votes
Accepted

When was it possible for a player's king to be attacked by 3 of the opponent's pieces?

In my thread on the English Chess Forum, which seemed to make the world go crazy on the subject, I gave all the major and minor events in the history of the “legal” triple check that my extensive ...
Rewan Demontay's user avatar
48 votes
Accepted

A mysterious mate in one

Looking at the problem as if the black King is currently invisible...
Jesper Nielsen's user avatar
47 votes

How fast can checkmate occur by just moving the king?

It's impossible to checkmate faster than 7 turns (handicap on black) or 8 turns (handicap on white). Proof by elimination I'm going to argue from the perspective that white is helping and black is ...
hoffmale's user avatar
  • 571
46 votes

Why underpromote in this KNNP-KR endgame?

If you promote to a queen with 1. b8Q, black has: 1...Re2+ 2. Kd1 Rb2 attacking the queen and hinting at mate with Rb1++. If white takes the rook 3. Qxb2 it is stalemate. Because of the mate ...
user1583209's user avatar
  • 20.8k
42 votes

Endgame problem: How to avoid stalemate and win?

It's quite a fun problem to think about, before getting to the calculation of long variations, try to first spot the key idea needed to crack the problem. Here are the first observations that come to ...
Ellie's user avatar
  • 12k
40 votes
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Is the position in this trick question reachable?

Even though the board is upside down, the position is still easily legal. [FEN ""] [startply "86"] [StartFlipped "1"] 1. a4 h5 2. g4 h4 3. Bg2 Rh5 4. gxh5 h3 5. h6 e5 6. ...
Rewan Demontay's user avatar
38 votes

Please help solve this endgame problem posed by a friend

White is one tempo short of catching the pawn - if White could make two moves immediately it would be a draw as white would just take the black pawn. But they can't, so white has to find a threat ...
Ian Bush's user avatar
  • 4,387
35 votes

White to play and checkmate in two moves

Use the fact that the rook is pinned, and that the king has few squares left; I'm thinking that 1.Rd8 Kd3 (only possible move) 2.Nc5# should be the solution. [White "NN"] [Black "NN"] [FEN "7R/1B1N4/...
Scounged's user avatar
  • 7,998
33 votes

Longest sequence of mutually forced moves

Assuming you allow promoted material (since you didn't say anything :-), this (on Page 13 of the PDF) is the (unfortunately, extremely unknown) finite record since ages. It shows the record for the ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
33 votes
Accepted

Is there a position with the stupidest possible move?

Every single legal move from White checkmates—except the extremely stupid Bd7. There are 12 (discovered) checkmates with the rook on g2 alone. After the stupid move, Black is forced to give checkmate ...
Hauptideal's user avatar
  • 6,222
29 votes

What moves solve this mate in 2?

White to play checkmates in 2 with 1 d4+! exd3 e.p. 2 Qbf4#. Black to play cannot checkmate in 2 but should win after Bxf7. 7r/1p3Q1p/2q5/3bk3/1Q2p3/2P5/r2P2PP/2KR4 w - - 0 1 1. d4+! exd3 2. Qbf4
Noam D. Elkies's user avatar
28 votes

What is the highest number of different mates in 1 you can have in one (legal) position?

[FEN "1B1Q1Q2/2R5/pQ4QN/RB2k3/1Q5Q/N4Q2/K2Q4/6Q1 w - - 0 1 "] 105 mates — Nenad Petrovic, Sahovski Vjesnika 1947 (Chess Problem Database) In this position any check is mate. There are 3 knight mates ...
bof's user avatar
  • 3,852
27 votes
Accepted

How many queens can check a king without it being checkmate (with no other pieces on the board)?

The question asks for "no other pieces on the board" apart from white queens and a black king. So the other answers looking for legal positions seem to be missing the point. If we're looking ...
Especially Lime's user avatar
26 votes
Accepted

Can White avoid a loss in this endgame study by Lazar?

The first half of white's move is forced - d8. Then white has a choice of knight, bishop, rook or queen. Black has two threats which white must parry to get a draw. The first is to play Bf4 and then ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 98.4k
26 votes

Basic "mate in one move" puzzle - what am I missing?

You are absolutely right! The black king can move to d8 and e7 and then there's no follow up mate. Most probably there's a white queen/bishop on h4 to prevent the black king from escaping (which is ...
Abhyuday Vaish's user avatar
25 votes
Accepted

What is the least number of knights needed to cover the entire board?

Depending on whether occupied squares need to be covered as well, the number is: [Title " 12 knights, Without Covering Occupied Squares"] [FEN "8/5N2/1NN1NN2/2N5/5N2/2NN1NN1/2N5/8 w - - 0 1"] [Title ...
user1583209's user avatar
  • 20.8k
25 votes
Accepted

Can you solve this queen + 3 pawns vs bishop + 3 pawns chess problem?

If White can get the Black king to the first rank, then it will not be fast enough to catch the g-pawn from promoting. White starts by playing 1. Qg5, and after 1...Kh7 2. Qf6 Kg8 3. Qh6, the White ...
Andrew Chin's user avatar
24 votes
Accepted

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

The Matt Bengtson problem Prof. Elkies mentions is: [Title "Matt Bengtson, Chess Braintwisters (Burt Hochberg), no. 103. White to move & draw."] [FEN "4kn2/3p1pPp/4pPpK/6P1/8/2p5/1b6/8 w - - 0 1"]...
Rosie F's user avatar
  • 6,425
24 votes
Accepted

Can you solve this chess problem of a lone knight against numerous opposing pieces?

OK The check must come from the knight (D'uh!) The black king must be on c5 for the mate The white king must be used to cover any empty squares to the right of the black king - thus the white king ...
Ian Bush's user avatar
  • 4,387
23 votes
Accepted

Is the "Pawn Box" possible in standard chess?

As @BrianTowers showed, it can be done. Here’s a shorter proof game for the fun of it. [FEN ""] 1. h4 g5 2. hxg5 f5 3. g4 Nf6 4. gxf6 d6 5. gxf5 Be6 6. f4 Bb3 7. axb3 c5 8. e4 c4 9. bxc4 d5 10. cxd5 ...
Rewan Demontay's user avatar
23 votes

Is there a double-forced mate position?

Indeed, there are many possible positions in which all mates are forced on the first ply. Since you ask not for that, I shall provide examples with more than one move by both sides. Here is the known, ...
Rewan Demontay's user avatar
22 votes
Accepted

Least number of moves to achieve a complete switchover of nonpawns in starting setup

As @chakerian's calculations show, 40 moves is the minimum. After a bit of puzzling, I found the solution. [FEN ""] 1. a4 {First, we need to get the rooks in position. They'll be hard to ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 24.9k
22 votes

What is the theoretical maximal material difference of a dead draw which is not a stalemate?

[fen ""] 1. a4 b5 2. b4 bxa4 3. c4 c5 4. d4 cxb4 5. e4 d5 6. f4 dxc4 7. g4 e5 8. h4 exd4 9. Ba3 g5 10. Nc3 gxh4 11. Qb3 f5 12. Kf2 h3 13. Kg3 h2 14. Bd3 Qa5 15. Kh4 dxc3 16. Kg5 h5 17. Kg6 cxb3 18. ...
leftaroundabout's user avatar

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