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81 votes

Why is this a checkmate?

To get out of check, the king needs to move to a square that isn't attacked by any opposing pieces, or you need to capture/block attacking pieces such that the king is no longer under attack on its ...
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  • 1,022
32 votes
Accepted

Why did I fail this puzzle?

g3 is a better square for the Knight because it blocks White's g-pawn and so prevents White playing g3 or g4.
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  • 3,998
26 votes

Why is this a checkmate?

Rook at d2 is pinned by the bishop at g5 and hence the rook can not capture the black queen at c2 checkmating the white king at c1.
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  • 620
26 votes

Why is this a checkmate?

Since you are a beginner in chess first you need to understand the term pin in chess. In chess, a pin is a situation brought on by an attacking piece in which a defending piece cannot move without ...
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  • 1,371
24 votes

What is the best move in this puzzle rush?

Did black just play f5 before? Then the right move is exf6 en passant, Bxf6 Rxf6 Rxf6 Qe5+ and win the piece. [FEN "2b2r1r/2k1qpb1/2p1p2p/1p1pP3/pP1P1RB1/P1N5/2P1Q1PP/5RK1 b - - 1 1"] [...
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  • 527
22 votes
Accepted

Another Unusual Mate in One

There are two checkmates per orientation: [title "Mate in one"] [FEN "3b4/R3P3/2kPR1n1/P1p1n3/4K1p1/2Nr4/5p2/1b6 w KQkq - 0 1"] 1. exd8=N# and [title "Mate in ...
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  • 77.8k
21 votes
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Why move bishop first instead of queen in this puzzle?

After Qa4 Black can reply ...Kf8 if you capture there's ...Qd7 (pinning your knight and regaining it later) A continuation would be 1.Qa4 Kf8 2.Nxc6 Qd7 3.Bb5 a6 4.Nxe7 axb5
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  • 13.2k
20 votes

Why did I fail this puzzle?

As pointed out by Michael West, 1...Nf2 provides White the opportunity to exploit White's overwhelming advantage whereas 1...Ng3 is a forced checkmate in three (i.e., Black has a guaranteed win). ...
19 votes

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

Frankly, you overlooked a major detail...Nf6+ in reply is mate. It is important to notice your "opponent's" moves too. [FEN "r2qk2r/pp1nnp1N/4p1pQ/3pP3/4b1PP/P1B5/1PP1B3/R3KR2 b Qq - 0 1"] 1... ...
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  • 32.1k
17 votes
Accepted

Why is Nb5 a strong move here? Why is there a guaranteed material gain?

This is a familiar tactic I often get to use myself in another opening line. If black plays 1... Rf8, then comes 2. Bc7! Qe8 3. Nd6 Bxd6 4. Bxd6 and black loses the exchange anyway. [Title "White to ...
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16 votes
Accepted

Why Qxd5 instead of Rxd5?

After 1...Rxd5 2.cxd5, both queens are attacked. They either both get captured, or (if black moves his to safety) neither is. So black lost the exchange. After 1...Qxd5 2.cxd5 Nxe2, white has lost a ...
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  • 26.3k
16 votes

What move requires the greatest number of moves before it could be played in a game?

Evargalo's Ra1-h1 for 15 plies is not correct, since this can be done in 13: [FEN ""] 1. e3 h5 2. Qxh5 Rxh5 3. Bc4 Rxh2 4. Nf3 Rxh1+ 5. Ke2 Rxc1 6. Nc3 Rxc2 7. Rh1 However, it cannot be ...
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15 votes
Accepted

Chesscademy Tactic: Is my alternative as good as the right answer?

The problem is that 5. Qxh5 isn't check, so Black has time for some back rank tricks (instead of capturing the rook on f6): [FEN "r1r4k/1p5R/3b4/4q3/B3P1Q1/1n1P3P/6P1/5R1K b - - 0 1"] 1... Kxh7 2. ...
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  • 23.9k
15 votes
Accepted

Why was this move in a puzzle?

If black plays QxR then white plays Qc3+ with mate to follow. Black's Qg7 stops the mate. With the black queen on b2 white cannot play Qc3. The Re2 move is to divert the black queen [FEN "5r1k/1pQ4p/...
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  • 77.8k
15 votes
Accepted

Lichess puzzle 87510: How much calculation would a strong player do before playing Bg4+ when white has a range of (all losing) responses?

I'm an FM, and my calculation process would be as follows: See that after 2.Rxg4 Qxh6 2.Rg8 Bf8, I'm clearly winning and White has no follow up. Look at White's king moves to get out of check. ...
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15 votes

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

As a chess composer, seeing most problems being called puzzles is rather frustrating. A while ago, I personally revamped the problem and puzzles tags. The problem tag says: Chess problems consist of ...
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15 votes

How can I place certain pieces on a 5x5 chess board without any of them attacking each other?

Qa3, Rb1, Rc4, Bd2, Nd5, Ne2, Be5
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  • 23.9k
13 votes
Accepted

Why does Black play Bh3+?

Black is going to lose the bishop regardless. White is attacking the queen in such a way that it will have to move (or be captured), and there are no available safe squares from which it can continue ...
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  • 146
13 votes
Accepted

How to solve this puzzle of Martin Gardner?

According to the FIDE Laws of Chess: 1.4 The objective of each player is to place the opponent’s king ‘under attack’ in such a way that the opponent has no legal move. 1.4.1 The player who achieves ...
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  • 77.8k
13 votes

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

Rating method. On chess.com, my puzzle rating is 700 points higher than my game rating, but my chesstempo puzzle rating is only about 100 points higher than my chess.com game rating. In other words, ...
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  • 2,408
13 votes
Accepted

A question about a puzzle

At first glance, before concrete calculation: 1 Kh1 looks reasonably safe, the king is out of harms way for good. 1 Rf2 self-pins the rook and disjoints White's whole army with no obvious upside. Why ...
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  • 5,809
13 votes
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Can black convert a +5.6 game into a draw (assuming both players play optimally)?

When a chess engine shows an evaluation of a position, there are typically 3 possible values, all of which are based on the engine's attempt to simulate perfect play for both sides: (1) If the engine ...
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13 votes
Accepted

How can white gain a slight advantage in this position? (puzzle for beginners)

[FEN "2k1r3/pp6/n5q1/1N3p2/8/3B4/5PPP/5RK1 w - - 0 1"] 1. Bxf5 Qxf5 2. Nd6 and a cute family fork wins the queen. White is up a pawn.
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  • 146
13 votes
Accepted

How can I place certain pieces on a 5x5 chess board without any of them attacking each other?

For the sake of completeness, I used chessboard, a Python "CLI to solve combinatoric chess puzzles". chessboard solve --length=5 --height=5 --queen=1 --bishop=2 --rook=2 --knight=2 outputs ...
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12 votes
Accepted

Where to start with a child learning chess?

Does it make most sense to just start playing with setting up all the pieces, or are there smaller "games" that one can/should start with? It doesn't really matter the age of the person learning to ...
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  • 77.8k
12 votes
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How many moves of head start does white need for a guaranteed win?

There is a similar ancient question, but this isn't a duplicate since White may move anywhere. For an upper bound, I can prove a guaranteed win for White in 5 moves. Indeed, it is reminiscent of ...
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12 votes

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

tl;dr: Chess problems must meet defined quality standards. Chess puzzles need not. (Disclosure: I am a chess problemist.) Chess problems are all subject to rigorous conventions that are not that ...
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  • 4,880
12 votes

Why is this a checkmate?

The original goal of chess was to capture the opponent’s king. The idea of “checkmate” follows this: you may as well call the game won/lost once capture next turn is inevitable. So you’re checkmated ...
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12 votes

Can black convert a +5.6 game into a draw (assuming both players play optimally)?

White is a piece up and has a completely winning position. Black could try to create some counterplay profitting from the fact that White's pieces are a bit uncoordinated right now. But realistically, ...
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  • 13.2k

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