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41 votes
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Shortest stalemate in serious tournament game

Yes, there has been a stalemate in a serious game that is under 30 moves long. According to Tim Krabbe's "Chess Records," the fastest such game happened in 27 moves. [Title "Sibilio-...
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39 votes
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What is the fastest way to reach stalemate?

Sam Loyd, a famous puzzle composer, created this 10 move, 19 ply, stalemate game over 100 years ago. I found it via Google, in this post by AndersElborg on chess.com. Most black pieces are blocked, ...
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  • 23.8k
32 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 ...
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26 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 ...
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  • 3,226
18 votes
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What is the longest known sequence of forced moves leading to a checkmate for one side?

If you don't mind a bushel of promoted Queens, you can get 14 half-moves . . . [Title "14 forced half-moves to checkmate"] [Fen "3b3k/qqqqq3/rr4NK/7R/5N1Q/7Q/B6Q/7R b - - 0 0"] 1... Rxg6+ 2. Nxg6+ ...
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18 votes

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

Anthony Stewart Mackay Dickens found another solution, also with 105 mating moves, but with only 17 units in the diagram (16 white and the black king): [title "Anthony Stewart Mackay Dickens, The ...
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  • 5,562
18 votes
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From the start of the game what is the longest possible series of consecutive white moves where white can do those moves no matter what black does?

Three moves. On move 3, Black can crash through with his queen on f2 or d2 via several different squares, forcing White to respond. There is no series of White moves that can prevent all such checks. ...
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  • 15.1k
17 votes

What is the shortest possible game with 18 queens?

Here is a solution in 96 plies. Found by Friedrich Burchard & Friedrich Hariu, it was published in the German magazine feenschach issue #33 in 1976 on page 22. It can be viewed and downloaded as a ...
17 votes
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Problems: record for most mates-in-2

Sir Jeremy Morse, in Chess Problems: Tasks and Records, Introduction, cites this construction by E. Luukonen: [Title "E. Luukonen, Uusi Suomi, 1936"] [fen "kr6/pnPPPPPPPP/P2N4/R7/3BBN2/1Q6/3K3P/6R1 w ...
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  • 5,562
16 votes
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Longest sequence of mutually forced moves

Inspired by Ed Dean's now deleted answer, here is another "infinite loop.” [FEN "8/6p1/1p3pPk/1P3Pp1/1Pp3p1/KpP3P1/1P6/8 - - - 0 0 "]
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  • 3,226
16 votes
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What is the maximum number of passed pawns in a position?

EDIT: record is now 20.0 moves! (See below.) If we like pawns undoubled... [title "16 non-doubled passed pawns in 21.0 moves"] [fen ""] [startply "42"] 1. g4 h5 2. g5 Rh6 3. gxh6 g5 4. h4 g4 5. b4 ...
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  • 9,378
16 votes

Fastest possible checkmate by en passant

According to this page the shortest known mate by en passant capture is in 5.5 moves (that is, White mates on move 6), and was published by Benko in Chess Live & Review in 1976: [Title "Pal Benko'...
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15 votes
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Fastest possible checkmate by en passant

The same question has also been discussed and answered in the lichess forum, and as mentioned by others already, the answer is 11 half-moves for white and 12 half-moves for black. You might find some ...
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15 votes
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List of female chess players by peak FIDE rating

The raw data which could be used to extract this information is available on the FIDE website (from 2001) and the Olimpbase website (before 2001). What you will need to do is clean the data (the older ...
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  • 73.9k
14 votes
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Maximum possible movement in a turn

After some searching, it seems that this composition is the current record holder. 218 moves; legal position with promotions: R6R/3Q4/1Q4Q1/4Q3/2Q4Q/Q4Q2/pp1Q4/kBNN1KB1 w - - 0 1 Another version of ...
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  • 3,622
14 votes

What is the longest forced win with 3 to 6 pieces (ignoring 50 & 75 move rules)?

Longest known checkmate is in 549 moves, revealed by Lomonosov Tablebases. You can see the game here. Plus, you don't need to say "endgame" explicitly. Longest checkmates come from endgame ...
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  • 4,322
14 votes
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What is the longest proven forced win (including 50 & 75 move rules)?

Otto Blathy is famous for his long mate problems. There are different records depending on whether you allow an illegal starting position, or promoted pieces, or minor duals in the solution, so your ...
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  • 12.8k
14 votes
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Longest *shortest available* fixed sequence of moves leading to checkmate?

In other words, you wish for the record length for a completely dual-free sequence. Every White move must be absolutely unique to any possible by Black. Shorter, dualed mating sequences do not count. ...
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13 votes

What is the most queens that have been on the board in a grandmaster game?

This sounds like a job for Tim Krabbé, who presents two games with six queens: Szalanczy - Nguyen, Budapest 2009 and Anton - Franco, XXI Elgoibar Magistral 2011. I don't know how many of the ...
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  • 14.4k
13 votes
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Fastest King vs King endgame

This is a famous task, originally tackled by Sam Loyd and only improved a century later. See http://www.chessvariants.com/problems.dir/twokingstask.html, which gives the refinement by Ponzetto: [FEN ...
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13 votes

What is the highest number of pieces from one side that can be involved in a checkmate?

Here is a solution with all 16 white pieces, all mandatory for checkmate, without promoted units and without needing to protect the white king from checks. If you remove any white piece but the king, ...
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  • 12.8k
13 votes
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Is this the quickest way to clearing the board to two kings?

Samuel Loyd found faster in 1895. [FEN ""] 1. c4 d5 2. cxd5 Qxd5 3. Qc2 Qxg2 4. Qxc7 Qxg1 5. Qxb7 Qxh2 6. Qxb8 Qe5 7. Qxc8+ Rxc8 8. Rxh7 Qxb2 9. Rxh8 Qxa2 10. Rxg8 Qxd2+ 11. Kxd2 Rxc1 12. Rxg7 Rxb1 ...
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  • 4,830
13 votes

Can there be a checkmate with maximum points of material (103) while covering 64 squares?

As per Hauke's invitation, here is an optimal proof game for such a position. This is optimal because a queen must move to give the Black king a square and forty pawns moves must take place. White's h ...
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12 votes
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Shortest sequence of moves to create biggest material imbalance

I got this, which is much shorter. [FEN ""] 1. a4 a5 2. b4 b5 3. c4 c5 4. d4 d5 5. e4 e5 6. f4 f5 7. g4 g5 8. h4 h5 9. bxa5 Bd6 10. axb5 Be6 11. dxc5 Nf6 12. cxd5 O-O 13. fxe5 Rf7 14. exf5 ...
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  • 532
11 votes

Longest sequence of mutually forced moves

A simpler infinite-loop setting: [FEN "1kb5/1p1p4/1P1P4/8/8/4p1p1/4P1P1/5BK1 w - - 0 1"]
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11 votes

Maximum number of pieces on board in dead position

I've come up with 23, in the following position, with promotions: [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "?"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] [FEN "nb2k3/2p5/1pP5/1Pp5/2P1p1p1/3pPpPp/...
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  • 3,924
11 votes
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Maximum number of pieces on board in dead position

Funny task. I think I'm still pretty far from the maximum, but here is a suggestion with 23 men: [Event "?"] [title "Challenge 3, 23 units"] [FEN "NRN1k1bn/QRKpPp2/PPpP1Pp1/2P3Pp/7P/8/7B/8 w - - 0 ...
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  • 12.8k
11 votes
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Longest number of moves that have been identical in two independently played games on record

There are Several reasons for identical games: The fact that we databases and computers allows us to find the best move in known positions. (if both players knows the theory in the same level - it ...
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  • 1,010
11 votes

What is the maximum number of passed pawns in a position?

16 passed pawns in 26 moves. [fen ""] [startply "52"] 1. b4 a5 2. b5 Na6 3. bxa6 b6 4. Ba3 c6 5. Bb4 axb4 6. a4 b5 7. a5 c5 8. d3 c4 9. Nd2 Qc7 10. Nb3 cxb3 11. c4 d5 12. c5 d4 13. Qd2 e5 14. Qc3 ...
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  • 3,062
11 votes
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What is the highest possible number of pawn captures in a game?

Each side has 15 pieces that can be captured, for a total of 30 captures. But after the last pawn capture, there must be a pawn remaining on the board. Therefore, no more than 29 captures are possible....
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