Unusual and Challenging Chess Problems

Problems 001 to 012

1

Checkmate in 6 moves

(V. Ropke, Skakbladet 1942)

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1. d4 - b5

2. d5 - b4

3. axb4 - a3

4. b5 - a2

5. b6 - a1=any

6. b7#
(This is a self-solving problem, just follow the rules of chess and make each time the only legal move)


Date added: 8/1/2021

2

White to move, find the move which doesn't checkmate black.

(Karl Fabel)

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  1. Rc6


Date added: 8/1/2021

3

What was the last move? ****

(Dr. L. Ceriani 1st Prize Sahovski Vjesnik, 1951)

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Black cannot retract g7-g6 while the wh. King is still behind the P barrier. Also, White cannot retract g7xf8=N because g7xR/Qf8 leads to illegal check and g7xNf8 leads to bl. retropat. There is only one way to avoid black retropat: last move is -1. Kg8xQh8, allowing -1 ... Q~-h8+.


Date added: 8/1/2021

4

White to mate in fourteen moves with his pawn, without capturing any of the Black pawns

(Stratagèmes des échecs, 1802)

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  1. Nd7+ - Kg7

  2. Rf8 - Kg6

  3. Ne6 - fxe6

  4. Qf7+ - Kg5

  5. Ne5 - fxe5

  6. Be4 - fxe4

  7. Be3 - fxe3

  8. Qe7+ - Kg6

  9. Kh2 - h3

  10. g3 - h4

  11. g4 - h5

  12. g5 - h6

  13. Qf6+ - Kh7

  14. g6#


Date added: 18/1/2021

5

Charles XII problem, mate in three

This problem was originally published in 1859. The story involves an incident during the siege of Charles XII of Sweden by the Turks at Bender in 1713. "Charles beguiled this period by means of drills and chess, and used frequently to play with his minister, Christian Albert Grosthusen, some of the contests being mentioned by Voltaire. One day while so engaged, the game had advanced to this stage, and Charles (White) had just announced mate in three."

(Samuel Loyd - The Chess Monthly, Mar 1859)

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1. Rxg3 Bxg3

2. Nf3 Bxh2

3. g4#


Date added: 21/1/2021

6

Charles XII problem, mate in four

Scarcely had he uttered the words, when a Turkish bullet, shattering the window, dashed the White knight off of the board in fragments. Grothusen started violently, but Charles, with utmost coolness, begged him to put back the other knight and work out the mate, observing that it was pretty enough. But another glance at the board made Charles smile. We do not need the knight. I can give it to you and still mate in four!

(Samuel Loyd - The Chess Monthly, Mar 1859)

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1. hxg3 Be3

2. Rg4 Bg5

3. Rh4+ Bxh4

4. g4#


Date added: 21/1/2021

7

Charles XII problem, mate in five

Who would believe it, he had scarcely spoken when another bullet flew across the room, and the pawn at h2 shared the fate of the knight. Grothusen turned pale. "You have our good friends the Turks with you," said the king unconcerned, "it can scarcely be expected that I should contend against such odds; but let me see if I can dispense with that unlucky pawn. I have it!" he shouted with a tremendous laugh, "I have great pleasure in informing you that there is undoubtedly a mate in 5."

(Samuel Loyd - The Chess Monthly, Mar 1859)

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1. Rb7 Be3

2. Rb1 Bg5

3. Rh1+ Bh4

4. Rh2 gxh2

5. g4#


Date added: 21/1/2021

8

Charles XII problem, mate in six

Who would believe it, he had scarcely spoken when another bullet flew across the room, and the pawn at h2 shared the fate of the knight. Grothusen turned pale. "You have our good friends the Turks with you," said the king unconcerned, "it can scarcely be expected that I should contend against such odds; but let me see if I can dispense with that unlucky pawn. I have it!" he shouted with a tremendous laugh, "I have great pleasure in informing you that there is undoubtedly a mate in 5."

(Friedrich Ludwig Balthasar Amelung - Baltische Schachblätter, 1900)

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In 1900, Friedrich Amelung pointed out that in the original position, if the first bullet had struck the rook instead of the knight, Charles would still have a mate in six.

1. Nf3 Be1

2. Nxe1 Kh4

3. h3 Kh5

4. Nd3 Kh4

5. Nf4 h5

6. Ng6#


Date added: 21/1/2021

9

Charles XII problem, mate in ten

In 2003, ChessBase posted a fifth variation, attributed to Brian Stewart. After the first bullet took out the knight, if the second had removed the g-pawn rather than the h-pawn, Charles would be able to mate in ten.

(ChessBase, 2003)

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1. hxg3 Be1

2. Rg4 Bxg3

3. Rxg3 Kh4

4. Kf4 h5

5. Rg2 Kh3

6. Kf3 h4

7. Rg4 Kh2

8. Rxh4+ Kg1

9. Rh3 Kf1

10. Rh1#


Date added: 21/1/2021

10

Checkmate in 2 moves

The layout of chess pieces forms the number 19. Next problem forms the number 76. The publishers of the Russian chess magazine "64" wish readers "happy year 1976"

(64 (Russian chess magazine) issue #52, 1975)

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  1. Bb4 - f1=Q

  2. Nd1#


Date added: 22/1/2021

11

Checkmate in 2 moves

The layout of chess pieces forms the number 76. Previous problem forms the number 19. The publishers of the Russian chess magazine "64" wish readers "happy year 1976"

(64 (Russian chess magazine) issue #52, 1975)

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  1. Rc7 - Kh7

  2. Qxg7#


Date added: 22/1/2021

12

What was the last move made?

(Skakbladet, 1924)

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  1. Kd1xNc1


Date added: 23/1/2021