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Basic Puzzles[]

Rank 7[]

a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 r e8 q f8 r g8 k h8 8
7 a7 p b7 R c7 R d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 2
1 a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 K 1
a b c d e f g h

Answer[]

  1. ... Rg7+
  2. Kh8
  3. Rh7+
  4. Kg8
  5. Rbg7#

White Fortress[]

a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 rl d8 kl e8 rl f8 g8 h8 rd 8
7 a7 b7 c7 pl d7 pl e7 f7 g7 h7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 qd d5 e5 nd f5 nl g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 bd b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 2
1 a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 kd 1
a b c d e f g h
Black to move

Hint[]

Mate in one

Answer[]

  1. ... Nf7#

King of the Edge[]

a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 q f5 g5 P h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 p h4 K 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 k f2 g2 h2 2
1 a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
Black to move. Find mate in 2.

Hint[]

Hanging Pawn!

Answer[]

  1. ...Kc6!!
  2. Ka6
  3. Qa1#

Promotion Devotion[]

a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 k e8 f8 g8 h8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 7
6 a6 b6 p c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 K h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 P f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 p f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 2
1 a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
White to move.

Hint[]

Answer[]

  1. e6?? is a blunder because
  2. Ke8 blocks the pawn from ever promoting
  1. Kf5?? is no use because
  2. e3 escapes the king's grasp

The only move is

  1. Kf7, preventing Ke8, but after
  2. e3 it seems black's pawn is closer to promotion, yet
  3. e6
  4. e2
  5. e7+ and black's king has to move
  6. Kc7 and white has enough time to play
  7. e8=Q
  8. e1=Q and take the queen
  9. Qxe1

Outpawned[]

a b c d e f g h
8 a8 K b8 R c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 p h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 P h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 P h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 2
1 a1 k b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 r 1
a b c d e f g h
Black to move.

Answer[]

  1. b2
  2. Rf1
  3. Ra1
  4. Kg2
  5. Rxf1
  6. Kxf1
  7. b1=Q+...

Two Tricks[]

a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 n e7 f7 g7 h7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 r f6 g6 P h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 Q 5
4 a4 b4 c4 K d4 e4 f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 P d3 e3 f3 g3 p h3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 p d2 e2 f2 g2 p h2 2
1 a1 b1 c1 k d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
Black to move.

Both sides are equal in material, but black's king is cornered behind white's f-pawn and is prone to mate. Can you find two game-winning tactics to safely promote black's pawns?

Hint[]

  • Pawn barrier
  • Tactics
  • Queen

Answer[]

White's king cannot move to the 6th rank because of the f-pawns, nor to f4 because of black's knight. Black could take advantage of the limited space and play 1.Rd5+. Now white's king only has two squares to move to, e4 and g4.

If white plays 2.Kg4, it seems as though the attack has run out of firepower. For this, play 3.Rd4+; it protects the rook and forks the king and queen. 4.Kf3 5.Rxa4 6.bxa4 7.Nd4+ leaves you with a solid knight.

Yet what if white plays 2.Ke4? Black's rook is attacked, and 3.Rd4+ loses both the rook and the knight (4.Qxd4 5.Nxd4 6.Kxd4). But the knight's unique geometry comes in handy. 3.Nc3+ protects the rook and forks the king and queen once again. zAfter 4.Kf4 5.Nxa4 6.bxa4, black has a rook and white simply doesn't.

No matter where white moves, black will seize the queen and escape with one non-pawn piece. Capturing white's pawns and promoting black's own should be no sweat.

Clearance[]

a b c d e f g h
8 a8 k b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 B h8 8
7 a7 p b7 p c7 p d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 7
6 a6 q b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 p f5 p g5 R h5 p 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 P e3 f3 g3 h3 p 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 K f2 g2 h2 P 2
1 a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
White to move. Try to gain material advantage

Hint[]

Bishop

Answer[]

Bd5 pins the b-pawn and threatens back-rank-mate. In response, black is forced to sacrifice their queen. Bc4?? allows black to play b5!!.

See Clearance for more.

Calamity[]

a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 k c8 d8 n e8 r f8 g8 h8 8
7 a7 b7 p c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 q h7 7
6 a6 b6 P c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 p h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 b e4 f4 g4 P h4 p 4
3 a3 R b3 c3 d3 b e3 f3 r g3 h3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 B e2 p f2 P g2 h2 2
1 a1 b1 c1 R d1 e1 K f1 g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h

Hint[]

You can only move 3 pieces, should be easy.

Answer[]

  1. Ra8+ Kxa8
  2. Rc8#

Two on One[]

a b c d e f g h
8 a8 R~ b8 c8 d8 r e8 n f8 g8 K h8 8
7 a7 b7 P c7 d7 e7 f7 P g7 P h7 7
6 a6 ~~ b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 P 6
5 a5 R b5 c5 d5 e5 Q f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 p c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4 N 4
3 a3 P b3 b c3 p d3 e3 f3 B g3 P h3 p 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 p g2 h2 2
1 a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 r f1 k g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
Black to move.

Answer[]

  1. Nc3#

See Double check

Hanging Knights[]

a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 k d8 e8 f8 n g8 h8 8
7 a7 p b7 p c7 p d7 e7 f7 p g7 h7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 b f6 p g6 r h6 p 6
5 a5 b b5 B c5 d5 e5 f5 N g5 r h5 P 5
4 a4 p b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 P g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 P d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 P b2 c2 d2 R e2 P f2 g2 q h2 n 2
1 a1 b1 c1 d1 K e1 f1 N g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
White to move.

Black is up 19 points of material and is threatening to take both of white's knights. How should white navigate through this chaotic position?

Answer[]

  1. Ne7+ to force the king behind the pawns.
  2. Kb8
  3. This way, white can play Rd8+ and threaten back-rank
  4. Bc8
  5. Rxc8#; knight protects

Obstruct[]

a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 q f8 g8 k h8 r 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 p e7 f7 p g7 h7 p 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 Q g6 p h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 P e4 r f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 B h3 3
2 a2 b2 P c2 d2 e2 f2 P g2 P h2 P 2
1 a1 R b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 K h1 1
a b c d e f g h

Answer[]

Be5 threatening mate in one, forcing black to sacrifice.

Easy Puzzles[]

Pawn Closure[]

a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 7
6 a6 pd b6 c6 d6 kd e6 f6 g6 h6 pd 6
5 a5 b5 pd c5 d5 e5 f5 pd g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 pl c4 d4 kl e4 f4 pl g4 h4 pl 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 pl b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 2
1 a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
White moves and wins. The answer

Hint[]

No more moves!

Answer[]

h5! and Black must give up opposition, allowing the White King to penetrate. Instead, a3? h5 lets Black escape with a draw (the Black King cannot make progress after Ke3).

If you have not learned algebraic notation, see the article.

Back Rank Business[]

a b c d e f g h
8 a8 K b8 Q c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8 8
7 a7 P b7 P c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 n d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 b f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 2
1 a1 b1 c1 k d1 r e1 f1 g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
Black to move; find the move that leads to a winning position.

Answer[]

  • 1. ...Nd3 (preparing Re1(+))
  • 2. Any reasonable move
  • 3. Re1(+)
  • IF 4. Qxe1
    • 5. Nxe1
  • IF 4. Other reasonable move
    • 5. Rxg1(+)
  • Either way, white will lose their queen (sacrificing black's rook). The position is hard to win, but if you know how to checkmate with bishop and knight you should be fine.
  • 1. ...Bg5?? is a blunder because white has 2.g3, attacking the knight and providing escape for the king.

Pawn Endgame[]

a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 K_ g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 P_ f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 k_ f2 g2 h2 2
1 a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
Black to move

Hint: Stalemate.

Answer[]

  1. ... Kd8
  2. Kc6 or Kc8
  3. Kd8

If the white king moves to e6, it's stalemate. If it moves away, the pawn is taken, and that is also a draw.

Line of Checks[]

a b c d e f g h
8 a8 r b8 n c8 b d8 q e8 k f8 g8 r h8 8
7 a7 p b7 p c7 d7 p e7 p f7 g7 h7 p 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 p h6 6
5 a5 b5 N c5 p d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 P b2 c2 d2 B e2 R f2 g2 h2 2
1 a1 K b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
Find a sequence of checks that leads to mate.

Hint[]

Pin

Answer[]

  1. Nd6+
  2. Kf8
  3. Rf2+
  4. Kg7
  5. Rf7+
  6. Kh8
  7. Bc3+
  8. Rg7
  9. Rxg7
  10. Qf8
  11. Rxg6+
  12. Qg7
  13. Rxg7
  14. e5
  15. Bxe5
  16. c4
  17. Rg1#
a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 q e6 f6 g6 r h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 b c4 d4 k e4 f4 g4 P h4 4
3 a3 n b3 P c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 P b2 c2 d2 e2 B f2 P g2 P h2 2
1 a1 b1 c1 Q d1 e1 f1 g1 N h1 K 1
a b c d e f g h

Queen in the Corner[]

a b c d e f g h
8 a8 r b8 c8 d8 n e8 f8 g8 r h8 k 8
7 a7 p b7 c7 d7 B e7 f7 g7 p h7 p 7
6 a6 P b6 p c6 d6 e6 f6 p g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 P c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 Q c4 d4 e4 f4 P g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 B e2 N f2 P g2 K h2 P 2
1 a1 q b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
White to move. Find the best move to earn material.

Hint[]

  • f-pawn blocks
  • Control space
  • Trap the Queen

Answer[]

  1. Qb3!!
  2. Rb2?
  3. Bc3
  4. Qa5
  5. Bxa5

There are a few ways for black to sacrifice, but overall, white is winning.

File Threats[]

a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 R d8 e8 f8 g8 K h8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 p d7 e7 p f7 g7 P h7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 P g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 P d4 e4 R f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 r d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 P e2 f2 p g2 p h2 p 2
1 a1 b1 c1 d1 r e1 f1 g1 k h1 1
a b c d e f g h

Answer[]

  1. Kc8

Cutting Corners[]

a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 k h8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 p d7 p e7 f7 p g7 p h7 p 7
6 a6 b6 p c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 p c5 d5 q e5 f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 P e4 f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 P d3 e3 f3 P g3 h3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 B d2 e2 f2 g2 P h2 P 2
1 a1 R b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 K h1 1
a b c d e f g h
Win material without losing the rook

Hint[]

The open lines are suspicious

Answer[]

  1. Be4
  2. Qd6
  3. Ra8+
  4. Qf8
  5. Bxh7+
  6. Kxh7
  7. Rxf8
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