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It's time for Episode 4 after a long time off air! This, it's another unusual dazzle. It's a short, but succulent, sweet New Year's treat.

In the stating position, with no pieces other than the kings, what the shortest possible sequence to a position in which both sides are stalemated? May the math be with you!

enter image description here

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3rd update Two more at

13 1/2 [FEN "4k3/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/4K3 w KQkq - 0 1"] 1.f3 f5 2.g4 Kf7 3.Kf2 Kg6 4.g5 h5 5.Kg3 f4+ 6.Kh4 d5 7.e4 a5 8.e5 Kf5 9. d4 g6 10.h3 e6 11.c4 c6 12.b4 b5 13.c5 a4 14.a3 *

[FEN "4k3/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/4K3 w KQkq - 0 1"] 1.g4 h5 2.h3 f5 3.e4 Kf7 4.Ke2 Kg6 5.Ke3 h4 6.g5 Kh5 7.Kf4 e6 8.e5 d5 9.f3 g6 10.d3 d4 11.c4 c5 12.b4 a5 13.b5 b6 14.a4 *

Updated update Note that this has some similarities to @Retudin's solution even though it was found independently.

Shaved off another move to make it.

13 1/2 [FEN "4k3/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/4K3 w KQkq - 0 1"]

1.h4 f6 2.g3 h6 3.f4 Kf7 4.Kf2 Kg6 5.Kf3 Kh5 6.Ke4 g5 7.d4 g4 8.Kf5 d5 9. e4 b5 10.e5 c5 11.e6 a5 12.b4 c4 13.c3 a4 14.a3 *

Update simpler one in

14 1/2 moves: [FEN "4k3/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/4K3 w KQkq - 0 1"]

1.d4 e5 2.Kd2 Ke7 3.g4 b5 4.g5 b4 5.g6 b3 6.a4 h5 7.Kc3 Kf6 8.Kb4 Kg5 9. Ka3 Kh6 10.h4 a5 11.c3 f6 12.f4 c5 13.f5 c4 14.e4 d6 15.d5 *

And the original one in

17 1/2 moves:

[FEN "4k3/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/4K3 w KQkq - 0 1"] 1.c4 Kf8 2.c5 Kg8 3.c6 Kh8 4.cxb7 h5 5.f3 c5 6.Kf2 c4 7.Kg3 Kh7 8.Kh4 c3 9.b8=B cxb2 10.g4 b1=B 11.g5 Bf5 12.Bf4 f6 13.e4 e5 14.exf5 exf4 15.g6+ Kh6 16.h3 d5 17.d4 a5 18.a4 *

Replay

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  • $\begingroup$ @RewanDemontay Squeezed out another 3 moves. $\endgroup$ – Paul Panzer Jan 2 at 2:40
  • $\begingroup$ @RewanDemontay Thanks for the checkmark. In the meantime I found another improvement, see updated answer. $\endgroup$ – Paul Panzer Jan 3 at 5:22
  • $\begingroup$ Today, I wanted to see if moving my solution to the side would help. Now I'll never know if I would have found your last solution, well done, I expect it can't be improved further. $\endgroup$ – Retudin Jan 3 at 10:44
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For the record, here is my original, but now longer, solution.

[FEN "4k3/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/4K3 w KQkq - 0 1"] 1. g4 b5 2. g5 b4 3. g6 b3 4. gxf7+ Kxf7 5. Kd1 bxc2+ 6. Kxc2 Kg8 7. Kb1 d5 8. e4 d4 9. e5 d3 10. e6 c5 11. f4 c4 12. f5 c3 13. f6 cxb2 14. fxg7 a5 15. h4 a4 16. h5 a3 17. h6

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Another solution

Also 14.5 moves: 1 f4 e5 2 e3 ef4 3 ef4 Ke7 4 Ke2 Ke6 5 Kf3 Kd5 6 Kg4 d6 7 Kf5 a5 8 b4 a4 9 b5 a3 10 c3 c5 11 d4 c4 12 g4 d6 13 g5 f6 14 g6 h5 15 h4
enter image description here

And one less

Reachable with 13.5 moves:
enter image description here

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