For today's contribution to PSE, I present a sliding block puzzle! I have a series-helpstalemate in 26 for you all with a relevant question attached. The illegal position is intentional.

Objective #1: Black must make a solo series of moves to reach a position in which White can stalemate them in one move. Black may not give check except for the final move. Find the shortest possible solution!

Objective #2: How many possible solutions exist? Approximations are allowed, as I don't know myself!

Good luck, and have fun!

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1 Answer 1


Well, here's a solution with 29 solo black moves. No idea if it's even close to being the shortest possible one:

  1. Bring the king to b2 (5 moves)
  2. Promote a3, a4 and a5 to rooks, and bring them to g1, e1 and c1 (12 moves)
  3. Promote the pawns on f2 and d2 to bishops (2 moves)
  4. Bring the g8 bishop to b1 (2 moves)
  5. Step into the corner with the king (1 move)
  6. Bring the remaining pawns down as far as they go (7 moves)

Then, white can stalemate black by promoting at b8.

The final position would look like this:

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Edit: This position can be reached with 24 black moves:

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