Suppose that both players cooperate, find the shortest, in terms of number of moves, black checkmate such that the game is valid and white pieces never go on rows 4 to 8.

e.g. 1. e3 is valid while 1. e4 is not (a pawn went to row 4).

We search for a black checkmate, i.e. whites must win!

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ So black checkmate = white wins? $\endgroup$
    – Stevo
    Commented Nov 11, 2022 at 8:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Stevo yes, sort of, because whites can also win if black resigns, which is not wanted here! $\endgroup$
    – JKHA
    Commented Nov 11, 2022 at 12:38

2 Answers 2


4.5 is doable, see the checkmate position below.

mate position with king moved to middle of board 1. e3 e6
2. b3 Ke7
3. Nh3 Kf6
4. Bb2+ Kf5
5. Bd3#


This seems to fit the criteria as far as I understand it (with white winning):

I can get it into 6.5 moves: Chess game

Why optimal path?

Not neccassary optimal though. 1 move mate, 2 move mate, and 3 move mate are all not going to work. I don't know about 4,5 or 6 move mates, however in this scenario the king has to walk to the other side of the board


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