There's a fairly popular alternate version of chess called Antichess, or Losing Chess, or about seventeen other names. In this variation, the pieces move as usual, but the rules are slightly altered.

Antichess Rules

  1. A player wins when they are stalemated or have no pieces remaining on the board.
  2. The King acts like a normal piece and can be captured.
  3. If a player can capture a piece on their move, they must. They can choose between two different pieces that they can capture (so a rook on a1 can choose to either capture a piece on a2 or a piece on b1.

All of this being said...

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Black to move and win on white's 16th move (with best play).

Note: the no-computers tag is to prevent people from just plugging it into a computer that has an Antichess option.

Good luck!

  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean 17th move? Including 1. e4 $\endgroup$ – Quintec Oct 10 '18 at 16:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Quintec nope. I mean 16th. $\endgroup$ – Excited Raichu Oct 10 '18 at 16:14
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    $\begingroup$ @SilverCookies white is playing to win. $\endgroup$ – Excited Raichu Oct 10 '18 at 20:38
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    $\begingroup$ The main trouble I'm having is that it's really hard to decide what is "best play" especially at the start of the game. IMO this would be a much better puzzle if you were only asked to think 4-5 moves forward, not 16... $\endgroup$ – Quintec Oct 10 '18 at 23:08
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    $\begingroup$ @Evargalo yes, I have. $\endgroup$ – Excited Raichu Oct 22 '18 at 14:41

Since nobody has proposed an answer yet, I will offer some thoughts:

It is possible to start solving this by elimination. If we allow White to make a non-capture, we won't get all our pieces taken in time. Sure, some could remain and get stalemated, but I consider it unlikely but for one or two pawns. And at the beginning at least, giving too much choice to White would make this puzzle unsolvable.

For the sake of clarity, I'll add one symbol to the usual chess notation: '£' means 'forced move'.

As a consequence, 1...d5? cannot be the answer: 2.ed5£ Qxd5£ and White won't capture on his third move. The same goes for 1...h5? 2.Qxh5£ Rxh5£, for 1...Na6? and 1...a6?.

1...f5 is possible, but it seems interesting to drag the Bf1 out: 1.e4 b5!? 2.Bxb5£ d5 when White has too lines:

3.ed5 Qxd5£ 4.Bxe8£ Qxa2/d2 will give White choices for several moves between capturing the bQ or capturing Pf7-Ng8 with the bishop.

3.Bxe8 Qxe8£ 4.ed5 Bg4 5.Qxg4£ drags the wQ out - but soon black will have to take himself.

A difficult puzzle.

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