This question was inspired by this question: A Battle of Dysfunctional Kings (Chess).

What would be the shortest possible mate, if:

  • Every piece moves in the same way.
  • The way the pieces move changes after each player ends their turn.
  • All pieces start out moving like Pawns. On the next round, all pieces move like Queens; round after that: Knights, then Bishops, then Kings and finally Rooks. Then the cycle starts again (Pawn, Queen, ...).

That means:

  • check is only when a figure moved and has changed movement
    • You can jump somewhere with the movement of the Knight and check as a Bishop
  • White starts playing one of it's original Pawns, and then Black is attacked by 16 Queens, Black plays then a pawn and every piece of black changes the movement to a Queen

Would you like to play this in real? A whole Match?

  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean by "have the same movement"? $\endgroup$
    – Wais Kamal
    Oct 31, 2018 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ And yes, sure I would like to! $\endgroup$
    – Wais Kamal
    Oct 31, 2018 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ Do all pieces cycle at the same time, or does only the moved piece cycle? $\endgroup$ Oct 31, 2018 at 15:17
  • $\begingroup$ @WaisKamal Every piece has the same movement, regardless if it was originally a rook or pawn. And the Movement changes for every piece $\endgroup$
    – user52327
    Oct 31, 2018 at 15:18
  • $\begingroup$ Again, what do you mean by movement? Do you mean all pieces move in the same way? If so, how do they move? Like a rook, queen, what? Please clarify. $\endgroup$
    – Wais Kamal
    Oct 31, 2018 at 15:19

2 Answers 2


(Note: Using long notation for more simplicity)

I can do it on

White's 3rd move


1. h2-h4 f7-f6 2. Qg2-g4 Qe8-h5 3. Nh4-g6# (White's pieces are bishops, Black's knights.)

Here's a link to it: https://lichess.org/study/6FOSi4Om


I've been trying for hours now to get it down to Black's second move, and I don't think it can be done. Here's why:

First of all, Black's pieces are knights. It's very hard to checkmate a white king in the center of the board with knights only. I believe you need 5 with an optimal setup (Ke4, Nf6, Nd4, Nf4, Ng4, Ne2). This is... not going to be easy to get at all. And I'm pretty sure it's impossible.

Here's why. It's impossible to mate White on their first two ranks, because literally every possible checking square is guarded. However, if White moves beyond rank 2 on their first move, they'll be in check by one of the black queens.

So, there is literally only one possible square White can be checkmated on on move 3: e3. The only way for White to get to e3 is 1. e2-e4 2. Qe1-e3. However, there's one problem with being mated on e3. Remember the five knights earlier? Well, we've got the same problem. (Actually you need four, because d2 and f2 are occupied.) The problem still stands. You can only get two knights there in time. So, there is no way to checkmate White on move two.


On white's third move can be mate


1.(Pawn) e2-e4, e7-e5
2.(Queen) e4xe5, e8xe5
3.(Knight) g1-e2#*
*you can do any move here, because after you set your pieces like a knight, they turn into a bishop and mate the King instantly


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