13
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Four-by-four chessboard
Bishops and knights are removed
Four moves to checkmate

Minor spoiler:

Many ways to win
I counted nine solutions
But one is special

Source: Me, I think this website needs more haiku :)

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  • $\begingroup$ there's not enough room for 8 pawns aside. can i assume 4 pawns a side are missing too? $\endgroup$ – SteveV Jan 10 at 0:22
  • $\begingroup$ No further comment / Time for explaining is past / Death of the author :-) $\endgroup$ – deep thought Jan 10 at 3:23
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I'm going to assume this is the intended puzzle:

enter image description here
Mate in 4.

Here's one solution (or four, depending on how you count), I think:

Take twice on b3.
B-pawn takes; discovered check.
Queen to a2, mate.

Or in a more common notation:

 1. axb3+  Qxb3
 2. cxb3+  Kxb3
 3. bxa3+  Kc4
 4. Qa2# 
If 2. - Kb4? instead, then 3. bxc3#

After ruling out pretty much everything else, here are four more solutions: (found the special one before these, but saving it for last in order to maintain dramatic tension..)

Start just like before.
Queen to A2 on move three,
then mate with a pawn

 1. axb3+  Qxb3   (again, white can reorder the first two moves)
 2. cxb3+  Kxb3
 3. Qa2+   Kb4
 4. bxc3# (or dxc3#)

And finally, the special one:

Sac queen on d3:
Exclamation marks galore.
Easy mate in two.

 1. cxd3+!  Rxd3
 2. Qxd3+!! Kxd3
 3. dxc3+   Kc4
 4. Rd4# 

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  • $\begingroup$ Correct, that's one. Actually, that's two. The original notation can be translated into common notation two ways. $\endgroup$ – deep thought Jan 10 at 1:44
  • $\begingroup$ Changing the second line to "b-pawn takes: discovered check" brings that up to four, even :-) $\endgroup$ – Bass Jan 10 at 1:50
  • $\begingroup$ That's right, plus the nice one makes five, so you've got most of them! $\endgroup$ – deep thought Jan 10 at 2:06
  • $\begingroup$ ... And now nine. Well done! And extra exclamation points for your notation!! $\endgroup$ – deep thought Jan 10 at 2:44

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