Just an interesting idea for a puzzle that I had

So, I decided to see how many possible checkmate I could theoretically make, in a legal position that can be legally reached.

Always assume that the two players are mutually cooperating. It would be the checkmater’s, black in this case, turn to move. How many possible checkmate could you make for black to possibly deliver?

A move only counts as a possible checkmate is if it checkmates right away. If a piece can move to two or more squares to deliver a mate, each possibile move counts as a checkmate threat.

Discovered checks that result in checkmate only count if the piece that moves to allow the check do not deliver checkmate themselves.

Promotions by a pawn to do a checkmate, in the case that mate can be done by either a rook or a queen, count as only one threat for each promoting pawn.

Always make sure that the to-be checkmated side has a piece or two so it will not count as a stalemate if the position would be otherwise. This is to make sure the game has stayed a legal one. Stalemates always result in a disqualification. I will be the judge if it, for this is my question.

As such, here is my record of 26 possible checkmates threats:


(There’s two mating threats from each of the knights, rooks, and the queen.)

Try to beat me, even by 1 if you must!

  • $\begingroup$ From the gap between your solution and mine I think that there is possibly some rule I didn't understand in your settings. $\endgroup$ – Arnaud Mortier Mar 28 at 0:43
  • $\begingroup$ You followed the rules-we just thought in different ways about how to do it, that’s all. Just add a king to your picture to make it legal and I’ll checkmark you’re answer! $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Mar 28 at 0:49
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    $\begingroup$ I feel like this should be in chess stack exchange. It seems more chess-y than puzzle-y to me $\endgroup$ – North Mar 28 at 1:44
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps. When it comes to chess puzzles, the line is kind of blurry if it should to be put in in CSE or PSE. I felt that this should go here. It is too late now to move it, seeing as it already has an answer. $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Mar 28 at 1:46
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    $\begingroup$ Related, not a dupe: puzzling.stackexchange.com/q/30409/17297 and dupe from chess.se: chess.stackexchange.com/q/14610/9025 $\endgroup$ – Herb Wolfe Mar 28 at 21:23

I have


As shown here:

Credit to Rewan for the Knight on the right. chessboard

Note: the position is easily seen to be legal, as the knight can make back and forth moves while the black pieces get into position.

  • $\begingroup$ You'd still need a black king somewhere on the board for it to be a legal position. There are a few options with your solution though, such as at H1. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Barber Mar 28 at 0:44
  • $\begingroup$ The knight is actually fine-black could just take it after it moves when moving a Queen to mate. It is not preventing a checkmate, so it falls within the rules. My rule of preventing checkmates only applies if that certain mate is 100% deflected by the knight’s move. $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Mar 28 at 0:52
  • $\begingroup$ @noedne The rook wouldn’t even be ALLOWED to capture, for that prevents a checkmate threat. $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Mar 28 at 0:59
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    $\begingroup$ @RewanDemontay The reason it's now 78 and not 82 is because I realized that the Queens are not as symmetric as I initially thought: there are no e9 or i5 squares :) $\endgroup$ – Arnaud Mortier Mar 28 at 1:00
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    $\begingroup$ If you add a black knight on h6, it will be able to have to two checkmates. Since it blocks only one other mate, the h4 queen capturing the h8 white knight, you will have added one more possible mate, bumping up the number to 99. $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Mar 28 at 17:50

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