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Here's another original chess problem of mine for you all to solve today!

In the following position, White wants to stalemate Black even though they can win, for unknown, unclear, unexplained, and illogical reasons.

enter image description here

In how many moves can White forcibly stalemate Black? You may only use your 100%, organic, al naturale brain power!

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    $\begingroup$ At times like these, there's nothing so devastating as being told you're on the right track. I'll remove my string of moves now. $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Aug 5 at 3:34
  • $\begingroup$ Is that a joke? I'm kinda sorta confused by here. $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Aug 5 at 3:35
  • $\begingroup$ I was desperately hoping I was on the wrong track, because I was hitting a big trouble spot in my given line. :/ So yes, a joke. $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Aug 5 at 3:48
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    $\begingroup$ That knight on f8 is making a fool out of me after Rxa7+ :( $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Aug 5 at 3:59
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The title means

that we are going to use the windmill technique (Zephyr is the name of a wind).

Here is a solution: apronus link.

PGN:

[FEN "5Nqk/pbppp1r1/4NQR1/6pK/6pn/2b3p1/1B4p1/r5n1 w - -"] 1. Rh6+ Qh7 2. Rxh7+ Kg8 3. Rxg7+ Kh8 4. Rxe7+ Kg8 5. Rg7+ Kh8 6. Rxd7+ Kg8 7. Rg7+ Kh8 8. Rxc7+ Kg8 9. Rg7+ Kh8 10. Rxb7+ Kg8 11. Rg7+ Kh8 12. Rxa7+ Kg8 13. Rg7+ Kh8 14. Ng6+ Nxg6 15. Rxg6+ Kh7 16. Rg7+ Kh8 17. Rxg5+ Kh7 18. Rg7+ Kh8 19. Rxg4+ Kh7 20. Rg7+ Kh8 21. Rxg3+ Kh7 22. Rg7+ Kh8 23. Rxg2+ Kh7 24. Rg7+ Kh8 25. Rxg1+ Kh7 26. Qg7+ Bxg7 27. Rxg7+ Kh8 28. Bxa1

Note that

the bishop could capture any time during the second phase, but this would result in an even faster stalemate. See this for instance. If we assume that the opponent tries to make it as long as they can, then the above is the solution, in 27 moves and a half.

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  • $\begingroup$ Very nice solution - I went to bed with this puzzle on my mind and thought of the solution as I was going to bed, but the computer was already off. Congrats! $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Aug 5 at 11:54
  • $\begingroup$ Looks like the f8 knight didn't make a fool out of him @Brandon J.! ;D $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Aug 5 at 12:29
  • $\begingroup$ @RewanDemontay yep! A beautiful solution (and puzzle)! $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Aug 5 at 12:32
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    $\begingroup$ @RewanDemontay Zephyr is a wind, and the technique used here is called a windmill in chess. $\endgroup$ – Arnaud Mortier Aug 5 at 13:08
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    $\begingroup$ Plus it starts with the letter "z," and "zwickmule" is another word meaning windmill. $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Aug 5 at 13:11

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