Given the board below, create a checkmate for both sides, ensuring that no pieces are capable of capturing any other piece excluding captures targeted at the kings.


Blue moves south and pink moves north.

Turns between colors are not needed here, move the pieces in any order so long as they move within the rules respective to the piece being moved.

The winning board will have the fewest moves possible while ensuring that:

  • Blue is in checkmate.
  • Pink is in checkmate.
  • Every piece but the kings are not at risk of being captured by another piece.

Remember that friendly fire is enabled so each side can also capture their own pieces too.

This is chess golf so the fewest number of moves wins. Also, being the first in the series this one is simple to ensure everyone has a chance to solve it. I will mark the winner correct on Friday to give new comers time to solve.

  • $\begingroup$ Which colour is going which way? $\endgroup$
    – boboquack
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 0:52
  • $\begingroup$ @boboquack I've updated the post to add clarity. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 2:10
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure we need a [chess-golf] tag already after one puzzle. For the moment, [chess] works fine, it's only after a genre becomes popular we create a tag here, and not even then; even the Riley riddles don't have their own tag. $\endgroup$
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 6:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm a bit confused. The image was the ordinary A8 on top left and H1 on bottom right; is that right? Also "Turns between colors are not needed here, move the pieces in any order so long as they move within the rules respective to the piece being moved." we still need to use white-black-white or black-white-black move order respectively? $\endgroup$
    – Shinjo
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 7:30
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure chess-golf is compatible with the community's fairly recent decision to declare the end of open-ended puzzles. Taken literally, the objective to "solve within as few moves as possible"—interpreted as requiring a solution in a provably minimal number of moves, where part of an answer is demonstrating such proof—would be fine, but "golf" rules (notably as seen on Code Golf) generally aren't done that way. As it seems this is intended to be the first of a series, I need to say I strongly believe this format is off topic. $\endgroup$
    – Rubio
    Commented Sep 1, 2019 at 22:58

3 Answers 3


It is possible to do it in

5 moves.

Observe that

both kings would be in checkmate were it not for the queen which can come to a5 to block the rook's attack and the pink bishop which can come to f1 or a6, blocking the attack on either of the kings.

Also, there is a triple attack on the blue bishop and an attack on the pink knight.

The moves

Nf6, Bd6, Ra5, Bb1, Qxb1 take care of all these problems and result in a situation as demanded.

  • $\begingroup$ It is unclear to me whether the blue king is still checkmatesd after that, or if it can escape under friendly fire on b8. $\endgroup$
    – Evargalo
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 12:10
  • $\begingroup$ My interpretation is the former, but that would need to be made clear by the OP. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 12:31
  • $\begingroup$ @ArnaudMortier Your interpretation is correct. The king is still in checkmate due to friendly fire. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 13:18
  • $\begingroup$ If you do the 2 moves suggested, the first piece threatens the other. $\endgroup$
    – Lawrence
    Commented Aug 29, 2019 at 2:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You’re welcome. Another issue: Bf1 blocks check. $\endgroup$
    – Lawrence
    Commented Aug 29, 2019 at 16:28

3 moves.

Bh7 Move the pink Bishop away from threatening to block the Queen.
Bf4 Move the blue Bishop away from capture.
Kf6 Move the knight away from capture.

This leaves both kings in checkmate and no piece threatened. The blue bishop constrains both kings.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Friendly fire is enabled here. Blocking your own rook would be a threatened capture. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 11:45
  • $\begingroup$ @PerpetualJ I missed that. Corrected now. $\endgroup$
    – Lawrence
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 19:44
  • $\begingroup$ It's funny, you see my mistakes but not yours :) these two moves do not fix the knight being threatened by a pawn. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 29, 2019 at 20:22
  • $\begingroup$ You’re forgetting about the pawn and knight situation $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 30, 2019 at 0:04
  • $\begingroup$ @ArnaudMortier Haha, that’s why bystanders aren’t allowed to speak when others are playing chess. $\endgroup$
    – Lawrence
    Commented Aug 30, 2019 at 0:19

I think you can do it in

Two consecutive blue moves, namely h2 and Qg1#.....but I may have massively missed the point of this puzzle....?

  • $\begingroup$ The blue bishop can take one of the pink pawns, so this doesn't work with the updated rules. $\endgroup$
    – boboquack
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 4:50

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