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&diams; TOTALLY PUZZLED #213 (page 66) &ndash; Mate in One

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I made two improvements. The first was gotten by putting the discovering rook diagonally adjacent to the king. This makes it much easier to guard flight squares therefore providing more freedom to other pieces. Here are 45 mates in one.

The other improvement was just making another line for a pawn promotion by moving some things around. Here are 46 mates in one.

All of the pieces still aren't coordinating well. I'm surprised that the solution isn't more than 47! Is it proven that 47 is the best solution?

Great, that's exactly what I'm talking about. Good use of the rook being adjacent to the king to control more flight squares. That's one of the strategies I thought of trying out.

If 47 is indeed the highest possible, then I believe we will solve this one.

You're getting closer!  47 is the highest solution I know of, but there may be more?!  I don't know how to "prove" that the solution I have is the optimal.

Continuing from browni's brilliant 46 mates, I have made a small adjustment to reach 47. Basically, I just tried to free the c7 square for the queen to deliver another mate. So, the first step was to relocate the pawn from c7 to a7. Then I had to change the black piece on b8 to either a knight or a rook. A knight would deny a white king on d7, where he is needed to guard critical squares. A rook would interfere with the promoted pawns, but I was able to solve this problem by moving the knight from a5 to d8, blocking the top rank.

Not to take credit, really, as he did all the work here.

For some reason I have a strong feeling you can go even higher. Perhaps some research can be done on this, I'm sure this has been tried before.

shoopi wrote:

Continuing from browni's brilliant 46 mates, I have made a small adjustment to reach 47. Basically, I just tried to free the c7 square for the queen to deliver another mate. So, the first step was to relocate the pawn from c7 to a7. Then I had to change the black piece on b8 to either a knight or a rook. A knight would deny a white king on d7, where he is needed to guard critical squares. A rook would interfere with the promoted pawns, but I was able to solve this problem by moving the knight from a5 to d8, blocking the top rank.

Not to take credit, really, as he did all the work here.

For some reason I have a strong feeling you can go even higher. Perhaps some research can be done on this, I'm sure this has been tried before.

Nice job! I wish I had thought of that. I considering changing the bishop to a rook and blocking the back rank with black pieces, but that doesn't work.

@Hairball: Can you post the book's solution now?

Found 18!

Congratulations!!!  You have found the exact same solution I have with 47 different moves!  There are a few variations.  The pawn on d2 may be on d3.  The bishop on h2 may be on g3.  The rook on e1 may be on e2.  The pawn on h7 may be on g7 and capture a black bishop on h8 as it promotes.  Can anyone do better than 47 moves?  This is one of 65 chess puzzles and nearly 1000 other puzzles from my book, TOTALLY PUZZLED.  I will post a new chess puzzle soon....

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Hello, I was working on this problem on my own, then I found this page, couldn't help but look at the solution!  The best alternate solutions I could found maxed out at 45.

Here is a way to get 8 mates just from promoting pawns, unfortunately they get in the way of some other mates.  It'd be interesting to run a computer algorithm on this problem; one way to immediately narrow down positions is to recognize that each square around the black king must be covered twice (at least), when one of those squares is being covered by a piece that moves to give / reveal mate.  I also came up with the configuration of promoting pawns that browni3141 came up with (on page 1), but moved one square to the right, the queen and pawns have the potential to mate 17 ways!  But... very hard to defend the squares on the 7th rank without losing many of those mates.  My gut feeling is that 47 has to be the max!...

shoopi wrote:

Continuing from browni's brilliant 46 mates, I have made a small adjustment to reach 47. Basically, I just tried to free the c7 square for the queen to deliver another mate. So, the first step was to relocate the pawn from c7 to a7. Then I had to change the black piece on b8 to either a knight or a rook. A knight would deny a white king on d7, where he is needed to guard critical squares. A rook would interfere with the promoted pawns, but I was able to solve this problem by moving the knight from a5 to d8, blocking the top rank.

Not to take credit, really, as he did all the work here.

For some reason I have a strong feeling you can go even higher. Perhaps some research can be done on this, I'm sure this has been tried before.

This position is almost an exact mirror of the record set in 1859 (!) by a group of 5 composers.

Here is the other configuration I mentioned above, queen and pawns have potential to give 17 mates.  The white king at f8 would only lose 1 of those mates, and covers some of those hard to defend squares.  A bishop in place of the queen could be useful maybe.  But I still don't think this configuration works very well; my sense is that the black king really must be in the center to make more room to set up the other mates...

oops, I was wrong about the 17 potential mates... the black knight can block 2 of them by jumping to d6.  Probably better to try a bishop at c8 instead, though I have just about given up on this configuration...

skeechess wrote:

oops, I was wrong about the 17 potential mates... the black knight can block 2 of them by jumping to d6.  Probably better to try a bishop at c8 instead, though I have just about given up on this configuration...

I played with that scheme, too. I don't think it's going to match the record because they got a lot of use out of the three batteries (Q/B, R/N and B/R) and your scheme loses one of those batteries in favor of a Q/P battery, which is no better than an R/N one.

I see what you mean BigDogg.  I am about to give up on this problem!  It's just alluring that the record remains the one found in 1859 by five composers, not exactly scientific!- I wonder if there could possibly be a different scheme that also gets to 47 mates, but I doubt it.  Just for kicks I am going to post my near misses, some have very different schemes-- black king on the 7th rank, and on the back rank as well.

that last one was 43 mates, this one is also 43:

We should go into this further and see how many mates are possible with promotions before the mating move.

the other pawn promoting schemes I mentioned earlier yielded 43 and 45 mates, best I could find anyway.  And FINALLY (really) here is my closest, 46 mates, which is very close to the actual solution, but uses the Q to get 8 mates on its own:

Very good tries, skeechess. In particular, I was surprised how many mates there could be with the bK on the edge.

Thanks BigDogg, yes king on the back rank makes it hard to coordinate pieces, but you do get to promote a whole bunch of pawns.  I had a minor eureka moment.... found an alternate solution for 47 mates!  Similar to the known one, but you gain +2 passed pawn mates, +2 Q mates, but lose 2 bishop moves, and 2 knight mates.  The king here is only used to cover f6, and the knight on f4 sadly cannot deliver any mates.  I don't see how to improve this, but if anyone sees anything!...

i just found the 43 moves for white...