# What's the deepest stalemate?

I'm sure I'm not the first one to realize this BUT you can have a "stalemate in 1" just like you can have a "mate in 1". And sometimes it makes total sense to go for a stalemate, if you can force one. It makes sense to force a stalemate if it's the only way of preventing a loss.

Here's an example of a stalemate in 1, under these conditions:

Note that white has no other option than to grant black a stalemate. And black had to go for the stalemate cause all other moves would be losing.

Here's a stalemate in 2:

I was kind of wondering: Can you do better than this? Can you find a position in which one side can only prevent losing by forcing a stalemate... but with even more than 2 moves? And how deep might such a stalemate get? And perhaps, beside this... what's the deepest stalemate that has ever been composed?

I understand that these are unusual questions. But I'm just asking anyway.

In the world of chess compositions stalemates are a common objective, usually written as "=n" where n is the maximum number of moves in which to stalemate. In such problems you aren't allowed to checkmate - only stalemate counts. This would make your 2nd diagram wrong. After 1. ... c2+ Ka1 2. Bd4+ white defends withs with Bb2! and your stalemate has failed even though you can checkmate. I have no examples at hand but be assured the number of moves to stalemate can skyrocket when you aren't allowed to checkmate!

That's very interesting!

Technically you're not asking for "stalemate in n" problems (where you try to stalemate the other side) but "selfstalemate in n" problems, where you force the other side to stalemate you.

Now even though "selfstalemate in n" problems are classed as unorthodox, in some orthodox 'White to Draw' endgame studies, the play involves White forcing such a selfstalemate as the theme (as in your examples). In fact it's possible for a pure "selfstalemate in n" problem to work equally well as a 'White to Draw' study, like this one.

Rocky is right! There are self-stalemate problems and there are stalemate problems. In fact almost anything you can think of in chess has been done or tried in compositions. New variants and objectives are still being added regularly but they gradually become more outlandish with the nearby lands grazen. In our view, tic-tac-toe is merely a remote resident in the kingdom of chess

Alright! Things are clearer now. Glad to see a stalemate in 4. I mean a self-stalemate in 4.

Here's a standard 'White to Draw' study that shows selfstalemate as the main idea.

Oh, thanks. I've watched "Chessnetwork" before but never saw this one. Nice puzzle.

I think this one might be a very deep stalemate: