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MatPlus.Net Forum Promenade A Small Idea

A Small Idea

I had an idea awhile ago, and after some refinement, I finally nailed it! I'm here to share it today.

It's White to move and win. How many winning moves are there?

(= 16+1 )

105, all of which include the necessity to travel back in time to where stalemate was actually a win. ;-)

Precisely my friend!

I set out to specifically engineer a legal position, with no promoted pieces, in which no matter what move White plays, Black is always stalemated. The goal was to optimize that number.

105 is what I have found. Even if I decided let it so fhat stalemate was optional, I still don't think that you could be possiblly do better than 105 possible stalemating moves.

This problem is 50 years old and shows 113 moves:

http://pdb.dieschwalbe.de/search.jsp?expression=probid=%27P0005616%27

It's a different task: 113 voluntary stalemates vs 105 forced stalemates.

Yes, 50 years ago there were 109 forced stalemates:

http://pdb.dieschwalbe.de/search.jsp?expression=probid=%27P1178840%27

Wer kann was Dummes, wer was Kluges denken... ;-)
It's no surprise that such a record already exists. 105 moves is pretty close to Dickens' 109 and probably still quite an achievement as you have chosen the form of a black minimal, which might be harder.
What was a surprise to me is the fact that my half-joking answer should be correct. According to current rules and with the given stipulation your problem should just be marked as unsolvable. It should be marked as a record problem/task like the Dickens problem '109 erzwungene Patterhaltungszüge mit Umwandlungszügen' ('109 forced moves keeping the stalemate including promotions'), where actually I think the word 'Patterhaltungszüge' ('moves keeping the stalemate') is ill-chosen because in the diagram position it's not black's turn, so there is no existing stalemate.

Why it cant be black to move? because of the stipulation?

Actually, White is 'stalemated', wK is not attacked and White has no legal move due to the 'dead position' (5.2.2 FIDE Laws) :-)

(10) Posted by Rewan Demontay (Real Name: James Malcom) [Monday, Aug 5, 2019 03:31]; edited by Rewan Demontay (Real Name: James Malcom) [19-08-05]

Well Jakob, doesn't a joke answer to joke problem make a complete circle of satisfaction? What goes around, comes around!

Thanks for the congratulations on it being be an achievement! I suppose the correct title for it would be "Black Minimal, 105 Forced Stalemating Moves With Promotions,"

In all honesty, I just felt like introducing it as if it were a throwaway joke!

Also, what a record for most forced and unforced stalemating moves with promoted pieces?

I took one of the positions that has maximum piece movement in a position, and switched two pieces, and did the math.

205 Voluntary Stalemating Moves

(= 16+3 )

Additionally, just because I can, here is my first successful attempt of what eventually became my 105. You clearly the see the improvements that I've made

95 Voluntary Stalemating Moves

(= 16+1 )

In fact, the fact that my 105 ending up being a non-voluntary one was a complete be accident!

I was going to suggest that the original diagram could be upside-down, but you’ve got that covered too because of the dark-squared bishop.

You might want to remove Bh8 in your 205 move problem. It loses two bishop moves but wins 3 moves (1 each by the 2 queens e5 and h4, 1 by Ra8)

Siegfried, that would not work at all, because then if the WQ on e5 leaves than the BP on b2 is no longer pinned.

Your "records" were outbid 50 years ago, 211 with one piece less instead of 205,
102 with one piece less instead of 95, see

http://pdb.dieschwalbe.de/search.jsp?expression=probid=%27P1179250%27or%20probid=%27P1178842%27

Thanks for that 211!

However, Olaf, the 102 I have already beat. See my original 105 at the top. Below it in the replies is a voluntary 113 and an involuntary 109.

The 95 I showed was a demonstration of what eventually became my 105. Jakob notes that my 105 is an achievement for involuntary, Black minimal.