Going back in time

This page happened because I wanted a place to store these positions,
but my well-behaved chess databases refuse to do things like
accept a position without a King (see below).

For example, I have had trouble entering this one on a database:

---N--R-
pp---p--
---K--p-
--------
--p-----
---pp--p
---P-pB-
-Q----BR

Mate in ONE (Fischer [not that one]).

[HINT] [SOLUTION]

Proof games

rnbqkb-r
ppp-pppp
--------
---p----
--------
--------
PPPPPPPP
RNBQKB-R

What is the shortest series of legal moves leading to this position?

[HINT] [SOLUTION]

Retrograde puzzles

http://www.janko.at/Retros/

B-KRN---
PP------
--QK-R--
--------
--------
--------
--------
--------

Colour the pieces. What was the last move?
(Husserl, 66/71)

[HINT] [SOLUTION]

Logic puzzles

--------
--------
--------
-r-b----
B-------
--------
--------
---k----

Where is the White King?
Raymond Smullyan 1957

[HINT] [SOLUTION]

That's an old puzzle of his, but it's reproduced in The Chess
Mysteries of the Arabian Knights
(sic) as well as many
anthologies. To pack so much into such a small space is art.

r-b-k--r
p-p-p-p-
-p---p-p
--------
--------
P-------
-PPPPPPP
--BQKB--

Black to move. Can Black castle short here? (1...O-O)
Raymond Smullyan 1957

[HINT] [SOLUTION]

k-K-----
----Q---
--------
--B-P---
---P----
-------P
--------
-------B

Checkmate! But which square is a1 and which h8?
Raymond Smullyan 1957

[HINT] [SOLUTION]

The Chess Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes

The solutions to Smullyan's most fiendish problems run to many pages.

If you like these, you might also like his book of logic puzzles,
What is the name of this book? But this is hard to ask for in
a shop...

__________________________________________________________

[HINT]

If you find it difficult to solve looking at the diagram,
try setting up the position on a board.

[HINT]

It's natural to assume that a piece that appears to be on its
original square is indeed on its original square.

[HINT]

Only one King can be in check, and whichever is the Black King is at the
moment in double check. And double checks have to be discoveries...

[HINT]

White's last move must have been with the King, and White's King must
have been the victim and the deliverer of a discovered check

[HINT]

What was White's last move?
And before that?
So what were Black's possible last moves?

[HINT]

White's last move seems obvious, but what was Black's last move?

__________________________________________________________

[SOLUTION]

Seriously, set it up on a board.

[SOLUTION]

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.Ne5 d5 3.Nc6 Nd7 4.Nxb8 Nxb8

[SOLUTION]

Double checks have to be discoveries, and you can't discover a contact
check from a Queen, so it seems that:
the Q on c6 is White,
and the wK is on d6,
so the N on e8 is White,
and the R on d8 is White,
the bK is on c8, and
so the discovery is 1.c7xd8/R check
and the Pb7 is Black,
so the Ba8 is White (by promotion a7-a8/B)
and the Pa7 is also White.

[SOLUTION]

With wPc2 and bPb4, the last moves must have been
1...Bd5+
2. c2-c4 b4xc3 en passant
3.Kxc3+

[SOLUTION]

Suppose Black can castle.
That means, Black's last move was with a Bishop or a Pawn.
White's last move was a2-a3, but what about the one before that?
Whatever piece White moved then, it was captured by Black on Black's last move.
Black could not have made their last move by capturing with a Pawn
because there is no square that this Pawn could have come from.
Black could not have made their last move by capturing with the Bishop,
because the only piece that could be on c8 is a Knight, and where could
it have come from? Only d6, and that must have meant that Black's King
stood still while the Knight checked it from d6. That's not possible.
So Black didn't make their last move with a Pawn or Bishop.
So Black did make their last move with a King or a Rook.
Not the Ra8, as the Knight could not have reached a8 from b6 or c7.
So Black made their last move with a King or Rh8. (e.g. 1.Nd6-e8 Kd8xe8 or 1.Ng6-h8 Rg8xh8)
So Black cannot castle king's-side now (yet maybe it's legal to castle long later).

[SOLUTION]

Assuming the lower left hand corner is a1, e4-e5 discovered check and mate seems like a solution.
But Black has no legal last move with the King.
So Black must have last moved a different piece.
Which White must have captured last move.
But the "e5" pawn would have come from "f4", so...
The "h1" Bishop must be (a) newly promoted, and (b) the capturing piece.
So Black's last move was e.g. ...R"h1" (actually ...Ra8)
And White's last move was Pb7xa8/B#
So the lower left hand corner is h8.

__________________________________________________________

?

[HINT] [SOLUTION]

[HINT]

[SOLUTION]

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