Puzzles which use a ChessBoard and ChessPieces and involve one side attempting to force CheckMate in as few moves as possible. Some compositions attempt to replicate actual board positions and generally be of use to the Chess student who is attempting to improve their real-game skills. Most, however, take a minimalist approach to the composition and feature emptier ChessBoards and less natural move sequences (check, for instance, is frowned upon to start off the solution). It's not that it's frowned upon, it's just that the idea of these puzzles is to limit your opponent's options until mate is inevitable. In many situations, a leading check gives the opposing army too many options, while closing in on the king or other pieces can block off paths of escape, allowing your initial check to now deliver checkmate. It's also good to remember that the check you'd like to start your sequence of moves with may often be the final move of the combination--and the game. -- DanCicio

Related, but different concepts include TsumeShogi and RetroAnalysis problems.

[[AndrewSchoonmaker]: I currently have very little clue regarding strategies for solving the WesternChess variety of these. Anybody got any hints?

The main strategy to most mating problems is sacrificing material for open lines of attack. Depending on the difficulty of the problem, the correct first move can look really stupid without fully analyzing the position. -- DanCicio

This has not been my experience. I'm speaking, here, of composed problems, rather than the instructional examples one finds in books. Whereas it is relatively easy for me to see potential sacrifices, I have more trouble seeing the sorts of abstract containment moves that are frequently the keys for composed problems... -- AndrewSchoonmaker

Oh, those. Right. Those suck ass. Half the time, the whole point behind creating those is finding a position to support the stupidest idea possible. Lots of underpromotion, seemingly unsound sacrifices, blatantly ignoring relevant threats, and the like. I can't really be more helpful here; if I had a couple to look at and discuss over a board, I might be able to explain better.--DanCicio

"MatingProblems" might also refer to a common complaint by HarveyMudders regarding relationships on campus...

perhaps due to TheRatio

Insert Viagra joke here

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