10 Hardest Mate In 1 Chess Puzzles That’ll Make Your Head Spin

Here is a list of 10 of the hardest mate in 1 chess puzzles that could take you a while to solve. Scroll down to see the answers for each puzzle after you are finished. Only 0.3% of chess players can actually solve all 10 puzzles. Are you a part of that percentile? Let’s see what you are made of.

Mate in 1 Chess Puzzles

Puzzle #1

In this position, it’s white to checkmate in 1 move. First find what the last move of black was. Can you solve it?

White to move

Puzzle #2

The first time your chess coach gave you this kind of puzzle, you feel almost deceived. White to mate in 1 move and win. Good luck!

Puzzle #3

In this puzzle, black has all his 16 pieces whereas white only has a queen and knight. Funny enough, it’s white to mate in 1. Take your time😂

Puzzle #4

Use some imagination for this one! It’s only a mate in 1 but how fast can you find it?😈 White to move. 

Puzzle #5

Confusing position, isn’t it?🤔  But it’s just a mate-in-1 puzzle!🤫

White to move

Puzzle #6

White has 5 Queens and 4 Knights. Which one can mate the black King in 1?

White to move

Puzzle #7

Not many moves are available for white, but you only need one to checkmate.

White to move

Puzzle #8

Take a breather and mate black in 1 move with this easy puzzle. 10 seconds go!

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White to move

Puzzle #9

It’s a crowded playing field. Which piece to deliver mate in 1 against the black king?

White to move

Puzzle #10

Leaving the best for last. The ultimate puzzle. White to play and mate in 1. Please don’t ask questions! Be smart!



Answers To Puzzles

Puzzle #1: For checkmate to be made possible, black’s last move would have to be pawn to c5. This enables en passant. White mates the black king with the move dxc6 e.p. as the bishop on b3 delivers checkmate.

Puzzle #2: The winning move for white is 0-0-0 (long castle), given that the king and rook have not been moved. This puts the black king in checkmate.

Puzzle #3: Unusual position. But with closer inspection, black’s pieces are not actually in their initial position as seen by the co-ordinates on the chessboard. Black’s pawns have all advanced up the board to the 2nd rank. White mates the black king with the move Nd6. (Pawns cannot capture backwards).

Puzzle #4: If you solved puzzle 1, then you probably had no problem solving this as well. Given that black’s last move is f5, white checkmates the black king with the move exf6 e.p.

Puzzle #5: So many pieces to choose from, but Qa1 is the only piece to deliver mate in 1.

Puzzle #6: Nbd4 is checkmate. The knight on e7 cannot recapture because it is pinned to the king by the white queen on e1.

Puzzle #7: The black king is in a mating net. White can deliver the final blow by underpromoting his a7 pawn into a knight. a8= N

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Puzzle #8: If you spot the bishop in the corner, then you’ll notice that the clearance Ke5 is checkmate.

Puzzle #9: White mates with Qa3. Black’s pawn is on b2 and therefore cannot capture the white queen regardless of the imagery. Black’s queen on e5 cannot defend against this since it would be pinned to the king by the rook on e1.

Puzzle #10: Where is the black king? If white is to move, the black king must be on a legal square that is not attacked by black’s pieces. The possible squares are  a1, b2, f4, f6, g3, g7, h2 or the 8th rank. These squares are not attacked by Black’s pieces. For checkmate to be possible, the king would have to be on any square along the 8th rank. Therefore, after Bxe5, the black king would be in checkmate. Whether the king is on c8, d8, e8, f8, g8 or h8, Bxe5 is still checkmate.

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