The Difference Between a Helpmate and a Selfmate

The Difference Between a Helpmate and a Selfmate

SG's puzzle torture camp

The Difference Between a Helpmate and a Selfmate

The Difference Between a Helpmate and a Selfmate



This was proffered as an example of a game where white decided to `selfmate` rather than just resign:




But technically, a selfmate is when white forces black to deliver mate against his will, as in…


H.Zander – Selfmate in 5

Every black move is forced; he has no choice but to mate white. It is almost as if white is trying to throw the game and black indignantly tries not to let him.


Greenpawn`s example falls under the category of helpmate, which involves cooperation by both sides to create a checkmate. In typical composed helpmates, black moves first and white`s last move checkmates black.

Here`s a stellar example. White`s King is locked in a corner, so he needs a lot of help from black to pull off the two different mates.


M. Caillaud – Helpmate in 8

Solution #1


Solution #2



As it turns out, there are help and self problems in various forms. Just for fun, I will continue the theme of the last column and torture my readers with some more whammies.

The Help-Whammy and the Self-Whammy
In the help-whammy, black moves 9 times in a row in a 9x help-whammy (for example) then white mates in 1.
In the self-whammy, white makes 9 moves in a row in a 9x self-whammy (for example) then black has no choice but to mate white in one move.

Prisoners of Puzzle Torture Camp, these are the problems you must solve before you are granted visitation or time out in the yard. Those who fail to solve even one go to solitary!

Wiehagen, R.

Quadruple help-whammy


b) Na2>c8

Quadruple help-whammy

c) Na2>g8

Quadruple help-whammy


Müeller, D.

Quadruple help-whammy

b) wNg4

Quadruple help-whammy


Helledie, H.

9x help-whammy

Schöneberg, A.
Reich, H.P.

15x self-whammy


This one is only here because I don`t want everyone to get a perfect score.
Lindgren, B.

42x self-whammy
(OK, so I`ll still let people have yard time if they don`t get this one...)

Glaß, Günter

Quadruple self-whammy


Glaß, Günter

Quadruple self-whammy

Posted to SG's puzzle torture camp

Show Comments (7)
Comments (7)

  • Posted 2651 days 12 hours and 45 minutes ago
    Standard memberSwissGambit
    Jack B has now solved all of the problems.

    The rest of you prisoners - hurry up, I don't have that many solitary cells! 😕
  • Posted 2651 days 14 hours and 30 minutes ago
    SubscriberJack Bertram
    Tricky, these ones, especially without using an analysis board. Succumbed to setting up a board for the 42-mover, and I hope I've got them right now...
  • Posted 2651 days 21 hours and 30 minutes ago
    Standard memberSwissGambit
    Oh, and I forgot to mention that the side that plays the series of moves isn't allowed to check the enemy K until the last move.
  • Posted 2651 days 21 hours and 31 minutes ago
    Standard memberSwissGambit
    Jack Bertram scores first. He got 5 of the first 7 problems right.
  • Posted 2653 days 3 hours and 48 minutes ago
    Standard memberSwissGambit
    Oh, and I forgot...please PM solutions so everyone can solve. Thanks.
  • Posted 2653 days 4 hours and 28 minutes ago
    Subscribergreenpawn34
    I screwed that up: (you cannot edit comments.)

    Just HELP yourSELF to my MATES I don't mind.

    I'm going to try a couple - PM or post in in Thread 148424
  • Posted 2653 days 4 hours and 34 minutes ago
    Subscribergreenpawn34
    Just HELP your[/b]SELF[/b] to my mates. I don't mind.
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