Here's a selfmate problem that just might be baffle you! Thus, I name it "Tricky Tricky!"

It's White to move and selfmate themselves in 8 moves.

Can you find the secret?

As always, no computers and only your own brain! Good luck solving!

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    $\begingroup$ I'm new to chess enigmas, so I have a couple questions : when you say "8 moves", are these 4 white moves and 4 black moves, or 8 of each ? Must I assume I am the White Player (i.e. should all of the Black Player's moves be forced by mine?) Should I assume the White Pawns move upward, and the Black ones downward? $\endgroup$ Jul 11, 2019 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ There is no way for me to always limit his actions for 8 turns straigth to only one move by constantly checking him. At some point, he will be free to move one pawn or the other, right? $\endgroup$ Jul 11, 2019 at 16:05
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    $\begingroup$ Damn it Pawns, you failed me ! They were my first choice, but I just can't see how they can inflict mate. Whenever I tried with them, my King could escape the check either by moving in C4 or C5 (depending on where the B6 pawn ended up). Please, no more hints now, I feel babysitted ._. $\endgroup$ Jul 12, 2019 at 18:33
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    $\begingroup$ Dropping the FEN here: 4B1r1/P2pP2p/1p3p2/3P4/1PpK1N2/1pP2kB1/1P5P/8 w - - $\endgroup$ Jul 31, 2019 at 12:39
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    $\begingroup$ That anyone could downvote this puzzle is the greatest mystery I've seen on PSE. $\endgroup$ Aug 7, 2019 at 22:23

3 Answers 3


I think I've figured it out.

1.Bh5+ Rg4

2.a8=Q pawn move

3.e8=Q pawn move

4.Qe1 pawn move

5.Qf8 pawn move

6.Bh4 Kxf4

7.Qxf5+ Kxf5+

8.Qe4+ Rxe4#

Does that look right?

  • $\begingroup$ That was not my intended solution, but by the laws of PSE land, you are correct and have solved the question! $\endgroup$ Aug 2, 2019 at 13:25
  • $\begingroup$ Nice solution @BoredAtWork, I knew this could work with the Rook as a mating piece ! I just couldn't find a way to force the moves of both the King and the Rook until the checkmate... And dropped this path when told the Rook wasn't the mating piece ! I'm curious about your initial solution RewanDemontay. Would you mind sharing it now that someone got a valid solution for your puzzle ? $\endgroup$ Aug 2, 2019 at 14:49

As per requested by @Dorian Fusco, here is what my original solution was before. @BoredAtWork, amazingly, and to my surprise, found an alternate way! Congratulations to them!

My Original Solution:

1. Bh5+ Rg4 2. e8=Q Any Pawn Move 3. a8=Q Any Pawn Move 4. Qa1 Any Pawn Move 5. Qc1 Any Pawn Move 6. Qc2! bxc2 7. Qe1 ...7. c1=Q 8. Qd1+ Qxd1# or Qe3+ Qxe3# ...7. c1=N 8. Qe2+ Nxe2# ...7. c1=R 8. Qd1+ Rxd1# ...7. c1=B 8. Qe3+ Rxe3#

Now do you see why I considered this to be a tricky question? ;D

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    $\begingroup$ Now I feel bad for solving it, the intended solution is so satisfying, giving black an option of 4 different pieces and then using their choice to mate yourself is brilliant. $\endgroup$ Aug 2, 2019 at 18:06
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    $\begingroup$ Awesome. I'll pay you back twice your bounty when yours has been awarded. A number of ideas for other problems came to my mind while trying to solve this one, and one of them was the very idea that was necessary here! Well, not strictly necessary as it turns out, which is amazing as well. Congrats for this beautiful problem. $\endgroup$ Aug 4, 2019 at 17:21
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    $\begingroup$ So, that's what you meant when you told me (something like) "it will look like it doesn't work, but it actually does" ! I thought it was no use forcing him to promote one of his pawns, since he would have too many choices, but I didn't figure out he would be tricked none the less. Brilliant ! $\endgroup$ Aug 5, 2019 at 7:26
  • $\begingroup$ @RewanDemontay You're very welcome. And see - no need to wait a whole week :) $\endgroup$ Aug 9, 2019 at 10:20

I've looked at this problem for so long that I begin to think perhaps the composer made a slight error in the composition. So I think it would be smart to ask the composer if my try is what he had in mind before I continue cracking my brain. My try is as follows: 1.Bh5+ Rg4 Then the next 4 black pawn moves are forced (irrespective of the order in which they are played. Thus I'll just give next 4 white moves). 2.a8=Q ... 3.Qg8 ... 4.e8=R ... 5.Re1 ... (Notice now that black has exhausted all his pawn moves and in fact would have been stalemate if it was black's turn now. However, it's white's turn.) The solution continues 6.Qg5 hxg5(only move) 7.Re2 gxf4(only move) 8.Rd2 fxg3+ (This is where I thought perhaps the composer missed that 8.fxg3+ is not a mate as White can play the only move, 9.Bxg4+). I feel it is easy for the composer to miss this. Pls can you confirm that it is not a mistake on your part so I can get back to cracking my brain on it again.


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