# What is my lover's name?

I have a lover, I love her so

She has a special name as we all do

But I wish, from me to you, not to tell

A secret kept is a secret kept well

But if you truly want to know

I shall soon reveal her name to you

However, first, let's a game, a test

Let's see if I am, by you, get bested

Tell you what, I'll give you a puzzle Not just any one of course

It's made from chess, all normal rules apply

Though there lies a couple twists

For one, you must do the reverse

Seems silly I know, but stick with me

Assume that they try not to win in defense

So from the position on the board

Tell two things to me and you'll win

In how many moves can White force Black to win?

And if you tell the theme, you shall have guessed my lover's name!

CLARIFICATIONS: Seeing the number of responses that I received overnight, here are some clarifications.

1. The name is not a regular word and it not a chess term/terminology. It is a chess THEME.

2. The name is an actual one, like Morgan or Ruby, with English letters, although it is not necessarily an American one.

3. Solving the puzzle first will help you find the name. Within the solution, the theme is to be observed by the motion of the pieces.

Hint Regarding The Solution:

As for the selfmate’s solution, users @Firecase and @ObiObi correctly found the full solution together in the comments section: 1. Nd3+ Kc2 2. Rc5+ Kxd3 3. Qd6+ Ke4 4. Nc3+ bxc3 5. Qe5+ Kd3 6. O-O-O Rd2#

Hint 12/22/2020:

Tim Krabbe

• The chess position alone doesn't indicate whose turn it is: white or black?
– Kaz
Aug 30, 2019 at 19:50
• Literally none of the answers here so far make a reasonable attempt to address the puzzle as such. Please don't make 'plausible' guesses — there's clearly something to solve, so solve it. I'm protecting the question to stave off more of the same.
– Rubio
Sep 2, 2019 at 2:37
• Do I need the number of moves only or also the actual move in one of the standard notations to deduce answer? Sep 3, 2019 at 7:17
• Here's an idea: 1.Nd3+ Kc2; 2.Rc5+ Kxd3; 3. Qd6+ Ke4; 4.Qe5+ Kd3; 5.Rxa2 but from here Rxb1 is unfortunately not forced.. Almost a forced mate. I don't know if this is useful.. Feb 5, 2020 at 21:10
• After knowing that the first 3 moves of the solution are confirmed, I can complete the selfmate. It is: 1. Nd3+ Kc2 2. Rc5+ Kxd3 3. Qd6+ Ke4 4. Nc3+ bxc3 5. Qe5+ Kd3 6. O-O-O+ Rd2# Does the puzzle involve proving that castling is possible? No clue what the lover's name is though. Mar 7, 2020 at 12:06

Checkmate?

Check Mate has a meaning of finding the partner/lover.

And if you tell the theme, you shall have guessed my lover's name!

Selfmate (Classically known as sui-mate)

In how many moves can White force Black to win?

If the answer for this hint was one, the final answer should be oneself
But I couldn't find the answer to the puzzle in one move even with a brute force.

One forcing sequence is 1. Nxa3+ Bb2 2. Rxb2+ Rxb2 3... but I could not go any forward from here. I need to use my other rook and queen more effectively.

??? (I think getting a definite/complete answer would help)

• Since white is trying to force black to checkmate in fewest possible moves, black will of course resist instead of helping.
– Bass
Aug 29, 2019 at 6:09
• @RewanDemontay You are right. I started thinking in the opposite direction and twoself, threeself etc were not making any sense so I tried mate in one. Now I have tried brute force also and it appears that help/self mate in one is not possible. Do I need the number of moves only or also the actual move in one of the standard notations to deduce answer? Aug 30, 2019 at 4:02

Could the name of your lover perhaps be:

Thomas or Dawson? After Thomas Dawson due to his heavy writings on the topic of series themed chess games (in particular series self-mate) and the bible of fairy chess: The Fairy Chess Review.

I believe this to be true based on the board that was provided as part of the puzzle. Paying particularly close attention to the following pieces:

Bishop on A2
Bishop on A3
Pawn on B3
Pawn on B4

The pieces are interfering with each other and blocking the each other's ranks; this combined with the fact that the idea of a self-mate in general is based on the Grimshaw problem makes me believe this is the name we're after. Grimshaw is also another possible name for your lover since it is technically a valid name, but is not technically a theme of chess where Series Self-Mate is.

With regards to how many moves it would take for white to give the win to black in a selfmate, the lowest I've come up with is if black isn't forced to move (Series Self-Mate) and is 15, 10 moves and really fits the theme above quite well. 5 moves per side.

White: Nd2+, Nxb3+, Rxa3, Rc5+, Qh6+
Black: Rb1, Bxb3, xa3, Bc4, Kc2+

This forces black to prevent my check on their king, also putting me into a checkmate.

Here blue is black and pink is white.

EDIT; Reworking at the moment as this isn’t technically mate.

• @RewanDemontay The queen doesn’t have to jump over any pieces when moving to d4; and I forgot to notate promotion for my pawn. Also made a typo, and have adjusted for preventing check until the final move, didn’t know that was a requirement. How’s the post now? Am I close on the name? Sep 4, 2019 at 3:41
• @RewanDemontay I've updated the positions to meet your requirements. Can you please add these requirements to your post to prevent future readers from making the same mistakes? I'll be making another attempt at the board to solve in fewer moves today. Sep 4, 2019 at 14:00
• @RewanDemontay so the name is in the right area? Also, updating the moves and board to fewer moves. Sep 4, 2019 at 14:06
• You are on track with your Grimshaw guess. While it not Grimshaw, it is in the areana of chess problem theme names like that. And have you tried having BOTH sides move? Sep 4, 2019 at 14:41
• @RewanDemontay I've only tried that once but wasn't sure on the requirements here. I've got it to eight at the lowest so far, but I'm still tinkering with it since I realized that I can still prevent the mate there. I'll update in a bit. Sep 4, 2019 at 14:42