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

Force your opponent to win

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!

And to break your world perspective, please also explain the title!

enter image description here

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, user @Firecase correctly found the first three moves of the solution, as posted in a comment: 1. Nd3+ Kc2 2. Rc5+ Kxd3 3. Qd6+ Ke4.

  • $\begingroup$ The chess position alone doesn't indicate whose turn it is: white or black? $\endgroup$ – Kaz Aug 30 '19 at 19:50
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, sorry about that. It's White to move. $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Aug 30 '19 at 19:52
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ 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. $\endgroup$ – Rubio Sep 2 '19 at 2:37
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Well, to be fair, @Mohit Jain's answer actually DOES make an actual attempt, as partial as it is Rubio. $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Sep 2 '19 at 2:39
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ 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.. $\endgroup$ – FIreCase Feb 5 at 21:10

Is your lover's name


And to break your world perspective, please also explain the title!

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


Partial answer:

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.

And to break your world perspective, please also explain the title!

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

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Since white is trying to force black to checkmate in fewest possible moves, black will of course resist instead of helping. $\endgroup$ – Bass Aug 29 '19 at 6:09
  • $\begingroup$ I never said that the selfmate was in one move-the question was how many moves will it take? $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Aug 29 '19 at 11:22
  • $\begingroup$ @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? $\endgroup$ – Mohit Jain Aug 30 '19 at 4:02
  • $\begingroup$ @MohitJain You must give the full solution in algerbraic notation, but the notation itself is not encoded. $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Sep 3 '19 at 19:14

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.

  • $\begingroup$ Two things: How does the queen jump over the knight when going from d4 and to g4? And Qc4 puts the Black king in check and that is not allowed because the solution goes on. And it can still be done in far less White moves. $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Sep 4 '19 at 0:17
  • $\begingroup$ @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? $\endgroup$ – Emma - PerpetualJ Sep 4 '19 at 3:41
  • $\begingroup$ Kings cannot be next to each other......And the name is incorrect-it's bit $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Sep 4 '19 at 13:55
  • $\begingroup$ @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. $\endgroup$ – Emma - PerpetualJ Sep 4 '19 at 14:00
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    $\begingroup$ @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. $\endgroup$ – Emma - PerpetualJ Sep 4 '19 at 14:42

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