A simple task: It’s White to move selfmate themselves in three moves. White pawns are moving up.

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  • $\begingroup$ So is black trying to make the "worst" moves in order to thwart us? Also, I'm unconvinced that enigmatic-puzzle is a good tag here. $\endgroup$
    – Brandon_J
    Sep 7, 2019 at 14:44
  • $\begingroup$ Is it an enigmatic puzzle because ROT13(gur tbny vf gb cebir gung vg'f vzcbffvoyr)? $\endgroup$ Sep 9, 2019 at 21:37
  • $\begingroup$ Can we promote to enemy pieces? This was once legal but is no longer legal. $\endgroup$
    – isaacg
    Sep 11, 2019 at 16:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @RewanDemontay Cebzbgvat gb rarzl cvrprf sryg yvxr gur bayl ravtzngvp lrg fbzrjung yrtvgvzngr guvat bar pbhyq qb gb npuvrir fryszngr. V'yy gel naq svaq n fbyhgvba abj. $\endgroup$
    – isaacg
    Sep 11, 2019 at 19:33
  • $\begingroup$ Accepted solution contains an illegal move. Downvoting... $\endgroup$ Sep 12, 2019 at 17:58

2 Answers 2


The secret is that we are

allowing promotion to an enemy piece. A literal reading of a previous version of the promotion rule implied that promotion to an enemy piece was legal. See this question: https://chess.stackexchange.com/questions/2756/do-the-official-rules-of-chess-forbid-promoting-a-pawn-to-a-piece-of-the-opposit

As a result, we could

selfmate in two moves, as follows: 1. dxc8=bN+ Nd6 2. h8=bN Ng7# where the "b" prefix indicates that we are promoting to black knights in both cases.

However, the puzzle asks us to

selfmate in 3 moves instead. The only way to do so is to throw in an in-between move: 1. dxc8=bN+ Nd6 2. b8=bN+ Nc6 3. h8=bN Ng6# All moves are forced.


Here is an answer.

1. b8=Q+ a natural first forcing move. 1. ... Rc6 only move.
2. Kg8!?&%@wtf$ The king tramples on the head of its own bishop. Because of course he can.
2. ... f6 only move.
3. Kh8 The bishop unfolds back to normal with squeaking noises.
3. ... f5# only move. And it's checkmate and you can't go back to g8 because, er... you can break the rules only once per game/when your opponent is not paying attention/when you're not in check/when your king is not on the h8 square.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ [enigmatic-puzzle] is not "just do whatever you want" - making up your own rules to solve a puzzle doesn't seem like a proper answer to me. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Sep 7, 2019 at 20:25
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    $\begingroup$ @Deusovi Well, before I wrote this I actually went on to read what enigmatic puzzle meant, and it does seem to imply that this is not an honest, usual chess puzzle. In fact I'm almost convinced that either this, or the only other way to get to the final king square (also illegal) is the intended answer. But anyway, I get it that not everyone is going to like this answer. $\endgroup$ Sep 7, 2019 at 20:28

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