13 votes

Can one side force a loss in regular chess?

There is likely not a way to force a loss. Selfmates are relatively rare, and one can probably not be forced from the opening position. The best plan, paradoxically, is likely to try to capture as ...
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  • 15.2k
10 votes

Can one side force a loss in regular chess?

As far as I know, there is no chess variant that has been investigated that is exactly as you describe. However, antichess is a quite similar concept. The objective is to lose all your pieces/be ...
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  • 1,828
10 votes

Is this selfmate solvable or fixable?

First the verdict on the posted problem. It has certainly no solution in up to 12 moves (checked by Popeye v4.79). And the author of the Gustav software which specializes in selfmates says that there ...
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  • 9,408
8 votes

Can one side force a loss in regular chess?

Finding the optimal strategy requires the investigation of pretty much all (pretty much, in the grand scale of things) the positions that are possible to get to from the start. While developing a ...
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7 votes

Selfmate problem

Neat: [FEN "8/7P/8/p2p4/P2p4/pB1p4/3P4/k2K4 w - - 0 1"] 1. Kc1 a2 2. Bc2 dxc2 3. h8=R! d3 4. Rb8 d4 5. Rb4 {And from here on, both sides' moves are legally forced.} axb4 6. a5 b3 7. a6 b2#
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7 votes

Theoretically, is the analysis of the moves more complex if the objective is to be the first to be checkmated?

Although selfmate is a popular type of chess problems, the concept you have described simply would not work in a chess game played from the starting position; your opponent would need to cooperate ...
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  • 218
5 votes

Is this selfmate solvable or fixable?

Is there a solution? I don't think so. If the White queen goes to a square where it can interpose, then Black can just play BxB. If, for example, White tries Qe8-d7 or Qe8-e6, hoping Black will move ...
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  • 15.2k
5 votes
Accepted

The quickest selfmate in 1

Going to the dusty databanks in my skull, this indeed has been written about before. It appears in Journey Entry #153 of Tim Krabbe's Chess Diary. Since you define the ply count to the position before ...
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5 votes

Theoretically, is the analysis of the moves more complex if the objective is to be the first to be checkmated?

This is actually interesting, as there is a certain counter-intuitive way to win. If you end up with a huge material advantage, in some positions you can force your opponent to checkmate you.
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4 votes

Can one side force a loss in regular chess?

Forcing self-mate can be done from certain positions, the one forcing their opponent to checkmate them is usually far ahead in material. When I was a teenager (a long time ago) I actually studied the ...
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  • 279
4 votes

I have discovered a selfmate requiring 1,351 moves to enforce. How does this move-count stack up against the 'record holder'?

Welcome to Chess Stack Exchange, Robert Linsley! I am a chess problemist myself, as others here are, so I can help you out. By stating that it is legal, you already ahead of most people! Chess ...
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4 votes

Theoretically, is the analysis of the moves more complex if the objective is to be the first to be checkmated?

I write this as an answer (even if it doesn't contribute that much, but it would get too long). If you ask any expert of the selfmate genre in problem chess, he will give you an immediate enthusiastic ...
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3 votes

Is this selfmate solvable or fixable?

[Edit: D M found an error in my solution. The key reductions are correct but I missed a branch for Black (9. .. Be4) that evades all of those reductions.] I think I found the solution (16 moves on ...
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  • 2,463
2 votes

Is this selfmate solvable or fixable?

I may be missing something, but it seems that white needs their bishop to be on c6 and their queen to be on h8. If one of these is accomplished by changing the setup of the problem, then the other can ...
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2 votes

Can one side force a loss in regular chess?

What a great question. One important mathematical model for chess is Combinatorial Game Theory. Under the vanilla version of this beautiful theory, developed by Conway, Berlekamp & Guy, one loses ...
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  • 9,408
2 votes
Accepted

Is KQB vs KP generally sufficient to force a selfmate?

That one is a no-brainer: with a knight pawn the white king can stand in the corner, and be blocked in with just the bishop. This is impossible with another pawn - you must block both e.g. b1 and d1 ...
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1 vote

The quickest selfmate in 2

I care to do it in 7.0 moves. [FEN ""] 1. f4 e5 2. Kf2 Ke7 3. Kg3 Kf6 4. Kh4 Kf5+ 5. Kh5 e4 6. e3 d5 7. h4 Qe7 8. Qg4+ Kf6 9. Qg6+ fxg6#
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1 vote

The quickest selfmate in 1

For the record, my solution was [Title "Help-selfmate in 5.5+0.5, NDE Dec.2020"] [FEN ""] 1. Na3 Nc6 2. d3 Nd4 3. Kd2 Nf3+ 4. Kc3 b5 5. Nxb5 Rb8 6. Nxc7+ Qxc7# (264 possible ...
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