Top Helpmates/Moderne Kleinkunst/Kegelschach/Early Helpmates and Minimalkunst im Schach

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Author: Ebert, Hilmar (1950- ), Hans Gruber, Friedrich Wolfenter and Jorg Kuhlmann

Year: 1995-2006

Publisher: He-Chess

Place: Aachen


5 volumes. Top Helpmates 262 pages with diagrams and drawings by Hilmar Ebert and Hans Gruber; Moderne Kleinkunst 420 pages with diagrams, illustrations and music score by Hilmar Ebert and Hans Gruber; Kegelschach 400 pages with diagrams and illustrtions by Hilmar Ebert and Friedrich Wolfenter; Early Helpmates 460 pages with diagrams, tables and illustrations. Minimalkunst im Schach 576 pages with diagrams, tables and illustrations by Hilmar Ebert, Hands Oeter Reich and Jorg Kuhlmann. Octavo (8 1/2" x 5 1/2") bound in original publisher's blue cloth with gilt lettering to spine and cover. He-chess series, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. First editions.

This is a series of helpmates in both German and English. A helpmate is a type of chess problem in which both sides cooperate in order to achieve the goal of checkmating Black. In a helpmate in n moves, Black moves first, then White, each side moving n times, to culminate in White's nth move checkmating Black. (In a helpmate in 2 for example, sometimes abbreviated h#2, the solution consists of a Black move, a White move, a second Black move, then a second White move, giving checkmate.) Although the two sides cooperate, all moves must be legal according to the rules of chess. The first helpmate problem was by the German chess master Max Lange, published in Deutsche Schachzeitung, December, 1854. The problem had White to move and White could play in a number of different ways to achieve the same mate (duals), considered a serious flaw today. In The Chess Monthly, November 1860, American puzzle inventor Sam Loyd published the first helpmate with Black to move as is now standard, one intended main line, and an attractive but false solution (a try) to mislead solvers. However, this problem too had a minor dual, and also had the major flaw (or cook) of having a second, completely separate solution, not noted by the author. Even so, it was a much better problem than Lange's and its presentation incorporating a story written by D. W. Fiske, established the genre. The first completely sound helpmate was by A. Barbe of Leipzig, published in 105 Leipziger Ill. Familien-Journal, 1861. The term "help-mate" originated in The Problem Art by T.B. and F.F. Rowland (Kingstown, 1897). The helpmate problem task has since increased in popularity to be second only to the directmate and is no longer considered to be part of fairy chess.


Corners gently bumped else a near fine set.