A type of chess problem where black moves first and co-operates with white in being checkmated. For example, the stipulation "helpmate in two" asks the solver to find a sequence of four moves (black, white, black, white) culminating in white checkmating black.

For example, here is the starting position for a helpmate in three by Sam Loyd: white has his king on d4, rook on g8 and bishop on f4, while black has his king on f5 and queen on h7:

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |WR |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |BQ |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+ 
|   |   |   |   |   |BK |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |WK |   |WB |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
Here's a hint at the solution, printed backwards: gnik sih sevom reven etihw dna gnik sih ylno sevom kcalb.

Help"mate` (?), n. [A corruption of the "help meet for him" of Genesis ii. 18.Fitzedward Hall.]

A helper; a companion; specifically, a wife.

In Minorca the ass and the hog are common helpmates, and are yoked together in order to turn up the land. Pennant.

A waiting woman was generally considered as the most suitable helpmate for a parson. Macaulay.

 

© Webster 1913.

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