The classic book Black to play by Christopher Feather taught me some of the basics about quality helpmates. The book begins with this a wonderful quote from Jean Oudut:
"Chess art is one degree of abstraction higher than the game of chess. In one sense we can say that the helpmate is the purest of all the chess arts, the nearest to art for art’s sake. If there exists somewhere, on an unknown planet, a race of beings who play chess and whose artistic inclination is stronger than their aggressive instincts, then it is probable that they will have invented the helpmate before the direct mate"
As of now I am just giving a collection of some of my favorite helpmates. In a later post I may go into specific helpmate themes. While I wouldn't consider myself a natural helpmate composer, I have been fortunate enough to compose a handful of decent number of helpmates.
On the side I like to dabble in chess problem composition. I am mostly interested in two and three move direct mates. I hope to convey the beauty and logic of chess problems with this blog. In the entries are some of my favorite problems and my own problems. Before looking at the problems I suggest reading this introduction to the chess problem world by the British Chess Problem Society. Also, here is a list of terminology and themes. Here is a link to my problems on yacpdb.
1. "Choose wisely" The Problemist Supplement, Sept. 2016
2. "Double checking white in a two mover" StrateGems July 2016
3. "Double check without capture" The Problemist Supplement, January 2018
4. "The disappearing Nowotny: Part I" The Problemist Supplement, March 2018
5. "The disappearing Nowotny: Part II" The Problemist Supplement, May 2018
6. "The disappearing Nowotny: Part III" The Problemist Supplement, July 2018
7. "Castling with half-battery and Fleck themes" StrateGems, July 2018
8. "The Baku Nowotny" StrateGems, January 2019
9. "The Romanian Nowotny with Fleck" The Problemist, March 2019
10. "Mirror Image" The Problemist Supplement, May 2019
11. "White King in Check" Problemas, July 2019
12. "A Simple Mechanism", StrateGems, July 2019
13. "Miniatures with castling and (partial) Fleck" Problemist Supplement, September 2019
14. "Taking the Straitjacket off the Fleck" The Problemist Supplement, November 2019
15. "Unforced threats" The Problemist Supplement, May 2020
16. "Ojanen in Miniature" The Problemist Supplement, May 2020
17. "Developments in the Finnish Nowotny" The Problemist, July 2020