is a term in a chess problem
which expands classical (also called orthodox) chess problems which are not direct mates
. The term was introduced before the First World War. While selfmate dates from the Middle Age, helpmate was invented by Max Lange in the late 19th century. Thomas Dawson
(1889-1951), pioneer of fairy chess, invented many fairy pieces and new conditions. He was also problem editor of The Fairy Chess Review
Prichard in 'Encyclopedia of Chess Variants' [ISBN-0-9524142-0-1 1994] acknowledges that the term is sometimes used for games although it is more usually to problems where the board, pieces or rules are changed to express an idea or theme impossible in orthochess'.
Types of fairy chess problems
There are the following types of fairy chess problems:
- New stipulations: Probably the most used alternations are new stipulations instead of a direct mate stipulation. A lot of them were invented, some of them become established. Selfmates and helpmates are nowadays often considered to be orthodox stipulations. Amongst other there are: reflexmates, various types of seriesmovers, or recently very popular helpselfmates. Part of new stipulations are also retroanalytical problems including shortest proof games and retractors. Finally various construction tasks on chess board and mathematical problems using chess objects are considered to be chess problems as well.
- New chess pieces: Conventional chess pieces are generalized in many ways (grasshopper, _Rider, Chinese pieces, etc). See main article Fairy chess pieces.
- New conditions: They encompass all changes of rules including rules for captures, checks, general movement abilities, checkmates, etc. A lot of them were invented; some of them became established: circe chess, madrasi chess, Andernach chess, monochromatic chess, patrol chess, Einstein chess and many others.
- Different boards: One can vary board size from 8x8 to other sizes (7x8, unusual board shapes, etc.) or use different geometries: cylinder (vertical and horizontal), anchor ring or torus and others.
Consider FIDE Albums: all problems divide in eight sections: directmates (2-movers, 3-movers and moremovers), endgame studies, selfmates, helpmates, fairy chess and retro and mathematical problems.