This puzzle is the idea of Dmitry Kamenetsky in a comment of my puzzle Devouring Nobility.

Find, with the minimum number of moves, a legal game where all pieces are captured except the two kings.


2 Answers 2


A solution in 16.5 moves exists, created by Italian composer G. Ponzetto in 2000. I found it being posted by user @AussieRookie in this chess.com thread:

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Bd3 Qxa2 4. Bxh7 Qxb1 5. Bxg8 Qxc2 6. Bxf7+ Kxf7 7. Rxa7 Qxc1 8. Rxb7 Rxh2 9. Rxb8 Rxg2 10. Qxc1 Rxg1+ 11. Rxg1 Rxb8 12. Qxc7 Rxb2 13. Qxc8 Rxd2 14. Qxf8+ Kxf8 15. Rxg7 Rxf2 16. Rxe7 Kxe7 17. Kxf2

PGN viewer / replayer

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Since there are 15 pieces and we cannot take any piece on the first move, the minimum is 16 moves. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 14:21
  • $\begingroup$ This only plays 1.5 moves where a piece isn't captured. I'd be amazed if there was a better solution. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 21:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DmitryKamenetsky You can take two pieces in a move with en passant, but i wonder if it might take too much setup to be used $\endgroup$
    – corsiKa
    Commented Oct 27, 2020 at 2:03
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ How can you take two pieces in one move with en passant? If you are taking a piece with a diagonal move then the pawn couldn't have advanced two spaces. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 27, 2020 at 5:43

You can do it in

20 moves with knights. From Chess Massacre Variants-Play Find The Fastest Way?. But I am pretty sure faster solutions are possible.


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