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A friend of mine got me Solitaire Chess for Christmas years ago. I set up the board below. Is it possible to solve it? If so, what is the solution? (No programs allowed- Use only your brain.)

Rules:

  1. Pieces move as in regular chess
  2. Every move must be a capture
  3. When there is only 1 piece left, you win.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ which way are the pawns moving ? do they "promote" if they hit the far side ? $\endgroup$ – Ditto Mar 30 '15 at 18:40
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    $\begingroup$ they are moving up, and they do not promote $\endgroup$ – JLee Mar 30 '15 at 18:47
  • $\begingroup$ It'd be a lot harder if rule 3 required a pawn to be the sole survivor. (Not possible?)Looks like many solutions exist and almost any of the "pieces" can be the last one. Haven't found B2 being last yet. $\endgroup$ – user2338816 Mar 30 '15 at 20:47
  • $\begingroup$ @user2338816 ending with a pawn is not possible. d4 must be taken (as cannot take anything) and b2 must be taken by Ba3 (otherwise there will be a piece on a3 that cannot take or be taken) $\endgroup$ – Joffan Mar 30 '15 at 21:21
  • $\begingroup$ One of the puzzles I had encountered in the book had 1 non-capturing move. $\endgroup$ – garr890354839 Nov 21 '16 at 19:12
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Let's go with:

Nxa1, Bxc4, Rxc4, Rxd4, Bxb2, Bxd4, Bxa1

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Here are my thoughts on the matter:

Want to end with a knight?

Bb3, Bb2, Bc3, Bd4, Rd4, Nb3, Nd4

Want to end with a rook?

Bb3, Bb2, Bc3, Bd4, Nb3, Nd4, Rd4

Want to end with a bishop?

Bb3, Nb3, Nd4, Bb2, Bc3, Rd4, Bd4

Want to keep from having to move your horses from the stables?

Bb3, Bb2, Bc4, Rc4, Rd4, Ba1, Bd4

Do you want to end on a square other than D4?

Bb3, Bc4, Rc4, Rd4, Bb2, Bd4, Ba1

Yeah.... I think there might be a few solutions...

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I got

Bb2, Bb3, Rc4, Rd4, Bd4, Nb3, Nd4

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Different from the other two

Nxb3, Nxd4, Bxb2, Bxc4, Rxc4, Rxd4, Bxd4

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What an interesting game. Thanks for sharing this.

Here's the first solution I found:

Bxb3, Nxb3, Bxb2, Bxc3, Bxd4, Rxd4, Nxd4

Note: for those who haven't seen the move notation before, "Bd1" or "Bxd1" means "move the bishop to square 'd1.'"
B=bishop, N=knight, R=rook, P=pawn, K=king, Q=queen

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If pawns moving "down"

Pxc3 Pxa1 (promote to anything you want) Rxc3 Rxb3 Rxa3 Rxa2 Rxa1

If pawns moving "up"

Rxd4 Bxb2 Bxb3 Rxb3 Nxb3 Bxd4 Nxd4

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  • $\begingroup$ As far as I know, the Pawn can't move down, but I like the idea of promotion! $\endgroup$ – leoll2 Mar 30 '15 at 18:55
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    $\begingroup$ Convention implies white starts at bottom and moves up, however, with this odd "unconventional" board .. it warranted asking ;) $\endgroup$ – Ditto Mar 30 '15 at 18:58
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Power to the church! (Bishops)

Bb2, Ba1, Bb3, Bc4, Rc4, Rd4, Bd4

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I got:

Bb2 Bc3 Bd4 Bb3 Nb3 Nd4 Rd4

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling Stack Exchange! Would it be possible for you to edit this answer to explain how you reached this conclusion given the information in the question? $\endgroup$ – Aza Mar 30 '15 at 20:18
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    $\begingroup$ Sure, I did it in my head and I couldn't find my solution in the given answers. But that's probably not the explanation you're looking for - I'm not sure what you'd like to hear.. So: B on a3 can only go to P on b2, so it was a logical first move (same goes for N on a1 but then we still need B on a2 to be taken), as I was already moving B from a3 I continued to d4, then with most pieces gone it was trivial PS: if that's what you're looking for I'll edit the question :) $\endgroup$ – brechtb Mar 30 '15 at 20:37
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Here is the answer I found in about 5 min (I m pretty proud of myself considering I suck at chess)

BxB2,BxC3,BxD4,BxB3,NxB3,RxD4,NxD4

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