One day, I heard two of my friends were playing an online game of chess. I went to spectate, and this was the position:

enter image description here

However, I looked at the move list, and realized White's sixth move had just been played. My friends both knew how to play chess, so I brought this up in chat:

Excited Raichu: Um, how is it only Black's sixth move? More than half the pieces are gone!

Friend #1: We're playing Atomic.

Excited Raichu: Atomic?

Friend #2: Yeah. If you capture a piece, the capturing piece, and all pieces (that aren't pawns) adjacent, even diagonally adjacent, to it explode and are captured. If you explode the other king, you win.

Excited Raichu: Oh, I see how you got here by White's 6th move. Keep playing.

How do you reach this position after White's 6th move using the Atomic ruleset?

  • $\begingroup$ What happens if you capture a pawn, or capture with a pawn? $\endgroup$
    – Dr Xorile
    Oct 31, 2018 at 17:57
  • $\begingroup$ @DrXorile In either case, the pawn explodes. $\endgroup$ Oct 31, 2018 at 17:59
  • $\begingroup$ and surrounding pieces (but not pawns)? $\endgroup$
    – Dr Xorile
    Oct 31, 2018 at 18:00
  • $\begingroup$ @DrXorile they also explode. $\endgroup$ Oct 31, 2018 at 18:02
  • $\begingroup$ Do explosions chain? When you capture and explode the piece next to it, does that piece then explode the pieces next to it too or does it stop after the first "chain"? $\endgroup$
    – Dorrulf
    Oct 31, 2018 at 18:47

2 Answers 2


Moves as follows, () designates collateral damage

1. b4 a5 2. bxa5 Rxa2(a1,b1) 3. Ba3 c5 4. Bxc5 Qc7 5. Qa1 Qxh2(g1,h1) 6. Qxg7(f8,g8,h8)


The above Atomic Chess problem appears to be unsound.
If it was intended to be a Proofgame (read: to be solved by only one unique game), it is COOKED as follows:

1.b4 a5 2.bxa5 c5 3.Ba3 Qc7 4.Bxc5  Rxa2 5.Qa1 Qxh2 6.Qxg7                  
1.b4 a5 2.Ba3 c5 3.bxa5 Qc7 4.Bxc5 Rxa2 5.Qa1 Qxh2 6.Qxg7
1.b4 c5 2.Ba3 a5 3.bxa5 Qc7 4.Bxc5 Rxa2 5.Qa1 Qxh2 6.Qxg7
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling.SE! If you're trying to post a puzzle of your own, you need to do so as a separate question, not as an answer to this one. $\endgroup$
    – F1Krazy
    Oct 5, 2023 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks F1Krazy. I prefer to leave my two problems here in this thread. If somebody wishes to post them separately, that's fine. Here you can find the intended solutions to the above problems: pdb.dieschwalbe.de/… $\endgroup$ Oct 5, 2023 at 16:45

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