enter image description here

There are 40 possible move options for both White and Black players in the starting position. The 4 knights and 16 pawns all have 2 options.

If all the pieces are still on the chessboard, how would you play both sides in order to maximize the number possible move options for black and white? Captures and castling are considered a move option in such a legal position.

  • $\begingroup$ How many moves into the future are you asking for? And are black and white cooperating? Is it the maximum at each move or the maximum sum after N moves? $\endgroup$
    – Jens
    Mar 25, 2020 at 17:09
  • $\begingroup$ I read this as "Find the reachable position without capturing that contains the maximum sum of moves". $\endgroup$ Mar 25, 2020 at 17:21
  • $\begingroup$ no number of moves limit and all the initial pieces shall be on the board $\endgroup$
    – TSLF
    Mar 25, 2020 at 17:26
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm. I don't think I get it. Couldn't both sides just bring out a knight and move them around forever, never repeating 3 positions in a row? $\endgroup$
    – Jens
    Mar 25, 2020 at 17:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Daniel I understand, but if the maximum is the sum of moves available at each move, the number of moves made is pretty relevant. $\endgroup$
    – Jens
    Mar 25, 2020 at 17:46

1 Answer 1


The most moves possible for both sides in a position where all 32 units are still on the board is 164. This answer was stolen from @GloriaVictis's answer to this CSE question.

Nenad Petrović, The Fairy Chess Review 1946

enter image description here


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.