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How many moves possible in chess?

Updated: 10/5/2023

Wiki User

14y ago

From the starting position there are 20 possible moves (2 for each of 8 pawns and 2 for each knight). From there the number of permutations increases dramatically. Information theorist Claude Shannon estimated the total number of positions at 10^43, and with there being an average of 35 moves for each side per position, this makes the game tree in the order of 10^123.

This is only positions, though. Since completely different potential move orders can create the same position, this makes the number of iterations much higher. After 1 (2 ply) move by each side, the number is 400 possible move combinations (20 * 20 400). After just 4 moves(8 ply), the number is over 197,000. At 10 moves (20 ply) it grows to 8.350e+28. The number of distinct games, therefore, is unbounded and grows exponentially assuming no threefold repetition and no 50 move rule. Including these two conditions limits the upper possibility at around 366 ply (or 183 full moves).

Wiki User

8y ago

Wiki User

12y ago

There literally is an infinite number of moves possible.

Wiki User

14y ago

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Q: How many moves possible in chess?
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How many possible play of chess are not the same?

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A chess board , 32 chessmen , a timer , an optional notepad to record moves = 34/35 items .

Are chess players getting better after each generation?

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How many en passant can as a maximum occur in a game of chess?

As many as possible.

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You can not skip your move in chess. You always have to move when it is your turn. If you have no legal moves in chess and it is your turn, the game is a stalemate.

How many options does each side have in the beginning of a chess game?

The only pieces that can make the first move in a chess game are the pawns and knights. Therefore, each side has 12 moves available. These are one possible for each of the eight pawns, and two each for both knights.