Number of possible chess games

The number of legal chess positions is 10^40, the number of different possible games, 10^120. Authors have attempted various ways to convey this immensity, usually based on one of the few fields to regularly employ such exponents, astronomy. In his book Chess Metaphors, Diego Rasskin-Gutman points out that a player looking eight moves ahead is already presented with as many possible games as there are stars in the galaxy. Another staple, a variation of which is also used by Rasskin-Gutman, is to say there are more possible chess games than the number of atoms in the universe. All of these comparisons impress upon the casual observer why brute-force computer calculation can't solve this ancient board game. They are also handy, and I am not above doing this myself, for impressing people with how complicated chess is, if only in a largely irrelevant mathematical way.


  • 10 months ago


    too much for me to think about, now. 

  • 14 months ago


  • 20 months ago



    The rules are too complicated for chess, so go has more. More simple the rules, more variations

  • 20 months ago


    According to my calculations is about 10 ^ 134 different variants of the game of chess

  • 22 months ago



    Thats only because the game is play on a 19 x 19 bored (or 361 squares) compared to an 8 x 8 (64 squares) board in chess. This means the the amount of squares on a chess board is approximately 5.64 x smaller. I'm sure that chess would have more combinations if it was expanded to 19 x 19. 

  • 23 months ago


    How about the number of plausable games? starting with the basic really terrible moves, and maybe even eliminating openings and positions that have been proven conclusivly to be inferior. 

  • 3 years ago


    So, the amount of chess games is pretty hihg. I will suggest you to take a look at weiqi( go, baduk).It's even higher!

  • 3 years ago


    I believe there are "only" 10^80 elementary particles in the universe. That should put the number of possible chess games into perspective!

  • 4 years ago


    Heya Billy is prophetic...i just posted in a group about there being more different possable chess postions on a board than stars in the sky...and went to Google it and here I am, Finding your Post...

    Prophetic thing about it,is my name is william john rogers junior, and thats Billy Junior to you...

  • 4 years ago


    It stands to reason, 64! (64*63*63...*1) all the sequences one could select 68 unique objects (chess squares for example) is already in the order of the number of electrons in the understood universe.

  • 7 years ago


    whoa, that's like thinking about thinking!

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