What chess position has the most number of possible moves?

adrianoz wrote:

it doesnt exist its a draw every time.

What doesn't exist?

malu wrote:

Grand_Chill wrote:

honorius wrote:


Diagram shows legal position with promoted pieces with maximum white moves.



LOL. The Black King must be pissing his pants right now.

Only if it's White's move.^^ If it's Black's move it's a stalemate and I would celebrate a stalemate in this position if i was Black. ;)



218 legal moves


too bad there are promoted pawns


sdo you include the different types of promotions as different moves?



Hi! I stumbled on this (long dormant) thread earlier today when researching material on the total number of chess positions. Must say that I'm amazed that a definitive answer to this query wasn't found long ago. Anyway, the diagram shows my proposed solution.

The King has 8 moves, as do both knights. Each bishop has 9 moves, each rook has 12 moves. The queen has 17 moves. Six of the pawns have eight moves, the other two pawns have just four moves - 56 pawn moves altogether.

This gives a total of 139.

The total would be the same if the b-pawn and/or the black queen were removed, but it's much more elegant with them on the board. This way all 16 of White's pieces are present and Black is just missing the pawns. I also like it because all Black's pieces are en prise (to promoting pawns and nothing else) and White's threatening mate in one. 


@malu I would like to see that diagram but I couldn't seem to find it on that wikipedia article. Could you post it please?


This has been about theoretical maximum numbers. Does anyone have any stats on how the numbers of moves (average or range) vary through the course of normal chess games?


They increase then decrease.

Scottrf wrote:

They increase then decrease.

That's kind of what I expected.


Actual record without promotion pieces : 

 In this position there are 181 possible moves.
Diverse promotions aren't count as multiple moves.  


If anyone can beat this I suggest you contact Tim Krabbe at the link below, he is a very reliable authority for chess records and chess curiosities, and his website (below) is a great place to kill some time in between pushing wood here. Pls note his record is based on an actual game, not on a composition                            http://timkr.home.xs4all.nl/records/records.htm

Most possible moves: 79

Black to play 
Davis - Panchanathan 
Minneapolis 2005


In the diagram, after White's 23th move, Black had a choice of 79 moves. 


This was a real position played by two chess engines.  It has 110 moves for white, and caused an error in the program:



I haven't checked how many moves this has. It's not a real chess position, and haven't proven this to be the largest number on an 8x8 board.