5949 moves : is this a maximum ?

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John Upham
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5949 moves : is this a maximum ?

Post by John Upham » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:22 am

On Series 13, Episode 18 of The Chase it was asked which board game has a maximum number of 5,949 moves.

The answer given was chess.

Do we know if this is true ?
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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: 5949 moves : is this a maximum ?

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:34 am

Let's see: eight captures to give white two b, d, f and h pawns, and black two a, c, e and g pawns. Then eleven pawn moves per file to promote all the pawns. That's a total of 96 so far. Then there are 24 pieces left on the board and you can carry on until you get to 2, for another 22, to get a total of 118. Multiply that by 50 and you get 5900. So it's certainly in the right ballpark.

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Re: 5949 moves : is this a maximum ?

Post by Ian Thompson » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:40 am

John Upham wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:22 am
On Series 13, Episode 18 of The Chase it was asked which board game has a maximum number of 5,949 moves.

The answer given was chess.

Do we know if this is true ?
There's an explanation here of how 5949 is arrived at here - https://www.quora.com/How-many-chess-po ... 5949-moves.

There's some discussion of the question here - https://chess.stackexchange.com/questio ... imum-moves (which may cast doubt on the accuracy of the first link) - so I think the answer to your question is no, we don't know it's true.

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Re: 5949 moves : is this a maximum ?

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:54 pm

It assumes the 50 move rule as being automatically enforceable. That is, as we know, not correct. It is the 75 move rule that is a guillotine.

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Re: 5949 moves : is this a maximum ?

Post by John Upham » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:44 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:54 pm
It assumes the 50 move rule as being automatically enforceable. That is, as we know, not correct. It is the 75 move rule that is a guillotine.
Thanks Paul : this was, indeed, my point.
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Jesper Norgaard
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Re: 5949 moves : is this a maximum ?

Post by Jesper Norgaard » Thu Sep 19, 2019 5:25 pm

The maximum using the 50 moves rule is actually 5898.5 moves, that is White makes his 5899 th. move and it is a draw. Please check the discussion in . http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php ... chess-game. I actually created a PGN file with all the moves in https://drive.google.com/open?id=1v2V20 ... 4xgY16aHRo. Note that it is imperfect so it only covers 5895 moves. The only program that can display such long PGN files seems to be Babaschess, so if you want to look at the game, you will need to install Babaschess on your computer.

I agree that currently the 75 moves rule would be a more logical delimiter of moves, since it does not need an arbiter (in principle). However, that rule didn't exist when all these discussions originated. I assume you can just replace 50 with 75 and get a very similar calculation, which would lead to a number 50% higher.

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Re: 5949 moves : is this a maximum ?

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:45 pm

I can just imagine somebody doing this on the increment from about move 40. I hope I'm not the arbiter...

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