Assuming: Queen=9, Rook=5, Bishop=3, Knight=3, Pawn=1

The below position is evaluated at +411 for White but he still loses by force (mate in 9, pawn promotes to a bishop just for the fun of it)

Is that the maximum possible material advantage while still losing? Can you find a position with more than 411 material advantage and still lose?

enter image description here

  • 1
    Looks like the e2 and e1 rooks could be queens instead?
    – Cleveland
    Commented Aug 20, 2017 at 16:58
  • 1
    Also, knight=5 and bishop=5 are very odd values and border on flat-out wrong. 3 would be closer to the common (although imperfect) values for each.
    – Cleveland
    Commented Aug 20, 2017 at 16:59
  • 5
    All of these positions are beyond absurd though, there's not even room for a previous move to have happened. Commented Aug 20, 2017 at 20:11
  • 1
    How exactly is this a mate in 9? (unless White assists heavily)
    – Annatar
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 7:31
  • 2
    @Cleveland Ah, my bad. I somehow assumed the pawn is moving in the other direction ;p
    – Annatar
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 6:00

3 Answers 3


1... Bxg7

I'm getting +518 for this.

That could be improved to +520 if we allow a black pawn on the 8th rank instead of the bishop, since this position is obviously already impossible for a number of other reasons.

Edit: Found a better one.


This is +530.

  • Fantastic, i think this is the maximum Commented Aug 20, 2017 at 17:39
  • This is the perfect example to illustrate to new chess learners that material is not the most important thing in chess, it is all about the king Commented Aug 20, 2017 at 17:45
  • Isn't this impossible to acheive though? I mean, ignoring that the max number of queens is 9, the pawn is in a position where it has not moved throughout the whole game. Therefore, how has the king been moved there? Obviously we can just wave it off as "it's an impossible situation anyway so it doesn't matter" but just wanted to point it out.
    – Aric
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 10:04
  • Yes, there are a number of things that make the situation impossible, including that every square on the board is filled, so no previous moves could have been played.
    – Cleveland
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 14:36

Just for reference: The maximum number that is actually achievable in a real game is of course when one side promotes all its pawns to queens and gets mated by a single pawn. The value would then be 9*9+2*5+4*3-1 = +102

One possible mate:

8/8/8/8/8/RRN4k/QQQQB1pN/QQQQQ1BK w - - 0 1

These two are also worth 530 points. It rarely happen in games.

wild hourses

check mate

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.