As far as I can calculate, 6 is the limit for the most number of pawns on a single file possible. Is 7 possible at all, ignoring promotion? I only took into account using the edge of the board, not the center, so I may be wrong. If I am right, what are some ways to make my composed game go quicker?

The composed game is below. It is 50.5 moves long.

[FEN ""]
1.Nc3 h5 Nb1 g5 Nc3 f5 Nb1 e5 Nc3 d5 Nb1 c5 Nc3 b5 Nb1 a5 Nc3 h4 Nb1 h3 gxh3 g4 Nc3 g3 fxg3 Qh4 gxh4 f4 Nb1 f3 exf3 Bg4 fxg4 Rh5 gxh5 e4 Nc3 e3 dxe3 Bd6 Nb1 Bf4 exf4 Nf6 Nc3 Nh7 Nb1 Ng5 fxg5 Nd7 Nc3 O-O-O Nb1 Rh8 Nc3 Rh6 gxh6 d4 Nb1 d3 cxd3 Nf6 Nc3 Ne4 dxe4 b4 a4 bxa3 Nd5 axb2 Ne3 b1=Q Ng2 c4 Ne3 Qb5 Bd2 Qf5 exf5 c3 Qe2 c2 Rb1 c1=Q Qd1 Qc6 Rb7 Qg6 fxg6 a4 Rb6 a3 Rb5 a2 Rb4 a1=Q Rb3 Qa7 Rb4 Qh7 gxh7
  • If you don't count pawns on promotion squares (last row), then obviously you can only have pawns on the second to seventh row, I.e. max six pawns on a file. – user1583209 Feb 25 at 6:28
  • 1
    If you do allow pawns on promotion squares, you need 6+10=16 captures, which is impossible. – user1583209 Feb 25 at 6:33
  • What is “6+10=16” supposed to mean? – Rewan Demontay Feb 25 at 6:34
  • 2
    To get to the same file, with minimum number of captures you need pawns from three files on one side and four files on the other side. Those are 1+2+3 =6 captures from one side and 1+2+3+4=10 captures from the other side. – user1583209 Feb 25 at 7:07
  • 1
    oops. Indeed you only need 6+6=12 captures (three pawns from the left, three from the right), because you already have one pawn on that file... – user1583209 Feb 25 at 14:27

If you only include legal positions then 6 is the limit. The pawns could possibly occupy the 2nd-7th ranks, via diagonal captures towards the desired file.

If you ignore promotion and allow pawns to be on the 8th rank (or 1st rank for Black's POV) then the limit is 7.


Taking into the account that I only used the edge of the board, I decided to use the center of the board to see what I could do. And, yes, ignoring promotion rules, I actually WAS ABLE TO get 7 white pawns on the same file. The game ends just before the white pawn is set to capture the black queen, completing a 7-solider line. I even managed to cut off several moves.

I guess just consider this a self-question-and-answer for the entertainment of everyone else.

UPDATE 3/3/19-I have found an extremely quicker version than the one below. It also ends just before the white pawn is set to capture to get on the 8th rank. I will leave my old, 83 half-moves game for comparison. Welcome the new 37 half-moves game!

UPDATE 2 3/3/19-Thanks to the help of @DM once more, the perfect 7-same-file pawn chain game has been created. It is know the same number of moves, but there is not a single wasted move. No, the white h-pawn movement is not a waste-it is a nessacary filler move. Now, here is that perfect game!

UPDATE 3 3/3/19-Using black pawns, once again thanks to @DM for this idea, we have completed our quest to find to find the perfect 7-same-file pawn chain. We used black as to shave off half a move. Now I present to you the perfect game of our goal, in just 18 moves, all necessary and no moves wasted at all!

[FEN ""]
1. d4 b6 2. d5 a5 3. d6 exd6 4. Qd5 c6 5. e4 cxd5 6. b4 f5 7. Bd3 fxe4 8. c4 exd3 9. c5 bxc5 10. Be3 axb4 11. Nc3 bxc3 12. Bd4 cxd4 13. O-O-O g5 14. f4 gxf4 15. Rd2 cxd2+ 16. Kb1 f3 17. Ne2 fxe2 18. Rd1 exd1

My old 83 half-moves game.

[FEN ""]
1. Nf3 d5 2. Ng1 d4 3. Nf3 d3 4. exd3 e5 5. Ng1 e4 6. Nh3 e3 7. fxe3 Qd4 8. exd4 c5 9. Ng1 c4 10. dxc4 Be6 11. Nh3 Bd5 12. cxd5 Nc6 13. Ng1 Nb4 14. Nf3 Nd3+ 15. cxd3 O-O-O 16. b4 Kb8 17. a4 f5 18. g3 f4 19. gxf4 Bd6 20. Ng1 Be5 21. fxe5 Rd6 22. exd6 b5 23. axb5 Ne7 24. Nf3 Nc6 25. bxc6 Rd8 26. Ng1 Rd7 27. cxd7 a5 28. b5 a4 29. b6 a3 30. Nc3 a2 31. Rb1 a1=Q 32. Nf3 Qa7 33. Rb2 Qc7 34. bxc7+ Ka8 35. Ne5 g5 36. Nf3 g4 37. Ne5 g3 38. Nf3 g2 39. Ne5 g1=Q 40. Nf3 Qg8 41. Ng1 Qd8 42. cxd8

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.