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From the start of the game what is the longest possible series of consecutive white moves where white can do those moves no matter what black does?

So I want the longest list of moves white can do after starting the game no matter what moves black does. So what is the maximum number of moves he can plan ahead and be sure he will be able to do it?

16

Three moves.

On move 3, Black can crash through with his queen on f2 or d2 via several different squares, forcing White to respond. There is no series of White moves that can prevent all such checks.

[FEN ""]

1. Nf3 (1. e3 e5 2. c3 Qf6 3. g3 Qxf2+) 1... c6 (1... e5 2. c3 Qh4 3. e3 Qxf2+) 2. g3 Qa5 (2... Qb6 3. c3 Qxf2+) 3. e3 Qxd2+ *
  • What if white starts 1. c3 and then 2. Nf3? He should be able to play without black incursions for longer than shown. This answer is almost certainly wrong. – GloriaVictis Jul 24 '19 at 12:51
  • @GloriaVictis What would be the third move then? – Federico Poloni Jul 24 '19 at 13:18
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    The main point in this argument is that black's third move could be Qa5-d2, Qf6-f2, Qh4-f2, Qg5-d2, and you have to prevent them all. 1. c3 prevents the first, 2. Nf3 prevents the second, and I don't think you have a single move to prevent the two remaining ones. – Federico Poloni Jul 24 '19 at 13:22
  • @GloriaVictis Specifically, 1.c3 2.Nf3 3.e3 allows Qh4-f2. You can block that with 3.g3 instead. of 3.e3. But 1.c3 2.Nf3 3.g3 allows Qb6-f2, because e3 wasn't played. These are shown in the second and third sidelines in my diagram (although with different move orders.) Yes, it's ridiculous for Black to play Qh4 after White plays Nf3, but the question asks about the possibility, not whether it's wise to do so. – D M Jul 24 '19 at 21:27
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    @blues 3...Qxf2+ prevents 4.Be2 because White must get out of check. Also, after 1...b6 2...Ba6 3...Bxf1 White can't play Be2 because the bishop doesn't exist anymore. – D M Jul 24 '19 at 21:54

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