The insufficient mating material rule says that the game is immediately declared a draw if there is no way to end the game in checkmate. This usually happens in KB vs K or KN vs K endgames. However, based on the definition, it is theoretically possible to have more materials while checkmating is theoretically impossible, such as the following:

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So what is the theoretical maximal total of material for the insufficient material draw? Here I am only asking legal positions; so adding a few white light coloured bishop to my example will not count.

  • 2
    This isn't really "insufficient material"; it's a "dead position". Material would be more than sufficient if there was any way to get it unstuck.
    – D M
    Jul 13, 2020 at 2:11
  • Check out chess.stackexchange.com/questions/18699/… - does that answer the question?
    – D M
    Jul 13, 2020 at 2:13
  • @DM, I thought "insufficient material" means checkmate is theoretically impossible?
    – Zuriel
    Jul 13, 2020 at 2:25
  • 1
    The confusion exists because "insufficient material" exists in USCF rules, and "dead position" exists in FIDE rules. They are similar but different. Jul 13, 2020 at 8:37
  • 1
    you are right, of course. I thought about it hard, but it seems my subconscious still silently removed obviously stupid moves, so I never saw it.
    – Aganju
    Jul 15, 2020 at 17:07


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