What is the shortest sequence of moves to move all of White's pieces to the third rank or beyond? Assume in this situation that Black is cooperating in trying to achieve this goal, and as such is simply shuffling their knight back and forth to not impede White's progress. The shortest I've found is the following:

[FEN ""]
1.e4 Nf6 2. d4 Ng8 3. Ba6 Nf6 4. Bh6 Ng8 5. Qh5 Nf6 6. Nf3 Ng8 7. Nc3 Nf6 8. Rd1 Ng8 9. Rd3 Nf6 10. Kd2 Ng8 11. Re1 Nf6 12. Ree3

Is there a quicker way to do this? For a more challenging variant of the problem - what's the shortest series of moves to get all of White's pieces and pawns to the third rank or beyond?


(As @JamesMartin suggested) 11 moves is the quickest possible way. There are 7 pieces to move, 2 of them are bishops which you need to open the way, 2 of them are rooks which you also need to open the way. 7 + 2 + 2 = 11.

[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/P1BPPBQP/R1N2N1R/1PP2PP1/4K3 b kq - 14 11"]
1. a4 Nf6 2. d4 Ng8 3. e4 Nf6 4. h4 Ng8 5. Rh3 Nf6 6. Raa3 Ng8 7. Bc4 Nf6 8. Bf4 Ng8 9. Qg4 Nf6 10. Nf3 Ng8 11. Nc3

Bonus: The quickest way for all pieces to move to third rank or beyond. 8 pawns, 8 pieces, king needs to move 1 more to third rank, 8 + 8 + 1 = 17. (15 without king)

[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RQNBBNKR/8/8 b kq - 18 17"]
1. a4 Nf6 2. b4 Ng8 3. c4 Nf6 4. d4 Ng8 5. e4 Nf6 6. f4 Ng8 7. g4 Nf6 8. h4 Ng8 9. Rh3 Nf6 10. Nf3 Ng8 11. Bd3 Nf6 12. Ra3 Ng8 13. Be3 Nf6 14. Nc3 Ng8 15. Qb3 Nf6 16. Kf2 Ng8 17. Kg3
  • 1
    I am confused. 12 moves is the quickest to do what? If the king is not included, you can do it in 11: a4 d4 e4 h4 Ra3 Rh3 Bc4 Bf4 Qg4 Nc3 Nf3. If the king is included, don't you need 13? Maybe 12 is the number you need to get all of them (including kind) to at least the second rank? Nov 2 at 18:45
  • @JamesMartin Yes, you are right. Sorry I got the question wrong. I will fix it.
    – Minot
    Nov 2 at 19:47
  • 1
    The position at the end of the second sequence would be an interesting place to start a game from :) Nov 3 at 1:55
  • @SteveBennett: Stockfish +3.5. May I take White? :-) Nov 3 at 8:46

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