I was wondering what is the maximum number of captures in a position, either in a real game or a puzzle

  • You need to flesh this out a little more before it'll be answerable. Do you mean the maximum number of different possible moves which are captures, available to a single player in a given position? Both players? Maximum number of consecutive captures from both sides, starting from a given position? – Henry Keiter Jan 9 '15 at 22:13
  • Does the position have to be legal? – Dag Oskar Madsen Jan 11 '15 at 4:58

I have some records from a book published in 1969. They might have been surpassed since then, but if that is the case, I was not able to locate that information. I guess, since there is no reply after ~2 weeks, this should be better than nothing.

74 captures; legal position:

r1n1n1b1/1P1P1P1P/1N1N1N2/2RnQrRq/2pKp3/3BNQbQ/k7/4Bq2 w - - 0 1

Edit: In response to the comment - here's a legal position without underpromotions in play, 65 captures possible.

k2Kb2R/1RrQnQN1/8/BqQbQqQn/8/1QbQqQNB/8/3rQq2 w - - 0 1

Source: Guide to fairy chess by Anthony Dickins.

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  • 1
    Very good. Of course it's only 53 without the underpromotions. One could argue that bxa8Q, bxa8R, bxa8B, bxa8N should not count as four different captures, because promotion takes place after the capture. – bof Jan 21 '15 at 1:39
  • 2
    @bof True. Added another diagram from the same book where underpromotions are not in play. – GloriaVictis Jan 21 '15 at 8:07

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