# Maximum number of captures in a position

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

• 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? Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 22:13
• Does the position have to be legal? Commented Jan 11, 2015 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. These are records for captures by one side.

74 captures; legal position:

``````[Title "T. W. Marlow & William Cross, Problem 05/1967"]
[FEN "r1n1n1b1/1P1P1P1P/1N1N1N2/2RnQrRq/2pKp3/3BNQbQ/k7/4Bq2 w - - 0 1"]
``````

Additional Source: Die Schwable Chess Problem Database Server

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

``````[Title "T. W. Marlow & William Cross, Problem 05/1967"]
[FEN "k2Kb2R/1RrQnQN1/8/BqQbQqQn/8/1QbQqQNB/8/3rQq2 w - - 0 1"]
``````

Additional Source: Die Schwable Chess Problem Database Server

Source: Guide To Fairy Chess by Anthony Dickins.

• 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
Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 1:39
• @bof True. Added another diagram from the same book where underpromotions are not in play. Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 8:07