I've been reading and enjoying the site immensely.

What is the "Endgame Tablebase"? I see it referenced frequently.

4 Answers 4


Endgame tablebases are essentially databases containing known endgame positions that have been “solved”, so to speak. That is, every position in an endgame tablebase will have a corresponding result which will either be a win for white, a win for black, or a draw (assuming perfect play). They are used by chess engines because it is much more efficient for the computer to look up an endgame position in a database to get the result of the endgame rather than exhausting all the possible variations to determine the result.

  • Are there any sites you could recommend? TIA Jan 23, 2015 at 15:46
  • 1
    @pauldelasaux I don't know of any sites but I do know that Stockfish comes with one (that's how it evaluates many simple endgames). If you don't have an engine on your computer yet then I highly recommend getting Stockfish because it is excellent (and free!).
    – sardoj
    Jan 24, 2015 at 1:04
  • Are you sure it is only known endgame position that have been solve? It actually is constructed from logically confirmable checkmates positions (i don't know the extent of that set of FEN or EPD), and using retrograde scheme or some computational theorem to find all the mobility rule compatible positions backward that can lead as best play to such mate. I am missing things here. but they might not know which of those mates are even legal continuations other than those impossible ever placements.
    – dbdb
    Feb 23 at 0:43

Endgame table base is a huge tree of information, which solves the game of chess, with minimum number of pieces. We have reached up to 7 pieces up till now and the best quality tablebase is maintained by Ronald de Man at syzygy endgame tables


All the previous answers are correct. One interesting fact is the file size of tablebases grows enormously with each piece added.

  • 5-Piece TB = 939 MB
  • 6-Piece TB = 150.2 GB
  • 7-Piece TB = 140 TB
  • 8-Piece TB = >5 PB (estimated).

Chess will be "solved" when we have a 32-piece TB. :)

  • How will we store the 32-piece "opening database", though? Aug 23, 2020 at 12:53
  • Easy, turn all matter in the universe into computronium. :) Aug 24, 2020 at 13:30
  • I suppose that's not enough Aug 24, 2020 at 13:39

Basically, Endgame Tablebases are a collection of positions involving a number of pieces, with optimal moves in the situation provided(e.g., In a Q+KvK endgame, the longest checkmate is mate in 9.)

Tablebases are used to save a chess engine's memory. It is easier to simply search up an optimal line instead of calculating all possible positions.

However, at this time, tablebases are still very limited, and the largest we have are 7-man tablebases.

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