Spiny Norman

21-09-2004, 10:56 PM

Hi all,

Is there a relatively well-regarded/respected source that documents the mathematics of chess in respect of its complexity? I've done a bit of Google searching and found lots of interesting stuff, but who knows how much of it is accurate without writing my own software, playing with Excel spreadsheets, etc etc???

Example fact #1 ... the number of unique 4-move games (4 by White, 4 by Black) ... if you played one every minute it would take "around 600,000 years" to play all of them out (according to one page I looked at).

I did a quick check with a calculator ... using 20 possible moves for the first move by each, 25 for move 2, and say 30 for each of moves 3 and 4 ... then dividing by 60 (from minutes to hours), 24 (to days) and 365 (to years, not incl. leap years).

The figure came out as 385,273 which is kind of in the ballpark.

When you get up to 40-move games ... or "all possible unique games" ... then the numbers get large. If anyone knows of a good "chess facts" site I'd love to know about it.

Frosty

Is there a relatively well-regarded/respected source that documents the mathematics of chess in respect of its complexity? I've done a bit of Google searching and found lots of interesting stuff, but who knows how much of it is accurate without writing my own software, playing with Excel spreadsheets, etc etc???

Example fact #1 ... the number of unique 4-move games (4 by White, 4 by Black) ... if you played one every minute it would take "around 600,000 years" to play all of them out (according to one page I looked at).

I did a quick check with a calculator ... using 20 possible moves for the first move by each, 25 for move 2, and say 30 for each of moves 3 and 4 ... then dividing by 60 (from minutes to hours), 24 (to days) and 365 (to years, not incl. leap years).

The figure came out as 385,273 which is kind of in the ballpark.

When you get up to 40-move games ... or "all possible unique games" ... then the numbers get large. If anyone knows of a good "chess facts" site I'd love to know about it.

Frosty