What is the minimum number of pieces needed in a chess set to account for all possible promoted pieces?

michaelc35 07/31/2017. 1 answers, 848 views
pieces chess-set

How many pieces would be needed in a chess set where all possibilities for promoted pieces are included if pawns are no longer used after they promote?

1 CompuChip 07/31/2017
I was playing a game on my phone called "Really Bad Chess" the other day and would love to have this set IRL :) Probably doesn't fit in a reasonable box really nicely though.

1 Answers

Fred Knight 07/31/2017.

Let's count.

Starting set

  • 2 rooks
  • 2 bishops
  • 2 knights
  • 1 queen
  • 1 king
  • (8 pawns)

Max promotions

  • 8 rooks
  • 8 bishops
  • 8 knights
  • 8 queens


In total you would need 40 pieces and 8 pawns for each color, so 96 units for black and white together.

Edited to bullet format to "look" better.

2 michaelc35 07/31/2017
Yes so 96 total pieces for white and black when including pawns as pieces.
Sorin Solberg 07/31/2017
No, just 64, right? Because 8 white and 8 black rooks, 8 white and 8 black bishops, 8 white and 8 black knights, and 8 white and 8 black queens. 8*8 = 64. Or did I misinterpret your question?
Tetsuya Yamamoto 07/31/2017
8 rooks or 8 bishops or 8 knights or 8 queens (for one side) so for both sides are 64, each promotion yields only one piece. But in practical games it is hard to promote all 8 pawns for each sides.
CodesInChaos 07/31/2017
@SorinSolberg You need to add the starting set too (i.e. you need 10 rooks, 9 queens, etc.)
Sorin Solberg 07/31/2017
Oh of course... Okay I see.

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