About The Maximal Positions



What are these maximal positions about ?
A maximal position is a position which has the longest mate in a particular endgame, knowing white and black both play perfect.
Perfect play is possible because endgame databases or tablebases are constructed by retrograde analysis.


Is it a win for black or white ?
Always a win for white.


Who will make the first move ?
White does unless stated differently.


If black would move first, couldn't it be that the maximal position is half a move longer ?
Yes, there certainly are such endgames, usually when white has a big dominance over black, but I believe it is more desirable to let white move first.


So, then why does black moves first in some positions ?
In some endgames, the maximal position when black moves first is more than half a move longer.
This means there is an immediate conversion to another endgame, either by a capture or a promotion.
Since immediate captures are just too meaningless, I have only included those which involve an immediate promotion.


I see there is a kpknn endgame and a knnkp endgame. What's the difference ?
The pieces for white are always placed first.
So in the kpknn endgame, white has a king + pawn.
In the knnkp endgame, white has a king + 2 knights.


And what about the difference between kbbkb xx-y and kbbkb xy-x ?
A bishop can only move on either the black squares or white squares.
Because of the symmetry of an 8X8 board there is no difference between bishops on black squares and bishops on white squares.
For example, the positions in a
king + black square bishop + black square bishop vs king + white square bishop
are just mirror images of the positions in a
king + white square bishop + white square bishop vs king + black square bishop
Yet, when not all the bishops have switched the colour of the square they're on, the endgame is radically different.
This is indicated by x's and y's. The bishops of white are stated first.


Why are there 2 kpkp positions ?
The kpkp endgame is an exception because it has 2 maximal positions which are very different from each other.


When there are more maximal positions in a particular endgame, why haven't you included them all ?
Sometimes there are hundreds of maximal positions so it's more practical to select one from them.


Why is there no kbkqr or a knk maximal position ?
It is impossible to mate in those endgames.


What about the 50 moves rule ?
The 50 moves rule is ignored, altough, when broken, a comment indicates it.


What about the other comments ?
! = The best move, all other moves would influence the game in a worse way.
!! = All other moves would change the result of the game.
Stalemate Trap = A position in which one or more moves result in a stalemate.


Which endgames are included ?
All 3-piece endgames
All 4-piece endgames
All 3-piece vs 2-piece endgames
and the knnnk endgame (because the knnk endgame is about always a draw)


Why not include all the 5-piece endgames and perhaps some 6-piece endgames ?
I can't download as much as I want. You'll have to pay me 1/Gb


I have more endgames. How can I contribute ?
Sure ! You'll have to download Wilhelm, which is an excellent program to find maximal positions and much more.


What would be the desired end result of this site?
I would like to work with a method like Wikipedia. Users could be placing comments in interesting games.
Not only will there be maximal positions, spectacular underpromotions will be coming soon.


How can I contact you ?
de3s@hotmail.com