# 4x4 Chess

## FAQ

Q: What do you mean "solve"?

A: Please check "Solved game" at Wikipedia.

Q: What is the starting position in 4x4 chess?

Q: What do you mean "Starting position is not defined"?

Q: What do you mean "Starting position is not defined"?

A: We don't know of any balanced starting 4x4 chess position that could result in sufficiently deep and interesting game.
Positions proposed for this role so far turned out to be trivial, for example:

rqkr/pppp/PPPP/RQKR
From Wikipedia's "Minichess" article:

In 1981 Silverman suggested 4x4 chess variant shown on the diagram. The first player wins easily in this game, so Silverman proposed a variant: Black can select a pawn, and White must make a first move with this pawn. However, in this case Black easily wins (select pawn b2, 1.bxa3 (or 1.bxc3) b2+ 2.Qxb2 Qxb2 checkmate). To make the variant more playable, Silverman finally proposed to insert a row between pawns and use the board 4x5. In this variant pawns can do double-move if target square is free.

nqkr/pppp/PPPP/NQKR
Another position was proposed at the KasparovChess Discussion Board.
Soon it was shown
that white mates in 4 moves via 1.cxd3+ Rxd3 2.Qxd3+ Kxd3 3.dxc3+.

This does not rule out the possibility of finding a good starting position in the future. It's just that we haven't seen any such position yet.

Without defined starting position we have to abandon the notion that legal positions are only those reachable from the starting one. Instead all possible positions have to be considered. At the same time we know that the most interesting positions are not necessarily balanced. Therefore the goal of this project is to solve each and every possible position, regardless of its relation to the starting one (whatever that means).

Please note that the complete solution, if and when it becomes available, will serve as a great help in search for interesting starting positions.

In 1981 Silverman suggested 4x4 chess variant shown on the diagram. The first player wins easily in this game, so Silverman proposed a variant: Black can select a pawn, and White must make a first move with this pawn. However, in this case Black easily wins (select pawn b2, 1.bxa3 (or 1.bxc3) b2+ 2.Qxb2 Qxb2 checkmate). To make the variant more playable, Silverman finally proposed to insert a row between pawns and use the board 4x5. In this variant pawns can do double-move if target square is free.

This does not rule out the possibility of finding a good starting position in the future. It's just that we haven't seen any such position yet.

Without defined starting position we have to abandon the notion that legal positions are only those reachable from the starting one. Instead all possible positions have to be considered. At the same time we know that the most interesting positions are not necessarily balanced. Therefore the goal of this project is to solve each and every possible position, regardless of its relation to the starting one (whatever that means).

Please note that the complete solution, if and when it becomes available, will serve as a great help in search for interesting starting positions.

Q: Is 4x4 chess won for white, won for black, or drawn?

A: Some positions are won for white, some for black, and some are drawn.
4x4 chess does not have a single defined starting position,
therefore it's impossible to give a simple answer.
There are two possible ways forward with this question:

1. Pick some position that you think should be the starting one. Then the question makes sense and can be answered. But you have to know what exact position you are talking about.

2. You can ask how often the side to move wins in particular ending or in any clearly defined set of positions. This again is answerable question (although not necessarily answered already).

1. Pick some position that you think should be the starting one. Then the question makes sense and can be answered. But you have to know what exact position you are talking about.

2. You can ask how often the side to move wins in particular ending or in any clearly defined set of positions. This again is answerable question (although not necessarily answered already).

Q: What does "□", "♢" or "☉" mean in the query interface?

A: Please see the notation help.

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