Chess Algebraic Notation, Combinations, Openings, Mate in One Puzzles

So with 32 pieces and 64 squares, how many different combinations of games can be played on a chess board?


Is it more than the number of human hairs of all of the people on Earth? 10^15

Is it more than all of the grains of sand on Earth? 10^23

Is it more than the number of atoms in the Universe? 10^81

Or, is it all of those number multiplied together? 10^(15+23+81=119)


It is actually 10 times that number 10^120=



This is why I have always loved chess; the pursuit of the perfect game.


We looked at the relative values of the pieces on the chess board.


King is priceless (if you put your opponent's King in peril (check), and your opponent cannot move out of check, it is checkmate = game over); however, during the end game (little danger of checkmate), King = 4 Points                (move horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, only one square at a time; can't move into check)

Queen = 9 Points (move horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, as many squares as possible)


Rook = 5 Points (move horizontally or vertically, as many squares as possible)


Bishop = 3 Points (move diagonally, as many squares as possible)


kNight = 3 Points (move in an L shape; 2 squares either horizontally or vertically and then 1 square at a right angle; they may jump over other pieces)


pawn = 1 Point but more powerful during end game (move only vertically forward one or two from its first row, then only one forward; may take only one square move diagonally forward)


 We had the children add the number of points for each team which is 39, not including the priceless King.


I introduced Algebraic Notation, a method of recording moves on a chess board using the lower-case letters a-h for the columns and the numbers 1-8 for the rows. Using K for king, Q for queen, R for rook, N for knight, B for bishop and nothing for pawn, you can easily record the actual moves of a game. + means check and # means checkmate which is game over. I introduced some of the famous openings in chess:


Ruy Lopez Opening:

1. e4  e5

2. Nf3


3. Bb5 


Giuoco Piano Opening:

1. e4  e5

2. Nf3


3. Bc4



Sicilian Defense:


1. e4


2. Nf3


3. d4


4. Nxd4


5. Nc3



I gave them special instructions for recording moves on page 10 of the pdf. 


On pages 11-26, I gave them close to 60 puzzles to one move checkmate. It is so much fun and challenging to find the checkmate move, record it with the # symbol and find multiple solutions if possible. 



For those without a chess board, you can play on You can play the computer or other people you know. Your objective this week is to play as much chess as possible and to solve as many mate in one puzzles as possible.

Chess_Algebraic_Notation_and_Mate_in_One_Puzzles_New.pdf3.69 MB