Mental Floss

Brain Game: Don't Surround Yourself

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If you've played chess, you might be able to solve today's mentalfloss.com Brain Game Think Thursday challenge. If you've never tried the game, learn how. It opens up a world of analysis and study that most puzzle solvers appreciate.

How many different opening moves are possible in a game of chess?

Here is the ANSWER.

THE ANSWER:

There are TWENTY possible moves.

A pawn may move one square or two (8 pawns = 16 moves), or either knight may move up 2 and to the right, or up 2 and to the left (2 knights = 4 moves). No other piece can make the initial move in a game.

Thanks for playing! Tomorrow, it's Free-for-all Friday.

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