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Chess as Graph Theory

Apparently there is a well-established notion in mathenatics of a Board, which is a finite subset of a lattice of a
given size. I think a lattice will be subject to the standard rules of differential geometry in finite spaces – which I
was “taught” in 4th year of University by a crazy Noumean chap, but didn’t understand a word of – but it is also
subject to all the rules of graph theory, some definitions of which are laid out here.
Moves can be described in terms of “tours” or “cycles”, with a tour of length c referred to as a “constant length
tour,” and similar definitions for tours of all the squares in the board (commonly defined as Hamiltonian Tours
or Cycles). Moves with a fixed length in two dimensions (such as the Knight) are called “Leapers.” So, for
example, the night is a (1,2) Leaper.

The mathematics of chess has been used to solve various forms of “Rook Problem,” which is the number of
ways of placing k Rooks on a board such that no Rook can take any other Rook, for which closed solutions[1]
can be found. But the fundamental problem appears to be the solution of problems called “series-movers” in
which the aim is to take all of your opponent’s pieces. Unfortunately, the reference I found that introduces
series movers (Kotesovec, 2009) is written in Czech, but for the abstract, so is kind of hard to read.
The goal is to find solutions to such problems that are mathematically simple and to represent existing chess
problems in terms of them. I’m not sure how “taking” a piece is expressed mathematically. According to
Kotesovec, many of these chess problems have proven optimal solutions, but of course we know that
ultimately chess problems are solved by path searching (checking all future moves), which implies that there is
no optimal solution for most real-life chess situations.

Interestingly, some of the work done on these problems has been done by Donald Knuth, who I think is the
chap who invented LateX.

Harvard University used to run a course on Chess and mathematics, which shows a lot of the terminology
used and suggests that it relies on little more than specific applications of standard graph theory. The page
seems to have the result that the number of solutions to the problem of “Mate in N” is a Fibonacci number,
which is kind of surprising.

It seems like the mathematics of chess is well understood and comes down to defining certain types of allowed
paths on finite graphs, and using the usual range of graph theoretic methods to solve for optimal paths (the
shortest number of moves) and to find algorithms for path finding.
Leapers (Chess Knights and the like)

I intend to place a leaper-tour solving applet at this location.

For now, here is a small article I wrote.

I intended to expand this into my Master's Thesis, but Donald Knuth wrote an
excellent article about leapers that made any expansion a moot point.

In February 1956, M Apsimon posed the question: how many cyclically symmetric knight tours on a board
10x10? In the 1970's, W H Cozens reiterated the question in The Mathematical Gazette, and published the
tours below. More recently, Donald Knuth found that exactly 2,432,932 knight's tours are unchanged by 180-
degree rotation of the chessboard. It seems the problem from 1956 might now be answerable.

1956 question - how many of these are there?


Patent 694038 (1902) by W E Stubbs patented a knights tour on a 6x6 board. See GP Jelliss's page for the
history of this problem. The Stubbs puzzle used a pegboard and pegs joined with cord. To solve the puzzle,
all the lengths of cord between the pegs had to be taut.
Suppose that you had a 5x5 grid of pegs. Some holes are already filled, perhaps. With 15-25 pegs, is there a
series of lengths so that the pegs can only be put away tautly in a unique way?
In the March 1973 issue of Games and Puzzles, Robin Merson found a non-crossing knight's tour on an 11x11
board with a length of 74 moves. He found a longer non-crossing tour on a board with a smaller area. Can
you find it?

Roger Phillips has found a smaller board with a longer uncrossing tour. A 10x12 board allows for a length 75
tour. I've moved the material from a few weeks ago to the Leapers page.

Juha Saukkola wondered what the longest possible Knightrider tour might be. A knightrider moves like a
knight, by may keep going in a straight line. Here is his answer. What is the fewest number of moves for a
knightrider to tour the chessboard?