CAMELOT ULTIMATE THEMES
Ultimate Themes is a term coined in 1938 by Thomas Rayner Dawson (1889 - 1951), one of the greatest Chess problemists in history, to describe artificially constructed chess positions that display quantitative maxima or minima characteristics. Examples are the Chess position with the maximum number of possible moves, the Chess position with the minimum number of possible moves with all pieces on the board, and the Chess position with the maximum number of possible captures.
Following are three Camelot Ultimate Themes, the first two demonstrably absolute, the third one tentative based upon rudimentary analysis. I welcome additions from all sources; please submit positions and/or ideas to Michael Nolan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE LONGEST CANTER, JUMP, and KNIGHT'S CHARGE
Below is a non-unique example of a position that allows the longest possible Knight's Charge. It also demonstrates the longest possible Cantering sequence (23 Canters) and the longest possible Jumping sequence (14 Jumps) for a total of 37 leaps in one move.
White to Move and Win in One
(It took CHAXX 1.12 less than a second to find this 37-leap move.)
THE SHORTEST GAME
Below is the final position of a non-unique example of the shortest possible game not involving resignation. It lasts only three moves.
(almost any move can be substituted for Black's first move, but the text allows a pretty symmetry)
3.H7-H8 H9xH7xJ7xJ5xH7xH5xF5xH7 Wins
THE POSITION WITH THE MOST MOVES AND CAPTURES
What Camelot position has the most possible moves by one player? What Camelot position has the most possible captures by one player? The theoretical maxima for both questions are unknown at this time, but below is a position with 3,550 possible moves—3,408 possible captures and 142 possible non-capturing moves. (Note that a Knight's Charge whose Knight can capture a specific set of one or more pieces by Cantering and Jumping along many different paths, a Canter whose piece can move from one starting square to one ending square by Cantering along many different paths, and a Jump whose piece can capture a specific set of one or more pieces by Jumping along many different paths each count as only one move.)
(For comparison purposes, Chess has maxima of only 99 possible moves and 49 possible captures in positions with all 32 original pieces.)
White has 3,550 possible moves