Chess Move-Traffic Tabulated Square-by-Square, from MILLIONS of actual games!
in standard algebraic chess notation.

Average RELATIVE move traffic on squares:

90% - 100% Red (2)
76% - 89% Yellow (4)
61% - 75% Blue (4)
41% - 60% Green (18)
31% - 40% Light Green (16)
15% - 30% Lavender (12
0% - 14% White (8)

Notice the obvious 'K' color pattern
making up 10 of the 16 central squares.


After searching for and downloading ~5,000 zipped PGN files, unzipping them, concatenating them,
sorting and throwing out duplicate games as well as dumping aborted games, millions of valid clean
chess games were left. Some games new, some played hundreds of years ago. Games of all sorts and
types were put into one huge database of 3.7GB into a new format called WLD - for Win/Lose/Draw.

Some 8,523,582 recorded games of chess were combed through (by a computer program of course) that
counted the number of times each square of the 64-squares of the chess board were moved to or on.

The square with the highest number of pieces moved to it was set to 100%. This happened to be
d4 with 26,880,597 moves or 3.15 moves average per game. All other squares received fewer moves
or counts and the percentage of the counts they did receive was calculated. They ranged from 9% to
90% of the count square d4 got.

As stated, d4 received 26,880,597 moves and square a1 got 2,347,160 moves (the lowest by the way).
100 * ( 2347160 / 26880597 ) is 8.73 percent of the highest square would be assigned white.
0% < 8.73% < 14% according to the color key shown above. Square a1 got only 0.28 moves per game.
Square d4 at 100% is colored red.

Two squares received a count each time a player castled. For White king side castling, f1 an g1
each got a count. White queen side, c1 an d1 each got a count. Black king side, f8 an g8 each
got a count. Black queen side, c8 an d8 each got one count.

Squares with the highest number of moves are more important and should be watched more closely,
possibly guarded or defended or controlled during each game played. These are 'strategically
more important' squares than the others.

The 10 busiest squares in ALL of chess are the blue, red and yellow colored squares in the center
or near the center of the board forming a 'K' like pattern, we would all be well off to remember
the squares of this 'K'. Call it the K-law or K-sq-law of chess. Several different groups of games
were selected and the moves counted - the same K pattern always emerged - it's like some universal
immutable law of chess. The K pattern emerges with game sample sizes containing as few as 2,800 games.

Surprisingly, f6 with 82.81% has more traffic than either e4 or e5 which have 80.38% and 79.97%
respectively while f3 has only 76.29%. These are the only 4 squares that are yellow and therefore
very important squares after the two red squares (d4 100% and d5 90.28%).

More projects are on the drawing board for extracting interesting chess info/stats no one has obtained
yet. Now that a good size chess game database is in place, it's not that big of a deal to write quick
little programs to go through the data and pick out certain facts or details of who knows what!

For instance, how many times does the Queen move each game on average as opposed to the other pieces?
Preliminary answer = 8.7 moves per game. And how many capture moves does she make compaired to all
her moves? Answer = 23% of all her moves, or 2 captures average per game. This type of info is
needed for all the pieces including pawns. Think of the possibilities!
If you are interested email me, thanks.

James C. Shook Copyright © 2007, 2008 & 2009 All rights reserved!
Last updated: 1/9/2009