Today my little cousin (age 10) showed me a line from his book (The Usborne Guide to Playing Chess, or something like that) that claimed that the total number of possible chess moves is greater than the total number of atoms in the known universe! I don't remember the exact wording, so I guess we'll never know exactly what they meant by "total number of possible chess moves". Still, it seems crazy to me! It's a question of probability right? How many permuations are possible for x number of chess pieces on a board with y number of squares, given that each piece is governed by a certain set of rules. Can anyone shed some light on this?