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Now I'll admit that I love this kind of question. I'm not really such a big fan of Code Golf as that's an exercise in writing terse, unreadable code (although some of the solutions have been brilliant). But this Chess problem is the sort of thing that will allow a programmer to demonstrate his or her mental acuity and problem solving ability (or the lack thereof).

The Problem

What is the most space-efficient way you can think of to encode the state of a chess game (or subset thereof)? That is, given a chess board with the pieces arranged legally, encode both this initial state and all subsequent legal moves taken by the players in the game.

This image illustrates the starting Chess position. Chess occurs on an 8x8 board with each player starting with an identical set of 16 pieces consisting of 8 pawns, 2 rooks, 2 knights, 2 bishops, 1 queen and 1 king as illustrated here:



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