27 June 2009

Chess960 FAQ

Chessgames.com's page titled FISCHERANDOM CHESS: Random Position Generator is much more than what the title states. It's a discussion group (aka 'Kibitizer's Corner', aka 'Reader Commentary') that started in January 2003. Although the number of posts has declined in the last year or so, it is a valuable repository of ideas touching on all aspects of chess960.

While browsing through 6+ years of posts, I noticed several themes that repeated frequently. These make a good basis for a chess960 FAQ:-

  • Where can I play chess960?
  • How do you castle? (often with reference to a specific position)
  • Is chess960 really chess or is it some kind of chess-like variant?
  • Aren't some chess960 positions forced wins for White?
  • Why can't chess and chess960 co-exist?
  • Does Fischer deserve credit for the chess960 idea?
  • Isn't chess960 mainly for strong players who want to avoid opening theory?

Do you have another question that you think should be in a chess960 FAQ or a good answer (not necessarily original) to one of the questions?


Here's a FAQ-like answer from Chessgames.com itself: (Q) Why does CG.com spell 'Fischerandom' with one 'r'? (A) Because that's how Fischer spelled it. • This begs the question: when did Fischer ever spell it? He wasn't known for committing his thoughts to writing. • Here's another: (Q) Why does the CG.com 'Random Position Generator' use nonstandard numbering for the start positions? The (A) is mentioned many times in the discussion.

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