07 December 2013

The Week in Chess960

In my previous post, Elite ICC Chess960 Players, I ended with a declaration by GM Andrei Deviatkin [Andrey Devyatkin], "Maybe I will continue playing Fischer's chess, but the fact that there are no tournaments in this format means that chess is over for me. It's time to try out something else." Around the start of the recent Carlsen - Anand match (game two), I happened to record a Twitter dialog between Deviatkin and TWIC's Mark Crowther. For some reason that escapes me, Twitter excerpts are usually presented as visual snippets. Here it is.

And here's the same conversation transcribed for the sightless, like search engines.

Mikhail Golubev ?@mikhail_golubev 10 Nov • GM Nigel Davies: "I wonder when the fans of 'classical chess' World Championships will finally admit that a change is required".

Andrey Deviatkin ?@AndreyDeviatkin 10 Nov • @mikhail_golubev Fischer random change

Mark Crowther @MarkTWIC 10 Nov • @AndreyDeviatkin @mikhail_golubev If Fischer random is the answer then it's time to take up a completely different game.

Andrey Deviatkin @AndreyDeviatkin 10 Nov • @MarkTWIC @mikhail_golubev Global chess laws, middlegame and endgame theory, tactics - everything will be the same except the openings.

Mark Crowther @MarkTWIC 10 Nov • @AndreyDeviatkin There is a beauty and balance to the start position we have. You can be pretty much lost with some random positions.

The last tweet, missing from my snippet, was

Andrey Deviatkin @AndreyDeviatkin 10 Nov • @MarkTWIC "Ugly" is subjective. And I'm sure Black isn't lost in any of the positions. Isn't it like saying Caro-Kann or French is losing?

It's mind-boggling how often I see fans of traditional chess rejecting chess960 for imagined faults. I'll cut Crowther some slack, because the success of TWIC is partly based on his weekly distribution of recent games. The interest in his work stems from players maintaining chess databases for opening research and would shrink (disappear?) if the game scores were chess960 games. In the world of traditional chess, the middlegame and endgame receive far less attention than the opening, putting Crowther in the same company as titled players who earn a living from books like 'Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Amar's Opening'.

Question to Mark Crowther: If 'it's time to take up a completely different game', what game do you recommend? Halo?

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