01 March 2014

More from Moscow 2014

Let's have another post on the 'Chess960 Training Tournament', Moscow 2014. At the time I wrote last week's post, Chess960 Live on the Small Screen, I didn't have much information about the event, but it created a small buzz that is well worth noting. One of the main web sources of chess news in Russia is the aptly named Chess-news.ru. The site had two reports in English.

I copied the final crosstable, shown below, from that first report.

The same site had more reports in its primary language, available to non-Russian speakers like me through the magic of translate.google.com. I list all reports because the most interesting remarks are often in the comments.

The site also conducted a follow-up interview with two of the participating GMs.

Of particular interest is a discussion of the poll results that 'Fischer Chess Won't Replace Classical Chess'.

E.SUROV: We have just summed up the survey, which took place at our site. The vast majority - about 70 percent - is skeptical about the future of chess Fischer. Anyway, to the formulation, in which we asked about this, namely: "Replace ever Fischer Chess conventional chess?". Say no. Andrew, how do you comment on these results?

A.DEVYATKIN: I have to say that I - a supporter of the Fischer chess and, therefore, perhaps be a little subjective. First, it seems to me that 70 percent still can not be called by an overwhelming majority, an advantage. And secondly, the question itself is really quite categorical: replace or not?

Actually, why replace chess, why cancel and switch to the classic chess Fischer? Here, rather, we are on a parallel system of competition, about how to organize more and more tournaments chess Fischer. But in any case there will be those who will say that they are for the classics. One can hardly say that they ever completely replace each other, that is on the earth there will be no person who would like to play in classical chess. This is unlikely to happen.

The big news here is that 30% of the respondents believe that 'Fischer Chess *Will* Replace Classical Chess'. I wouldn't have expected more than a single digit number. I do agree, though, that it's not a zero-sum proposition. Traditional chess and chess960 can co-exist side-by-side forever. There are still people who play chaturanga, aren't there?

I contacted GM Deviatkin (that's how he spells his name using the English alphabet) and asked him about the organization of the tournament.

I was also one of the main organizers. The tournament seems to be the first serious Fischer chess event in Moscow ever, although I'm not 100% sure. It could be a Swiss tournament had the regulations been set (and invitations been made) earlier. The time control was 20+10 which sometimes seemed too short, because the very first moves in Fischer chess are of great importance and can take half of one's time!

Anyway, the Moscow event ran very smoothly, it was anything but boring, the participants looked happy, and I hope this is just the beginning. Most likely, in 2014 we'll have more events like this one in Moscow.

The start position was chosen by the arbiter before each round using Fritz (New game -> Chess960). Maybe it would be an improvement to give the players a few minutes to think over a new position after the drawing of lots. White's clock was started before the 1st move.

I'm sure that 20 min per game isn't really much, even if we give additional minites, start clocks after White's first move, etc. My initial idea was to give players at least 30 min per game (with increment), but then the tournament would be too long, and we could use the venue only for two days.

There were also a few reports on the main chess news sites;

Fide.com? Maybe I was wrong a few weeks ago when I asked Who Needs FIDE? To be continued...

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