10 January 2015

ChessCube, Comments on Chess960

While working on Lichess, Second Look, I thought it might be a good idea to look at comments about chess960 from each of the ten online play sites listed on the right. That would give me some insight into practical issues involving the implementation of chess960. First on the list is ChessCube.com, where I found two good comments about when the clocks should be started.

Chess960 clock change (Feb 2011):-

At the moment the clock timer only starts once White has made his first move. White gets too much advantage! White is free to think for as long as they like while Black cannot predict what White will play with any degree of confidence and thus cannot properly prepare a reply during the time the clock is still. Once White has moved, Black's time is then the first to suffer!

The situation is made worse because White automatically get's one free tempo simply because they are White. Statistically speaking, this tends to put Black on the defensive from the game start. If White's time counts down immediately, this tends to balance out Black's chances to attack and play aggressively because at least there is some compensation to Black for being a tempo down.

Chess960 clock change (Aug 2013):-

White's countdown clock should start immediately on White's first turn. Black is already at a disadvantage and so when it comes to their first turn, all of the thinking they were doing on White's first turn might well come to nothing because White plays a different first move.

They almost sound as if they had been written by the same person. Whoever the author is, I agree with the reasons given.

While I was working on ChessCube, I deleted its label, which had also been listed on the right. When I set it up, I thought I would be playing frequently on the site, but it hasn't worked out the way I expected.

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