28 February 2015

Lechenicher, RemoteSchach, SchemingMind

Continuing with this blog's list of Correspondence (Turnbased) resources, after Chessmaniac, Comments on Chess960 is the Lechenicher Schach Server (LSS), 'Schach' being the German word for 'chess'. Nearly the entire site sits behind a paywall, making it problematic to link to relevant resources. The content of the site's forum is focused 95% on traditional chess, but there is no search function to locate the 5% relevant to this blog. I'll just mention that LSS has a tag on this blog (see below) and move on to the next site.

From its name, RemoteSchach.de, we again know that it's primarily a German resource. I spent some time browsing the site, found less than two dozen active chess960 games and no promotional chess960 content. A search on the site's forum returns 'Keine √úbereinstimmungen gefunden' ('No matches found'; ditto for a search on 'schach960'), so there's not much more to say here.

Last on the correspondence list is SchemingMind.com, which also sits behind a paywall and also has a tag on this blog. I've written previously about the site's public content, but just before I was ready to take a third strike for the subject of this post, I rediscovered the article Symmetrical Fischer Random Chess. Although I mentioned this content in another context, Chess960 @ Chessville.com, there's an angle to be explored further. The essay starts,

Kramnik (Chess Life, June 2004), has made an interesting point about Fischer Random Chess, regarding the lack of aesthetic balance of random starting arrays when compared with the familiar RNBQKBNR.

I located the referenced issue of CL and turned to 'Kramnik Reflects on Draws, Kasparov, and the State of Chess Today' by Vladimir Barsky.

Q: [Chess960] serves the same purpose [as drawing lots] -- to level the home preparation. Don't you like it? • A: I have played [chess960] a little bit. It diminishes the home preparation completely. But the problem is that some harmony of the game is missing. It is hard to explain but when in the initial position the Bishop stands on h8, the Knight is on g8, and the Rook on f8, the artistic beauty of chess disappears. By the way, I asked my colleagues about it and many of them share my feelings -- something is dubious and unaesthetic. And the fans got used to the beautiful interaction of the pieces in a normal initial position. So if we want to devalue the opening preparation, drawing lots is preferable. In this case the theory would be studied on a general basis.

I'm going to dub the 'BNR*****' and '*****RNB' positions the 'Kramnik formation', and will return to it in a future post.

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