14 November 2010

How *NOT* to Play Chess960

No.19 in my list of Top-25 Chess960 Resources (I should have ended that title with a '?') was this gem: How To Play Chess960 [howcast.com]; embedded here:-

How many mistakes can you make in a video that runs less than two minutes?

• 0:15 - Shows White Bishops on the same color squares.
• 0:24 - 'You will need ... a computer with Internet access.' • No, you won't. Use the die mentioned at 0:26.
• 0:29 - 'Step 1: Learn Chess960 terms. "Array" is the initial arrangement of pieces on a board. A "starting piece" is a chess piece that’s part of the initial array.'• Who says "array"? Is that "starting piece" as opposed to "non-starting piece"? Those would be which pieces?
• 0:40 - 'The "960" in chess960 refers to the 960 possible starting moves in the game.' • No, it doesn't. It refers to the number of possible start positions.
• 0:47 - 'Step 2: Study a numbered chess board diagram in order to notate chess piece positions.' • Looking at a chess960 diagram is enough. The numbers are irrelevant for setup. What does 'to notate' mean?
• 1:00 - 'Step 3: Place the Pawns in their traditional board positions'. • Should be preceded by step 2+: Position the board correctly before placing Pawns. ('White on right')
• 1:05 - 'Step 4: Use online position generators to set up each player's back row.' • Shows the Chessgames.com forum, which uses a non-standard, proprietary system to number the start position. (Although I can't really expect Howcast.com to know that)
• 1:12 - 'A randomizer might display the Black Knight in the traditional Black Queen position'. • The position doesn't show that. And what holds for Black also holds for White.
• 1:26 - 'Bishops are on opposite colored squares'. • Shows the same position as at 0:15.
• 1:33 - 'Step 6: Learn how to castle in chess960'. • Shows White castling O-O while in check.

A few weeks ago I used another Howcast video in How To Use Rybka?!. How many mistakes are in that clip?