08 January 2011

C960 & Fullchess

I added two more terms -- C960 and Fullchess -- to the 'What's in a name?' list displayed at the top of each page on this blog. Although both terms are in limited use, they can lead to chess960 resources which might not be found otherwise.

The abbreviation 'C960' is shorthand that I use in my own notes. A search pulled up a relevant page from the late, lamented ('It’s not dead, it’s sleeping!') Chessninja.com: Anand was First in Seconds. The anchoring Daily Dirt post was about last year's Anand - Topalov World Championship match and how Anand received assistance from Carlsen, Kasparov, and Kramnik. The comments to the post turned into a raging battle (is there any other kind on web forums?) on the value of computer preparation. The players' prep reached new heights -- some people might say 'new lows' -- during the match and is a recurring argument for the move from traditional chess to chess960. One 'observer' (that's his real handle) wrote,

A better way to see who has more chess skills - 48 games of Fischer Random as follows: In one day - 4 games are played. Each c960 position chosen at random and repeated with colors switched for the next game. Lunch recess and two more games. The time control could be closer to rapid chess -- classical chess time control is outdated.

In the same amount of days - 48 games complete - no computer/other GM assistance and the better player has won. 12 games of classical chess at this time control with GM seconds and computer assisted opening preparation is silly. I would rather see Anand vs Topalov with this format than what we saw.

While I would not go as far as supporting this scenario myself, it could very well come to pass some day although with more serious time controls. The term 'Fullchess' pulled in a page titled Ruffian interview, which included the following question by the interviewer:-

At the present time a lot of people talk about FullChess (Fischer Random Chess, Chess960, Shuffle Chess) which has gained a lot of popularity. In Mainz (Germany) a big GM-match was played this year using it. The freeware-GUI "Arena" supports the possibilities to play FullChess but at the moment no engine supports the special castling-rules at FullChess.

Do you plan to implement FullChess to Ruffian? Ben Bursik (DGT projects), Martin Blume (Arena), Reinhard Scharnagl (Smirf) and Eric van Reem (CSVN) work on FullChess for a longer time already. Do you think that FullChess will give new aspects to computer chess programming because of the new possibilities to test engines without the influence of an opening book etc.? We expect that there is a big interest in users as well for FullChess.

Google dates the page to 23 August 2003, but I found another reference -- Chessprogramming - Perola Valfridsson -- linking to it under the title 'Interview with Perola Valfridsson, October 2002'. Whatever the date of the original page, I suspect the term 'Fullchess' is no longer in common use, if it ever was.

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