Continuing with the 'Alas!' post, I noted two more chess960 references on ChessInTranslation.com. The first was another interview with GM Grischuk, It’s the end of classical chess as we know it (and I feel fine):-
A: For now we can discuss and debate about whether we’ve come to [the death of traditional chess] yet or not. But it’s clear that the situation will get worse and worse, by the year, by the month. How is it all going to end? For me that’s obvious. For now it’s still possible to argue about whether we’ve come to that stage. Q: And how can we escape? A: The escape is either reducing the time control, or chess960, which I consider the ideal solution – simply ideal in all regards. That also allows you to play with a long time control.
Moreover, at the moment we’ve got a situation where the control is quite artificially extended, because it was always two hours for forty moves (well, or two and a half), but that was for forty moves! Or for thirty. While now you often end up with two hours for fifteen moves. What on earth is two hours for fifteen moves? It’s idiotic. In chess960, however, it really will be two hours for forty moves, without any forced draws… I simply don’t entirely understand why chess will lose anything from that. Well, it’ll be impossible to tell children that the king is the king, the queen is his wife, and they should stand together, holding hands. And then that to the side of them are the pontiffs, the horses and in the corners there are castles. I really don’t think that’s such an enormous part of chess.
The second was an interview with the President of the Russian Chess Federation, who is also a FIDE Vice President, Ilya Levitov: "For me, classical chess is opera":-
Fischer Random Chess tournaments should be run – only not using all 960 possible positions that the computer can randomly choose, but excluding those which lead to overly absurd and disharmonious starting positions. Vladimir Kramnik says, "That’s a different game". I agree with him. But just look who becomes World Champion in that "different game": Svidler, Aronian, Nakamura. Well-known faces! Those who play well in normal chess don’t feel so uncomfortable in Fischer Random Chess either!
On the same theme is an opinion piece from Technorati.com,
Chess Is Dying?:-
Chess is fast approaching a dead end one can say. That does not mean that every chess game has been played or chess is "solved". But top grandmasters with the help of chess engines have figured out most of the positions in today's chess openings and have concluded them as either winning for one side or a draw. [...] A radical solution would be to play Fischer Random Chess - a variant of chess in which both the sides have their first rank pieces in a random order. There are 960 starting positions in Fischer Random Chess and none of them have been studied even with a fraction of the resources as the traditional chess starting position. All the opening analysis and home-cooked novelties are meaningless in this chess variant (and there are enough of them to last a few centuries!) and you play the man over the board.
On Chess.com I encountered an idea to generate start positions that I hadn't seen before, Chess 960 Pieces:-
A good method for setting it up, is to write the numbers 1-8 on the bottom of the white Pawns, let the black player put the white Pawns on the board to make sure the white player does not know what is on their bottom, and let the white player put the Pawns on the second rank. Then, look on the bottom of each Pawn, and put behind them on the same file in the following order: Behind 1, put a Bishop. [...]
Chess960 Jungle hasn't been sitting still either. HarryO has started collecting puzzles that arise from the opening moves of a chess960 start position. The first one is at Chess960: Opening puzzles no.1. This is a great idea if you're tired of seeing puzzles that start with, e.g., a Bishop sac on h7. I'm sure that one day we'll see entire chess960 books, ebooks most likely, on this topic.
That doesn't seem to work. It would seem reasonable at first blush, since the number of orderings of 8 pawns (8! = 40,320) is a multiple of 960 (42 * 960 = 40,320). But when I did a brute force check I didn't get an even distribution. I got 96 positions that had a 1 in 672 chance of coming up, and 288 positions that had a 1 in 1,120 chance of coming up (the rest had a 1 in 960 chance of coming up). I'm not entirely sure why, so it might be a problem with my program. It seems that positions with knights on different colors have the right probability, but those with knights on the same colors are either too high or too low. I'll try to do some more analysis and figure it out, but I need to do laundry.
Got it. The problem with the pawn set up method is that you are placing the rooks and the kings at the same time as everything else. That is, pawns 6, 7, and 8 will always be the rooks and the kings. If the rooks and the kings are all on the same color, there are only four ways to place the bishops. If one of the rooks or the king is on a different color, there are six ways to place the bishop. But the pawn ordering don't know that. There are the same number of pawn orderings whether or not the rooks and king are on the same color. So if they are on the same color, you have the same number of orderings going to fewer possible positions, making those positions more likely.
Could someone post a note to this effect on Chess.com? I don't have an account there so I can't do it myself.
Mark thank you for the extensive post! Believe the Chess960 world does kind of wait for you to blog! The visits to my own blog drop away when you are too busy with other things. I had no idea of some of these new comments on 960. To have the FIDE vice president support Chess960 in some fashion is simply spectacular news and increases the probability that Chess960 will have a long future. Let's hope so!
Mark the only thing you missed out on is to comment on the really big news that Andrei has started a dedicated Chess960 server at http://e-chess960.com/! He has put in an enormous amount of work into it and it still evolving. The point is that he has implemented the Chess960 clock correctly and thus is showing the way for the future of live chess. If you could do a post on their site at one stage I would really appreciate it. The developer and other helpers are really nice and open to ideas. It's definitely worth becoming a member even if it is just to support them and to take a look around.
Anyone reading this blog, please support the future of live Chess960 and the hard work of Andrei at http://e-chess960.com/. Become a member if you can!
The right version (delete the others I send):
Classical Chess has a future. When Classical Chess has been solved it will still have a future. To play through a masterpiece is like listening to a masterpiece of music. And when classical chess is solved it can be used in the mathematics school teaching.
But the day when classical chess is solved isn't here yet. Players are still winning classical chess games...
Many Grandmasters overestimates their possibility to know the best way to play a chess game, and still not be able to win the game, when speaking about changing the rules for classical chess or playing only Chess960. It's too early to call the Petroff, the Berliner Wall, the Queen's Gambit etc for a draw. And if you find a draw against everything you also have to remember the solutions. Well, that's many variations to remember exactly. Not sure many humans are capable of that.
Your Chess Coach
Ichabod, HGMuller at Chess.com has read your comment here, agrees with you and has posted an amended solution.
Thanks, Harry, I'll check that out and try to analyze it. I have a busy weekend, but I will do my best to get to it tonight.
Okay, I checked out H. G. Muller's more elaborate method of using pawns to determine a starting position. As far as I can tell, the more elaborate method gives an even distribution of FRC starting positions.
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