By Mark Capron
Left: 'Caruana Wins Chess 960 in St. Louis'
Right: 'Nakamura Wins World 960 Championship!!'
Since I had no idea that anyone associated with the CJA leadership had any interest in chess960, this caught me by surprise. In his introduction to the St.Louis article, editor Capron explained,
Chess 960 caught my attention a few years ago when I was able to follow along one of the tournaments held in St. Louis. Since that time I have had visions of directing an event, but COVID-19 has pushed back my plans. Maybe I will get one set up in 2023.
That is all very good news indeed and I could end this post here, but the two small articles got me thinking about chess960 reporting in general. Both articles use the same structure: an introduction, a selected game with a diagram, and the final result of the event. [NB: The eight top finishers of the World Championship (aka '2022 FWFRCC', as used below) have been cropped out of my image. The last line says, 'The final standings were:' ...]
Both diagrams have been used to identify the game's start position. This could have also been done with the relevant portion of the FEN string -- RBBNKNRQ and BRKRQNNB, respectively -- leaving the diagram to convey a more interesting position from the game. Of course, we have more powerful tools online ... or do we?
In the nearly 15 years that I've been blogging about chess960, I can't remember ever using a chess960 PGN viewer to present a game online. There were no such tools when I started and I haven't been paying sufficient attention to know if any have been developed since then.
Even that assumes the PGN is available for download in digital format. I wrote blog posts on the two events mentioned in the CJA journal...
...and I can't remember downloading PGN for either event. Here are two challenges for a future post: 1) Locate the PGN for both events, and 2) Locate a PGN viewer that understands chess960. I would hope that both challenges are trivial, but I suspect that I'm dreaming.