30 December 2023


My chess960 blogging started on my main blog and lasted for about nine months...

...It continued uninterrupted on this current blog for a little more than six years, when I decided it was time for a pause...

...The pause lasted a year and a half...

  • 2017-01-21: 'Everyone I Know Plays Chess960' • 'After an 18-month absence from chess960 blogging, I'm going to return to the subject with a couple of posts every month.'

...Now I'm going back into hibernation, although I won't rule out an occasional post if I have something to say about a subject. Bye for now!

23 December 2023

A Chess Christmas Carol

Chess of Christmas Past, Present, and Future

Chess of Christmas Past: People read books and study so-called opening 'theory', trying to find new moves to spring on unprepared, unsuspecting opponents.

Chess of Christmas Present: People run powerful chess engines and memorize computer analysis, trying to find new moves to spring on unprepared, unsuspecting opponents.

Chess of Christmas Future: People play chess960 (or whatever they prefer to call it).


Have a Merry Chess960 Christmas! And please drive carefully...
[Images: AI Comic Factory]

16 December 2023

'You Dream of Getting Something Playable'

The description of the following video explained,
Levon Aronian talks to Anastasiya Karlovich before the start of the 2023 Sinquefield Cup. This aired during round 4.

GM Aronian has been seen many times on this blog. Use the search box in the right navigation bar for earlier references.

Aronian: It Has Happened! Neural Networks Have Killed Classical Chess (8:46) • '[Published on] Nov 25, 2023'

At around 3:50 into the video, the discussion turns to this blog's favorite subject.

Q: What is your opinion about all these things which are happening in the chess world right now, on the top especially. With Ding absent, with Magnus who doesn't want to play that much in classical events -- what is your opinion about everything that is happening, let's say with a Candidates tournament...

A: I think the time is slowly coming to a point where it's difficult to play classical chess because of the openings and the fact that neural networks became a part of chess and and made studying chess so much easier. It's very difficult to get a game playing with White. Therefore I think we're almost reaching the time that I've been waiting for my whole career when we switch to chess960. I think Magnus is ready. I think almost everybody is ready for it

Q: Really? This is what you think is happening?

A: Yes, it's not much fun because of the openings. I understand that it might be difficult information for a majority of amateurs, because for them there is still a lot of meat on the bone, but for professionals, just showing that you are a better player than an average Grandmaster, is already very very difficult. You have to hope for -- as they would say in tennis -- an unforced error, because if you play your best and your opponent knows the opening there is just no chance for you to win the game.

Q: Maybe something like this happened at the Isle of Man where you had good chances also. Then you played four draws in the last rounds. Maybe some like this happened there.

A: Yes, generally that's a problem, because the positions that you get from the opening -- I mean you dream of getting something that is playable -- there are actually pieces on the board. It's a bit of a problem. Maybe people will think I'm pessimistic. A lot of my colleagues will think I'm actually optimistic.

Q: So in 10 years we'll have the Sinquefield Cup with chess960?

A: Oh, I hope. I can't wait.

Q: This is where you see yourself in 10 years?

A: I hope I will be fighting. You know it all depends on such factors as health but so far I can't complain. I love to fight. I love to learn from young players and it's just a very interesting thing to do.

For two previous posts referencing the Sinquefield events, see Chess940 in 'Chess Life' (December 2021), and 2023 Champions Showdown, Videos (September 2023).