Sunday, March 5, 2006


Chess 960: the way chess should really be played

Chess 960

The rules of Chess960 are mostly the same as orthodox chess -- but the setup incorporates something once considered anathema to the game: chance. Pawns begin where they always do. However, the pieces behind them on the white side are arranged at random, with the proviso that bishops must end up on opposite colors, and the king dwell somewhere between the two rooks. The black pieces are lined up to mirror the white.

Fischer unveiled the new chess at a 1996 press conference in Buenos Aires. The idea was simple: With so many possible starting positions, Chess960 -- or "Fischer Random Chess" -- takes rote memorization off the board. Opening books are obsolete, and competitors live and die by skill alone from the very first move.

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