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Sat Aug 31, 2019, 05:20 AM

On Chess: XL Expectations For The 2019 Chess 9LX Champions Showdown

Chess960, otherwise known as Fischer Random, is a chess variant that has struggled to find its place. It was invented and advocated for by Bobby Fischer, who thought that chess was becoming too reliant on opening theory.

The basic concept is quite simple: All the pawns start on their normal squares, but the back rank pieces are rearranged at random before the game begins. There are a couple of stipulations, however, which separate it from an older variant called “Shuffle Chess.”

The bishops must be on opposite colors, and the rooks must be on opposite sides of the king to enable castling (which looks similar to castling in chess). The first Chess960 World Championship, held as part of the Mainz Chess Classic in 2001 between grandmasters Peter Leko and Michael Adams, was largely an unofficial event. From then on, there were Fischer Random Championships held in Mainz every year until the tournament ended in 2009.

Since the death of the Mainz Chess Classic, there have been very few who have promoted the variant, but in recent times it seems to be making a comeback. The Icelandic Chess Federation has hosted the European Fischer Random Cup at the Reykjavik Open for the past couple of years.


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