This game is being played under Chess960 rules. Click the 'info' tab for more information.1. e4
Clock started on 9/22/20201... e5 2. d3 g5 3. Bg4 f6 4. Bh5+ Ng6 5. b3 Qb4+ 6. Nd2 d6 7. Ng3 Qa3 8. Nf5 Nc6 9. Rd1 Qxa2 10. Rc1 Qa6 11. Bc3 b6 12. Qe2 Kd7 13. Bxg6 Rxg6 14. Qh5 Qa3 15. O-O Qc5 16. Qxh7+ Ne7 17. Nxe7 Bxe7 18. Qxg6 Bc6 19. Bb2 Qb4 20. Rfd1 Qb5 21. h3 Qa5 22. Rb1 Qc5 23. c4 Ke6 24. g4 Be8 25. Qf5+ Kf7 26. Rf1 Rd8 27. Nf3 Kg7 28. h4 Bg6 29. Qe6 Re8 30. hxg5 Qc6 31. Rbe1 Qa8 32. Nh4 Bf7 33. Qf5 fxg5 34. Ng2 Bg6 35. Qf3 Rf8 36. Qd1 Kf7 37. Ne3 Rh8 38. Kg2 Qg8 39. Nd5 c6 40. Nxe7 Qf8 41. Nxg6 Kxg6 42. f3 Qh6 43. Rh1 Qg7 44. Rxh8 Qxh8 45. Rh1 Qg7 46. Rh3 a6 47. Qh1 b5 48. Rh7 Qxh7 49. Qxh7+ Kxh7 50. d4 Kh6 51. dxe5 dxe5 52. Bxe5 bxc4 53. bxc4 a5 54. Bd6 a4 55. e5 Kg6 56. e6 Kf6 57. e7 Ke6 58. Bc5 Kd7 59. Kg3 a3= 60. Bxa3 Ke8 61. f4 Kd7 62. fxg5 Ke8 63. g6
Many chess masters valued the challenge of playing chess with a non-standard setup as a way to break out of the opening play doldrums. Chess960 (Fischer Random Chess) plays like Standard Chess with the exception of a randomly generated opening setup of pieces behind the 8 pawns. The game is quite popular and played even by top chess grandmasters, like Svidler or Leko.
1. The rules
Most of the standard chess rules are in place. The only exceptions are:
- pieces are randomly shuffled on the first/last rank (the only restrictions are that bishops have opposite colors and that the king must be somewhere between the rooks, black setup mirrors white),
- castling rules are generalised to accomodate varying initial setup.
Example initial setup (one of the 960 possible):
Castling rule is easy to memorize: after castling, king and rook move to the squares they would land in standard chess (after O-O we have Kg1 and Rf1, after O-O-O Kc1 and Rd1). Typical chess restrictions apply - none of the castling pieces moved, source and destination squares are empty, king path is free of any pieces and not under opponent attack. SchemingMind interface shows castling icons whenever castle is possible.
O-O looks fantastic in the above setup, doesn't it? And require some work to prepare... But in setups with Kf1 and Rg1, one can play O-O as the first move of the game.
Except those, all standard chess rules apply, be it en-passant, pawn promotion, stalemate, or whatever. Once both sides castled there is no difference between chess960 and standard chess game (although the middlegame positions are sometimes unique - thanks to nontypical development of pieces or pawn structures).
2. Why play it?
Escaping long, well known, opening lines of standard chess is obvious advantage of chess960. We are again in the world where one must work from the very beginning of the game. It is fun, it is also valuable training for standard chess players (learning to think during opening stage helps when one meets unexpected line in usual chess).
Less known feature is that chess960 frequently creates middlegame configurations (from pawn structures, to piece layouts) rarely or never met in standard chess, giving way to nontypical combinations. Fun, but also good training to search for new tactical patterns.
3. Tips and tricks
Below a few tips for people starting chess960.
1. This is normal chess. The middlegame and endgame knowledge applies as-is. Basic opening principles (develop, castle, claim center, be active) also apply. Memorize castling rule quoted above, and you can play.
2. Spend some time studying initial setup. Are there diagonals you can quickly claim? Which side do you expect to castle? What are undefended or poorly defended pawns and squares? Which pieces can be difficult to develop?
3. Remember about activating all your pieces. There are chess960 setups, in which some pieces are difficult to develop (for example, imagine setup with queens on a1 and a8, especially if there are bishops on h1 and h8). It can pay off to sac some material, but to bring all forces into the battle quickly.
4. Avoid chess960 errors. One can see solid chess players hanging pieces, allowing for major forks, or even blundering a mate in one or two in chess960 games (see for instance cruel miniature , quick knight mate or devastating fork at move 3). The reason is that pieces are differently organised than in normal chess. Some patterns can be similar to known chess setups, and instinctively seen so, but allow for an attack, which in normal chess would not work. Those examples prove also, that one must be alert from the very beginning of the game.
5. Recognize weak squares. Everybody know about weaknessess of f2 and f7 in standard chess, in chess960 (depending on setup) there can be even squares which are not defended at all. Spot them, exploit them, defend them.
4. Instructive games
Selected example games:
Develop to win - white picks better development plan and manages to organise threatening attack before black coordinates his forces
The Queen problem - interesting game, which in particular illustrates the problem with developing queen in some setups; note also phantasy castling at move 14 and interesting endgame,
Castling on the first move - also, interesting example of development in rather difficult configuration (knights in corners)
Another early castling - plus just another example of interesting development problems (note difficulties black face with activating the queen, and both sides have with h bishops)
More links to instructive chess960 games played on schemingmind, are welcome. In particular, it would be nice to find:
more examples of exploration of weak square(s)
illustration of sacrificing some material to activate pieces,
closed position with pawn structure not likely to happen in standard chess,
5. Position number
The position number is a number from range 1 to 960, which in unique way describes the initial position. Exact algorithm (initially described by R.Scharnagl in his German book about the game) is not usually important, but if you are interested, see chapter 5 on this page. In short: if you write the position number in binary notation, then the lowest two bits encode position of light-square bishop, next two bits the position of dark-square bishop, then the rest of pieces are encoded.
6. Valuable links
See this journal article for a few commented games and some links to Chess960 sites.
links to chess960 sites are welcome