Wednesday 24 September 2008

Chess 960

The draft proposals for changes to the FIDE Rules of Chess have been circulated, and these will be voted on during the Olympiad in November. While I will look at some of the proposals later, there is a significant section on the rules for Chess 960 (or Fischer Random).
Now there are 2 schools of thought on this. They are: Given that FIDE hasn't codified the rules for other chess variants (Suicide, Transfer etc) why should FIDE be dealing with the rules to this? or Chess 960 is both close enough the standard chess and becoming increasingly 'mainstream' so FIDE should be the body to set the rules.
I am in favour of the second school of thought, but only in the framework of FIDE setting up a sub-committee to codify a number of chess variants. However for the moment there is a draft set of rules for Chess 960 and a proposal that they become an appendix to the Official Laws of Chess.
Attached to the proposal was a petition from a large number of players supporting the move. The name at the top of the petition was Viswanathan Anand, followed by a number of other Grandmasters, so it has some strong support. (As an aside, the name towards the bottom of the petition, and on the covering letter, was Albert Vasse from DGT, so there is corporate interest as well).

There is no doubt that Chess 960 is becoming more popular, and may even be seen at the 2009 Doeberl Cup. Under serious consideration is holding a Chess 960 event on the Saturday evening, in place of the Lightning. The same prize pool will be on offer (ie over $1000 like this year), and the intention is to alternate Chess 960 and Lightning from year to year. Hopefully the 'resistence to change' trait that afflicts many chess players will be overcome by the 'lets try something different' fever this time.


Mathew said...
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Mathew said...

You Aussies really are crazy! Chess is chess not some crazy man's versions of it like Fischer random!
How you could think of putting it even in the same category as Lightning is beyond me.