Edit re the 2 close votes for opinion-based: This is as factual as it gets. I'm asking Bobby's opinion of how tournaments should go. I never asked people's opinions of how tournaments should go or if people agree with Bobby (for whatever Bobby said, which is the point). It's much like this other question I asked What has Bobby Fischer said about increment (similar to chess960)? or that other question about Bobby Why did Bobby Fischer make his demands in the 1975 World Chess Championship?.

Bobby wants chess960 to replace chess, but the starting position is not always the same unlike with crazyhouse, Capablanca, etc, so this is something that should be dealt with. I want to know how Bobby intended for this to be dealt with. Completely factual and also completely a priori reasonable to wonder. Even a posteriori you can see how St Louis' Chess 9LX tournaments are different from FIDE's Fischer Random world championships (and even the 2 WFRCC's are inconsistent if they are supposedly the same).

Like let's say FIDE or whatever agreed with Bobby at the time 'Like ok we'll get rid of chess completely and play chess960. But how are we gonna do this?'

As much as I love chess960 and hate chess, this seems like a logistical nightmare to implement overnight.


  1. Does everyone in the tournament get the same starting position (SP)?
  2. Do they play both colours for each SP
  3. How much time do they have to think between seeing the SP and the start of the game?
  4. Re-roll for standard position?
  5. How does any of the above change depending on the time control?
  6. Should chess960 even be played in lower time controls? If not, then are you going to play classical armageddon to tiebreak?

Question: What did Bobby Fischer say about how chess960 should be implemented?


2 Answers 2


From a 1996 interview, here is Fischer's opinion on how Chess960 should be implemented:

  1. The starting position should be randomly generated but still symmetrical.
  2. The pieces should be placed on the back rank in a random order, with the only restriction being that the two bishops must be placed on opposite-colored squares.
  3. Castling should still be allowed, with the king and rook moving to their usual squares, regardless of the starting position.
  4. The game should be won by checkmate or resignation, just like in traditional chess.

Fischer believed that Chess960 would make chess more interesting and exciting, as players would need to rely more on their creativity and ingenuity instead of relying on memorized opening theory.

  • This says only the rules of chess960. This doesn't say anything about the actual implementation of the things that I said.
    – BCLC
    Mar 18 at 7:04

The closest thing I've seen so far is

The problem with Chess960 by Frederic Friedel - 2018Feb28

Kasparov's proposal In 2005 (I believe it was) I discussed Fischer Random and Chess960 with Garry Kasparov. He came up with the following suggestion: we select ten interesting and exciting positions to be used in tournaments and allow players to prepare in advance. Immediately before the start of each round, the audience in the hall (or on the Internet) selects one of these ten positions for all games. This provides spectator participation, which is never a bad thing. Players have some basic preparation for all ten positions — they do not have to start the game with a long think about "can I move the c-pawn?" And commentators can come prepared as well.

At the time I was, as mentioned above, talking to Bobby Fischer about his plans for a comeback with a Fischer Random match, and I discussed the ten-position idea with him. He was quite interested in it and we spoke for maybe half an hour, discussing all kinds of details. But then he said: "It is quite a good idea, Frederic. When did you come up with it?" I confessed it was not me but Kasparov, and the tide immediately turned. "No, there's a trick. He has preparation for special positions or something." And that was the end of discussion of "Kasparov10" chess with Fischer.

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