Inspired by this question: Why did Magnus Carlsen not play the World Chess Championship in 2023?
It's not the first time I've heard about GMs (not just Magnus Carlsen) being tired of the current state of Classical chess and how it's too reliant on preparing a lot of opening variations.
So I wonder... Is there a chess mode that just skips the opening?
Get a top chess engine, make it play a game and stop at some legal position in the mid-game where White has a slight +0.1 / +0.2 advantage (just like the one that exists at the start of a normal game).
Then have players play from there.
Same rules, same everything, only difference being someone else already played the opening phase for them. They could be given some minutes to study the position, or none at all; the system could be tuned to make the position as uncommon / unplayed / off-the-book as deemed convenient.
I think it could work as an alternative to rapid for tie-breaks. See how they perform when thrown into a position they haven't planned themselves, how quickly they can adapt to the material and position they got.
Is this an actual chess mode? Has something like this ever been considered for official games?
N.B. I could understand if someone thought "this is just a chess puzzle", but it isn't. A chess puzzle always has some kind of achievable goal: a mate in two, a short sequence of movements gaining a piece or a positional advantage. There's always a "win" to be found. In other words, it's not a +0.1 position, but more like a +5.4 position where you have to find the movement(s) to consolidate that advantage. A (modern) chess engine would never evaluate a puzzle position to be just +0.1, because then it wouldn't be a puzzle, just a normal position.