41

This calls for some scripting, so here's my first hasty attempt at it ;) Here's a quick way you can do the search on your own in python, using stockfish 10 and only the python-chess package. All open-source and free-software! Briefly, what the script will do: Consider all 960 positions, one at a time For each position, it scans over all legal white moves ...


24

Chess players identify with their openings, all chess clubs have that one guy who always plays stodgy London stuff with white, the maverick with all his dodgy gambits and the youth player with 25 moves of Najdorf theory memorized for the day he finally gets to play it. Opening books are by far the most sold type of chess book, and the number of titles is ...


21

There is no mention of excluding the regular starting position in Appendix F. of the FIDE Laws of Chess, so it's really Chess960 and not Chess959. I can imagine that there are chess programs or websites which do exclude the regular starting position, but this is against the official rules.


18

The FIDE Laws of Chess actually cover this with a recommendation without mentioning the problem. II.3.2.5.1 When castling on a physical board with a human player, it is recommended that the king be moved outside the playing surface next to his final position, the rook then be moved from its starting position to its final position, and then the king ...


18

Using @Phonon's Python script, I was able to determine that the worst move is 1. g4?? from the BBQRNNKR starting configuration, or 1. b4?? from its mirror image. This evaluates to -2.5 in one second of Stockfish search. Not quite a minor piece, but still a substantial handicap to recover from. Why is this position so powerful for the opponent? The black ...


17

Excellent question. The rules state that this is not possible. Castling can only be done once. This is explicitly mentioned under Guidelines II. Chess960 Rules: II.3.1 Chess960 allows each player to castle once per game, a move by potentially both the king and rook in a single move. [...] Specifically, castling (even if the king doesn't move) should still ...


13

I have found the trickiest part about playing 960 is the opening. So many possibilities! But, since the major pieces are random for every game it is unlikely you'll come across the same setup frequently enough to recognize some opening. So I say ditch trying to create one and stick with tried and true chess opening principles: Control the center, try not to ...


12

Touch your king, then your rook. By rule 4.4.1, you are now required to castle. You can now move the king and rook to their proper squares however you like, since you are already forced into a specific move and any subsequent piece touches can't change that.


11

I asked myself the same question a year ago. I found this interesting page: http://computerchess.org.uk/ccrl/404FRC/opening_report_by_white_score.html#table_start With statistics for every 960 positions based on 144,300 games played by 123 engines. Apparently the position that gives the biggest advantage to White is RKNQBBNR with a White score of 63.9%. ...


11

To start with, standard chess in its current form has been the standard for a well over a century. It is well known and well established. It also enjoys a fair amount of popularity. It is widely seen as a test of intellectual prowess (even if that prowess often fails to transfer to other fields) in which luck has no effect in the game (even if that's not 100%...


10

99% of the chess players will never reach 1500 rating, so for them the standard chess is quite good enough. Chess960 is interesting variation along with "atomic" chess and others, but the niche is quite small and I'd say it's dead as well as its inventor.


10

I saw this in the chess news on a couple of sites, and it seems pretty simple to me. Pick up the K, and move it to g1, simultaneously pushing the rook off the g1 square. Then move the rook to its proper square. In any case, you should pick up the K first, and then if you also want to pick up the rook, grab it second, and move them simultaneously. Either way,...


9

You're counting the same position a couple of times and not including the rule that the bishops have to be on opposite colors. (And possible that the king must be between the rooks.) The actual number is 4 x 4 x (6 x 5) / 2 x 4 4 for the LSB 4 for the DSB (6 x 5) / 2 for the two knights (halved due to account for the same type of piece being placed) 4 ...


9

Hi thanks for your questions Remellion. I have a better answer for Q2 than Q1, but bottom line there is no loophole in the FIDE Laws. (1) I don't know of and can't locate any other official source of Chess960 rules other than FIDE rules. (2) There is a second place in the FIDE rules where we are told how naughty it is to leave a king in check: FIDE Law ...


8

The CCRL 40/4 FRC engine competition that has run through almost 200,000 games running night and day come up with these stats: Chess960 FRC based off 200,000 or so games: White wins: 80'914 (41.6%) Black wins: 70'840 (36.5%) Draws: 42'546 (21.9%) White score: 52.6% http://www.computerchess.org.uk/ccrl/404FRC/rating_list_all.html Standard chess based off 1....


8

I want to put forth a few arguments, why I don't consider it desirable to substitute classical chess with Chess960: The rumours of a draw death of chess have been greatly exaggerated. The idea that chess will one day be played out, is more than a hundred years old, but the draw rate in top level chess is actually growing very slowly. And the rate of short ...


8

The bishops must be on opposite colors and the king must be between the rooks for Chess960. Each bishop can go on one of four squares, so 4x4. Then the queen can go on one of the six remaining squares, so 4x4x6. Now there are five squares for the knights, but the knights are interchangable, so there are 5x4/2 = 10 ways. So that makes 4x4x6x10 = 960. Now ...


8

There is a "Chess959" which advocates the removal of SP 518 (which is when the factors that lead to "randomizing" the chess pieces happen to have the same arrangement as the traditional layout.) The rationale for removal is that players have so much training in that one starting position that the game becomes less about who is the better, more reactive OTB ...


8

Several methods to do so are described on Wikipedia. For example: Roll all the dice in one throw and place White's pieces as follows: Place a bishop on one of the eight squares (counting from the left, 'a' through 'h' ) as indicated by the octahedron (d8). Place the other bishop on one of the four squares of opposite color as indicated by the tetrahedron (...


8

The three first steps: There are 90 positions where n(P)=1 For White to be able to castle short at once, he needs to have Kf1, Rg1 in the initial position. Then there are 5 possible spots from the second rook, 3 for one bishop and 2 for the other one, and finally 3 remaining spots for the queen. The knights go to the last two spots. There are 64 positions ...


7

For shogi and xiangqi, the answer is no. There is no analogue for western Chess960 in those chesses. Disclosure: I'm a decently strong player in all three. The problems Fischer identified in those quotes you gave are that western chess favours the player with more opening preparation, and that there is no room for creativity. (Bear in mind that this is his ...


7

Consider two starting position that are each other's horizontal mirror images. Say, the normal chess starting position, and the one with king and queen reversed. In chess 480, those two are essentially the same game, normal chess: in normal chess you can castle long with the king ending on c1, and short with the king ending on g1. In the reversed position ...


6

You have to understand, that a top ten player is superior to an engine in the opening, because he used engines to analyze openings for many years, and because engines usually don't have an opening book on the level of the preparation of a top player. In chess 960 you basically take away the opening book for both players and at the very top this actually ...


6

From Wikipedia: White's Chess960 starting array can be derived from its number N (0 ... 959) as follows: a) Divide N by 4, yielding quotient N2 and remainder B1. Place a Bishop upon the bright square corresponding to B1 (0=b, 1=d, 2=f, 3=h). b) Divide N2 by 4 again, yielding quotient N3 and remainder B2. Place a second Bishop upon the ...


6

We can permute 8 pieces in 8! =40320 ways. But we have some conditions: Two knights are identical. There must be opposite colour bishops. Rooks are identical. King must be between the rooks. Now in 8 boxes there are 4 black boxes and 4 white boxes. We can place the black bishop in one of the 4 black boxes which can be done in 4 ways. Similarly the position ...


6

First, it is hard to say, what I should play, because the moves are depending to 90% on the moves from the opponent. I would play e4 and d4 with Nc3 and Nd3. From there, the knights are looking over the complete centre, which is very convenient. Maybe also f4 and g3 for activating the bishop and afterwards Bf2 to cover the pawn on d4. In the beginning, I ...


6

Chessbase once published an article that touches on this question. Chess960 introduces very alien positions, such as this one. [FEN "bnqrnbkr/p2p1ppp/1p2p3/8/2PN4/1P6/P3PPPP/BNQR1BKR w - - 0 1"] Chessbase's comment on this is: Here's another example: Svidler [Black] is still wondering, on move five, if he can move a pawn and not lose instantly, while ...


6

One way out of this would be to invoke article 3.9.2 of the FIDE Laws: No piece can be moved that will either expose the king of the same colour to check or leave that king in check. Yep, that seems entirely unambiguous to me. You can't leave your king in check after your move. (Your objection seems to be predicated on the idea that a move that touches two ...


6

You said "blunder a piece" or "lose significant advantage", so how about mate since that is even worse? I could only find a few, but here they are. Since it takes at least two moves for there to be any interaction between pieces, I am going to start there, and use some logic, but I could still only find a very few. First, you have to keep in mind that ...


6

Consider the following initial position: [FEN "rkqnnbbr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RBBNNQKR w - - 0 1"] By putting the kings on opposite sides of the board, you've more or less introduced an opposite-side-castling situation, without anyone having castled. Let's say White starts throwing his queenside pawns forward towards Black's king. In this ...


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