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Fischer Random Chess - News

Bobby Fischer, (the former world champion chess), proposed a variant of chess, where the game is played from a randomly generated setup.

Here, you will find a collection of news items on the game.

Grandmaster Leko on Fischer Random Chess

In an interview in Schaakmagazine, the magazine of the Dutch chess federation (KNSB - Koninklijke Nederlandse Schaak Bond), in February 2000, Peter Leko from Hungary mentioned Fischer Random Chess. Grandmaster Leko is currently having the sixth highest ELO-rating (i.e., he is considered to be the sixth' best chess player in the world), at an age of 20. In the interview, he is asked what Fischer (a friend of Leko) thinks of his level of chess. Leko answers: (the text below is a translation of the text, as it appeared in Dutch in the journal. I.e., Leko's literal words probably have been different.)

That is private, that is between us. But he does not believe anymore in the classic chess game, he thinks his random chess is the chess of the future. That form of chess is interesting and I would like to see tournaments with random chess been origined. Just from curiosity who would be the strong players in random chess. I already played such a tournament once. You cannot prepare yourself at all, you must use your imagination. It can go totally wrong from at the beginning.

IECC Inaugurates New FischerRandom Event

The IECC (International Email Chess Club) is a large organization for playing correspondence chess by email. Below, you read an announcement of the IECC. To play in the IECC, (either regular chess or Fischer Random Chess), you must be a member - membership is free. For more information, visit the WWW pages of the IECC or IECC's pages on Fischer Random Chess.

Beginning October 1, 1997, IECC will offer a new event to our members: FischerRandom Chess!

For those of you unfamiliar with FischerRandom Chess, this much-talked about variation of the game is played the same as regular chess, except that the pieces are arranged randomly behind the pawns before the start of the game.

Of course there may be those who say this is ridiculous, or that it is not "real chess".

But others interested in new challenges maintain that it is a meaningful game. It causes both players to think strategically from the beginning, since they are not able to rely on "book" openings. The added emphasis on tactics and strategy could very well lead to improvements in your regular games.

FischerRandom games will be conducted as two-game matches, with piece setups established by the TD -- identical setups used in both games of the match. The games will be rated, but your FischerRandom rating will be maintained separately from your regular IECC rating.

When you are paired up for a match you will receive complete information on how to set up your pieces, how to conduct the game, how to castle (the trickiest part of FischerRandom Chess), and what to do when your game is completed.

There is a FischerRandom Web page with further information, located at: (Link went down. HB)

A few of us have play-tested this event for the last several months and have found it to be quite a bit of fun.

FischerRandom will not appeal to every player, but if you've played it before and enjoyed it, or would like to try it out, please write me at:

Mark Brooks (email removed contact us for address)

We hope to see many members sign up for our newest IECC Event!!

News sent to the Chess Variant pages by Kyle Evans, CEO of the IECC. First paragraph written by Hans Bodlaender.

News from Spain

(Communicated by: Modest Solans).
On November 25, 1995, the Wadi-as Cultural Association, and the city council of Guadix (Spain) organised a simultaneous chess session in the Liceo Accitano of Guadix with the participation of the great chess master Miguel Illescas, where he played 30 games, 11 on "Fischer chessboards" and 19 with usual initial positions.

(First, the Association attempted to arrange a match Fischer-Illescas. Miguel Illescas, number 20-24 in the mondial ranking, is the champion of Spain, winner in the Zonal Tournament of Linares'95 for the World's Championship and the only one great chess player that has challenged Bobby Fischer (former chess champion, but never dethroned in actual match play) to play with the system that Fischer proposed. Next, it was decided to organise the simultaneous games and it was attempted to have these played in the train, during a commemorative trip of the Railway's Centennial [1895-1995] from Guadix to Almería).

The random initial position -for the 11 "Fischer boards" was decided by 8 special chess-cards and turned out to be the following:


The restriction of the fact that the king has to remain located in some square between the Rooks was not taken in account (this is a restriction, used in the standard Fischer chess). Because of this, the number of possible initial positions was 2880, and castling was not permitted.

Below you find in algebraic notation two of the KBBNRQRN random games. Miguel Illescas, 0 - Enrique Borrego, 1
1 d2-d4, f7-f5 // 2 c2-c4, e7-e6 // 3 d1-c3, h8-f7 // 4 e 2-e4, d7-d6 // 5 h1-g3, g7-g6 // 6 f2-f4, c7-c5 // 7 d4-d5, f5-e4 // 8 g3-e4, f8-g7 // 9 g2-g4, e6-e5 // 10 g4-g5, g8-f8 // 11 e4-f6, e8-e7 // 12 h2-h4, c8-f5 // 13 b1-f5, g6-f5 // 14 f4-e5, f7-e5 // 15 b2-b3, e5-g4 // 16 e1-e7, g7-e7 // 17 f6-g4, f5-g4 // 18 f1-e2, e7-g7 // 19 c1-b2, h7-h5 // 20 g5-h6, g7-h6 // 21 e2-g4, f8-f4 // 22 g4-c8, h6-h4 // 23 c3-b5, a7-a6 // 24 b5-c7, a8-a7 // 25 a2-a4, f4-f2 // 26 c7-e6, h4-h3 // 27 g1-b1, h3-b3 // 28 c8-d7, d8-e6 // 29 d5-e6, d6-d5 and the threats of the black pieces are unstoppable.

Miguel Illescas, 1/2 - Enrique Rodriguez, 1/2
1 c2-c3, f7-f5 // 2 d2-d4, g7-g5 // 3 e2-e4, c7-c6 // 4 e4-e5, d7-d6 // 5 f2-f4, h7-h6 // 6 h1-g3, h8-g6 // 7 e5-d6, b8-d6 // 8 f4-g5, f5-f4 // 9 g6-e4, d6-c7 // 10 g5-h6, f8-h6 // 11 h2-h3, h6-h8 // 12 d1-f2, g6-h4 // 13 f2-d3, f4-f3 // 14 g2-g4, f3-f2 // 15 f1-f2, g8-f8 // 16 c1-f1, d8-e6 // 17 f4-c7, f8-f2 // 18 c7-e5, h8-h6 // 19 d3-f2, h4-f3 // 20 a2-a3, f3-g1 // 21 e1-g1, h6-e3 // 22 g1-g3, e3-e1 // 23 g3-f3, e8-f8 // 24 f3-f8, e6-f8 // 25 e5-g3, e1-g1 // 26 h3-h4, f8-h7 // 27 g4-g5, c1-f5 // 28 g3-e5, g1-e1 // 29 e5-f4, f5-e4 // 30 f2-e4, e1-h4 // 31 g5-g6, h7-f6 // 32 f4-g5, h4-h8 // 33 g5-f6, e7-f6 // 34 e4-g3, h8-h3 and drawn.

All 11 games from the random setup were published in the "Wadi-as" magazine (Guadix), December 95. The game Illescas-Borrego was published by "JAQUE (the passion for chess)", a fortnightly magazine (Madrid), first fortnight of January 96.


11 Fischer games: Illescas +6, -1, =4.
19 conventional games: Illescas +17, =2

Written by Modest Solans, editorial changes by Hans Bodlaender.

More news from Spain

En el numero 422, abril 1996 de la revista Jaque (Madrid), dirigida por Leontxo Garcia leemos:

Ajedez Fischer en La Rioja (Espa~na)

En el Club Union Riojana Ajedrecista organizo el pasado mes de diciembre en Logro~no el I Torneo de Ajedrez por sistema Fischer, siguiendo el espiritu iniciado en Guadix con unas simultaneas a cargo de Miguel Illescas, y en las que 11 partidas se jugaron segun la idea difundida por Bobby Fischer: sortear las piezas de la primera fila. En el Torneo de Logro~no se disputaron 5 rondas. El ganador fue Jose Luis Blazquez, que vencio en todas las partidas. Segundo y tercero quedaron Miguel Blazquez y Millan Somalo, con cuatro puntos. El cuarto puesto, y primero de la clasificacion juvenil, le correspondio a Juan Luis Rodriguez.

In the number 422, April 1996, of JAQUE magazine (Madrid), directed by Leontxo Garcia, we read:

The Club Union Riojana Ajedrecista organized last December in Logro~no the I Chess Tournament using system Fischer, continuing the spirit begun in Guadix with some simultaneous games versus Miguel Illescas, of which 11 games were played according to the idea spread by Bobby Fischer: drawing the chessmen for a random setup on the first row. In the Logro~no's Tournament were disputed 5 rounds. The winner was Jose Luis Blazquez, that won in all the games. Second and third were Michael Blazquez and Millan Somalo, with four points. The fourth position, and first of the juvenile classification, corresponded to Juan Luis Rodriguez.

Information transferred by Modest Solans.

News from Argentina

On, on June 3, 1996, the following press release was posted by Roberto Alvarez.


The following is the info submited directly by IGM Miguel Quinteros. Yester- day, I phone him at his office, and he give me complete securities about the Fischer come back to Argentina. Quinteros is a personal friend of Bobby Fischer and the responsible for making all the arranges for the genius visit to my country. More info will be posted when available. All chess journalist or people interested about, please contact:

Club Argentino de Ajedrez
Paraguay 1858 - Buenos Aires -ARGENTINA
Phone: 54-1- 813-9547 Fax: 54-1-813-4402


World Chess Champion Robert James Fischer will be arriving in our country Tuesday, June 18, having been specially invited by the Sports Institute of the Province (of Buenos Aires) to announce the world-wide launch of his new game: FISCHER RANDOM CHESS.

Other geniuses such as Emmanuel Lasker and Jose Raul Capablanca attempted unsuccessfully to revitalise chess with new rules. Now Fischer, after five centuries, gives life to a radical change that will shake the world. On Wednesday, June 19 (place to be named later), a press conference will take place that has three main objectives: 1) Confirm July 11, at Pasaje Dardo Rocha in the city of La Plata, Argentina, as the chosen time and place for the presentation, 2) Make publicity known the rules of the new game and 3) Present the participants of the First Exhibition Match: two-time Argentine chess champion Pablo Ricardi and the first Asian Grandmaster, Eugene Torre of the Philippines.

Bobby Fischer, who caused a revolution with his new digital clock (used in the Return Match for the World Championship against Boris Spassky in Yugoslavia in 1992) has been working for years on this new form of chess to be presented here in our country.

If we look back for the last change made in the scientific game, history takes us to 1492 when the Spanish Ramirez de Lucena introduced castling in one move: previously it took two.

The innovative American's decision to choose Argentina as the site for such a transcendental cultural and sporting event was due to the sincere admiration that Fischer professes for our country. He has visited on four prior occasions (1959,1960,1970 and 1971) and the warm reception he always received from chessfans brought him to propose Buenos Aires as the location for the World Championship Match with Spassky in 1972. In the end, the match took place in Reykjavijk, Iceland where Fischer took possession of the World Championship crown he has never relinquished.

Fischer's next move, eagerly awaited by the entire world and bearing his mark of originality, will be made in Argentina. As only the greatest have done, he is moving the world forward.

More news from Argentina

Modest Solans send me on June 23, 1996, the following information:

From the newspaper "El Mundo" (Madrid). Rosa de las Nieves writes on page 88 of Sunday, June 23, 1995:

Last Wednesday 19 Jun, Bobby Fischer presented, personally, in Buenos Aires (Argentina) the new chess modality that he proposes. The idea consists in which the random decides the initial position of the greater pieces on the board before beginning the game. The master Torre (Philippines) and the master Barbero (Argentina) will play in Buenos Aires an exhibition match, the one which will begin the next 12 of July.

This WWW page is maintained by Hans Bodlaender.
WWW page created: June 10, 1996. Last modified: February 26, 2000.