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Fischer Random Chess. Play from a random setup. (8x8, Cells: 64) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-12-05 UTC

Fischer castling now should work in the Interactive Diagram, including the AI.

graphicsDir=/graphics.dir/alfaeriePNG35/ graphicsType=png symmetry=mirror shuffle=N!BRQK pawn::::a2-h2 knight:N:::b1,g1 bishop::::c1,f1 rook::::a1,h1 queen::Q::d1 king::::e1

H. G. Muller wrote on 2020-06-24 UTC

I don't recall ever doing an Interactive Diagram on Chess960. It would not be able to handle the castling. If there ever has been a Diagram of a shuffle variant, it must have been one with normal castling.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2020-06-24 UTC


I remembered seeing a diagram with randomized setup, but I cannot find it anymore.

JT K wrote on 2017-02-03 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Kevin, you raise a good point about book sales, etc., but as for the "one year per setup" idea, I think Fischer's original plan was to avoid the opening theory discussion altogether.  If everyone studied one particular random setup for a year, I'll bet White's advantage would be exploited even moreso than it is in the standard setup.

With a random setup, determined just before the game starts, you can just look at a random position between two players and enjoy the actual battle of minds in that moment.  The match would be 100% performance-based, instead of being so preparation-based.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2016-09-19 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

As a variant that's close to chess, Fischer Random (aka Chess960) does the trick of avoiding all opening theory admirably.

One thing Chess960 lacks compared to chess is ironically usually seen as it's very strength and reason to exist, i.e. that one can't study Chess960 opening theory at home (if that's viewed as desirable/enjoyable), plus book sales thus will suffer, arguably to the detriment of popularizing the variant. This would be partly due to not otherwise having more literature around (i.e. about the opening phase of Chess960).

A way to solve that to some extent is to adopt Kasparov's idea of using the same starting position for a year & then switching to a new one. I'd go farther and suggest not switching the start position for 50 or even 100+ years (chess opening theory took a long time to develop, after all). One drawback of this idea is that the game would be studied to death by, say, 960x100 years from now, whereas never knowing the position one will begin with, as per the rules of Chess960, would avoid such study. However, the lifespan of any board game of skill (e.g. chess) is liable to be finite for one reason or another, IMO.

My estimates for the values of chess pieces applies here too, naturally: P=1; N=3.49; B=3.5; R=5.5; Q=10 and a fighting value of K=4 (though naturally it cannot be traded).

Johnny Luken wrote on 2015-05-19 UTC
And yet the entire purpose of Fischer Random and like variants is in eradicating theory based openings altogether...

M Winther wrote on 2015-05-19 UTC
Johnny, it appears from your comment that you aren't familiar with chess theory. It revolves around white's first move advantage and how to retain it.  As soon as theorists discovers a method to neutralize white's advantage, that particular opening is virtually dead. This has happened to many openings, such as the King's gambit, which is hardly ever played anymore. Were it to happen to all openings, it would mean the death of chess.

Johnny Luken wrote on 2015-05-16 UTC
The popularity of chess over the other variants is clearly due to its more compact, logical and symettrical design. Its a more modern game, aesthetically more appealing and easier to learn.

To celebrate first move advantage as the central selling point, to be preserved at all costs, is risible. Its a bug, not a feature, as it is in any other strategy game.

As for "tension", white retains move initiative, but against a prepared 960 array of black. The "tension" is now dual.

And as for some 960 arrays being awkward well, yes, but they wouldn't have to play them (in nonrandomised asymettrical).

M Winther wrote on 2015-05-16 UTC
All changes in nature depend on potential differences. A waterfall creates energy because there is a difference between high and low. In chess, there is a difference in "altitude", too. White has an advantage, which is converted to either a tactical or strategical initiative. This gives rise to fine pieces of art as well as interesting theory, because the potential serves to energize the game. 

It is possible to design a game in which this potential doesn't exist, but then it isn't Western chess anymore. For instance, I think Shogi and Xiangqi are different in this respect. I don't know about Shogi, but Xiangqi does not have the same status as chess. In China it is regarded as kind of vulgar, although it is great fun.

So that's why I wanted, in the relocation variants, to retain white's first move advantage. Otherwise it isn't chess anymore, and it won't become as popular. The positions chosen are all very natural. There are no awkward positions, as in Chess960.

Moreover, compared with Chess960, in some of the variants the array has been expanded, since there are also non-mirrored positions. Non-mirrored starting positions are congenial with real warfare. See my article, "Relocation variants":

Johnny Luken wrote on 2015-05-15 UTC
Your version reduces freedom of array selection, and you artificially reverse moves in placement, forcing Black to place first to further enhance Whites advantage.

"White first move advantage is necessary for strategic tension."

Could you elaborate on this?

M Winther wrote on 2015-05-15 UTC
I have suggested other variants where the array is determined
by the players, such as Fischer Placement Chess.

Johnny Luken wrote on 2015-05-10 UTC
Regression to predetermined strategy would be countteracted by Blacks freedom to choose an answering array.

This gives 921,600 starting positions.

Depending on how much of a counteradvantage Black gains, moves could be staggered-White places a piece, Black answers.

A constructive phase would add to Chesses itinerary, though how much genuine extra depth is added by such pregame metastrategy and how much real nuance these premoves would have I'm not sure.

John Davis wrote on 2015-05-10 UTC
By "richer strategy", it's sounds like you mean,  a predetermined strategy. Doesn't this defeat the point of having a random starting position?

John Davis wrote on 2015-05-09 UTC
By "richer strategy", it's sounds like you mean,  a predetermined strategy. Doesn't this defeat the point of having a random starting position?

Johnny Luken wrote on 2015-05-07 UTC
Some thing that mystifies me, is why the preference for a randomised setup in Chess 960.

A game that had a "zeroeth move" allowing both players to choose their preferred 960 array has potentially richer strategy, and the potential for black to counterract white advantage, by having the "answering" array.

Rodrigo Zanotelli wrote on 2012-11-17 UTC
If both rook needed to be at least 3 squares one the left (and the other on the right) side of king how many positions would we have?

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2010-11-27 UTC
Agree with H.G.

Castling makes both positions different, and no symmetrical.

For instance, g-castling (O-O):

In 'B B R K R N N Q' g-castling is accomplished by the King jumping 3 squares, and the Rook moving once.

In 'Q N N R K R B B' g-castling is accomplished by just having the King jump over the f-rook, while the rook stays on the same spot.

Also, b-castling in one of the positions is not equivalent to g-castling on the other.

There is no symmetry because of castling.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2010-11-25 UTC
This is not true. After one of the players castles, which they are bound to do with their King starting in the center, the position will be different.

Bevan Clouston wrote on 2010-11-25 UTC
Re: Number of arrays for Fischer Random.

The way that you have had this calculated is strictly correct however it
was overlooked that a mirror image is actually the same position.

For example:
The position B B R K R N N Q is reasonably simply. It is the same to play
in every way as the position Q N N R K R B B.

Hence there are only 480 true variations ( 16 x 20 x 3 / 2 ). This is still
a lot to memorize. I wouldn't recommend trying.


M Winther wrote on 2010-11-16 UTC
Also have a look at 'Fischer Placement Chess' :

Student wrote on 2010-11-15 UTCAverage ★★★
It is a GREAT informational page. It helped me on my project. THANKS!! :D

M Winther wrote on 2009-10-31 UTC
I have experimented with initial relocation moves, and I have found that it's
possible to manually generate 25 modest positions from the Chess960 array.
See Fischer Placement Chess where the queen is also allowed to swap with
a rook.

George Duke wrote on 2009-08-21 UTC
OrthoChess64 is not popular anymore all the way to the top. Not the way it would cause great excitement in past centuries. Call F.I.D.E.-approved 64 squaress ''PastChess'' if you would. You'll never recreate the Fischer-Spassky atmosphere or any of dozens others with existing format.
Nakamura on death of Chess, followed by Fischer:
Something's in the air. You can smell it. Every pundit feels compelled to weigh in, with varying degree of manners, and some of them get to where they take the opposite tack to stifle news of reform, as Hutnik points out ''persona non grata.'' We're talking over a decade or two, including all the history of CVPage. CVPage itself is one of the best evidences for the winds of change.
//World population triples to 7 billion by 2011 from 1940 2.3 billion, and the percentage who are Chess players steadily declines in the West. A big loss of players has to be to online action games, but I think the right CVs, including FRC, could reverse the trends.

Charles Daniel wrote on 2009-08-04 UTC
'I love chess, and I didn't invent Fischerandom chess to destroy chess. I invented Fischerandom chess to keep chess going. Because I consider the old chess is dying, or really it's dead. A lot of people have come up with other rules of chess-type games, with 10x8 boards, new pieces, and all kinds of things. I'm really not interested in that. I want to keep the old chess flavour. I want to keep the old chess game. But just making a change so the starting positions are mixed, so it's not degenerated down to memorization and prearrangement like it is today.' 

- Bobby Fischer as quoted in

George Duke wrote on 2009-08-01 UTC
Look at win in 26 and win in 22 by Nakamura over Aronian. (Sounds like Nay-Array)
All these 500 years we did not realize the way to play was say nay to array.
Doesn't Aronian seems to be ahead in drawn game 7 at move 30. Up three points for over 15 turns til around #45. Instead of 32 R-d6 what's wrong with 33 Rxd7, breaking up the Black Bishop pair and still up a Pawn? (Not for long), but there must be something around there, moves 30-45, before the Rook is pinned and the point value doesn't mean anything. Variantists have to start annotating again somewhere -- Betza alone used to annotate a lot in CVP -- and Chess960 is a good place, since, since Alexandre in 1820s, shuffle is a legitimate chess alteration. The trick is to find rules-set everyone can be interested in, and so far only Chess960 fits that for whole scores.  I have to admit the same sentence could have been said in 1999. That only Random Chess fits that for whole scores. That's appalling really, making everything else for a decade and a half having been experimentation, trial and error, even Betza's.
There Betza annotates Missing the Mark.

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