Chess960 – What for?

Before beginning with  a short introduction into the specific requirements and rules of Chess960 (Fischer Random Chess) just a few words of advice concerning the fundamental differences between Over The Board[OTB] and Correspondence Chess[CC].

1. Never trust your eyes . Trust only the board , because sometimes your eyes may be directed to the wrong square, file or side of the board.

2. If ever you are convinced that you have found the right move or even any winning move, just lean back, relax and calmly regard the board. Take a day or even two. You have all the time you need.

3. Do not be too confident in analysis of OTB games of high-rated title holders. In CC you will have to look much deeper into the position. 20 years ago, when starting with CC, I had to pay a high price for being too confident in those analysis.

4. Choose the opening, line and variations corresponding to your own style and your own skill. Do not always try to find the best move or to follow theoretical recommendations. You should feel quite at home in the position. It is of no use when theory gives a big plus but you are ending up in a position which is not quite to your liking and where you do not know what to do next!

5. Build up an opening repertoire of your own and choose the lines and variations corresponding to your preferences and skills.

6. Never play too hastily. First try to find out what are the general lines and plans of the opening and where you could perhaps divert from the theoretical and well known variations. Always try – whenever possible – to make your opponent leave his books and databases so that he has to rely on his own brain and find the moves and answers alone !

The Introduction

When hearing the term of Chess960 or Fischer Random Chess you may ask about the fundamental difference between Chess960 and Standard Chess. 

The rules, principal assessments of positions, main characteristics of how to open the game and to handle middle- and endgame. They are all the same compared to Standard Chess.   But you may say there’s no Opening Theory, no commentated Game Archives, no Books and no systematic introduction into the 959 starting positions? Yes indeed you are thrown back to the origins of chess as it has been played hundreds of years ago. You can’t prepare any match and game in advance. The starting positions are determined by a random generator and you will – in most cases – have to face an unknown initial position.

You may say: but that is making a big of a difference between Standard Chess and Chess960? Well, not at all. Don’t forget right after the 10th or 20th move in most of your games you will  have to face completely new middle game and later on end game patterns and every single pattern is needing  a different approach. Well in Chess960 this different approach is needed right before the first move and that is making the whole difference between  Chess960 and Standard Chess. You may wonder why I mentioned the number of 959 starting positions? Very simple: Number 518 is the Standard Chess Position making Standard Chess a Variation of Chess960 though.

I will continue this contribution about the specific characteristics of many starting positions like

– Castling

– Development of pieces

– Weak points and squares

– A general advice for the first moves

I hope you will enjoy it!


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