Chess960 II

by zenquaker

Back in July Alexander Grischuk came out in favor of Chess960, but only using 200-300 positions, excluding the “absurd” positions. Ilya Levitov (FIDE Vice President) echoed this, saying Chess960 should be played excluding “absurd” or “disharmonious” positions. I thought this was an interesting idea. I asked around on some Chess forums dedicated to Fischer Random/Chess960, trying to find out what people thought counted as an “absurd” or “disharmonious” position. Almost nobody answered. I think I got four replies on two websites, only one of which answered the actual question.

I was still interested, so I started looking at different possibilities of absurd positions and how many Chess960 starting positions matched those possibilities. I also started looking at definitions of similar in terms of matching Chess960 positions with the standard Chess starting position. This developed into a spreadsheet of all the positions and which criteria they met. Eventually I added some other things to the spreadsheet, like the numbers for the positions in different numbering schemes, and the full Forsyth-Edwards Notation for the positions (both traditional and Shredder style). I now think of it as a Chess960 almanac, a somewhat useful tool if you’re analyzing Fischer Random starting positions. I’d been waiting for a good place to put it up on the web, and now I’ve got this blog, so here it is: Chess960 Almanac.

Of course, I could probably count the number of people in the world interested in this on both hands even if you chopped off all my fingers. That seems to be the fate of most of my projects these days.