position #  random
FEN: brkqrnnb/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/BRKQRNNB w KQkq -

How to Use This Page
  • This page is used for generating a random position to play Fischerandom Chess. Every time you reload this page, or press the new position button, a different position will appear. Just set up a chessboard based on the diagram above, find an opponent, and have fun.

Quick Rules for Fischerandom Chess

  1. Fischerandom Chess is played with a normal chess board and pieces. All rules of Orthodox Chess apply except as otherwise noted.
  2. The initial configuration of the chess pieces is determined randomly for White, and the black pieces are placed equal and opposite the white pieces. The piece placement is subject to the constraints:
    1. the king is placed somewhere between the two rooks, and
    2. the bishops are on opposite colors.
    3. pawns are placed on each player's second rank as in Orthodox Chess.
    There are 960 such configurations.
  3. Castling, as in Orthodox chess, is an exceptional move involving both the King and Rook. Castling is a valid move under these circumstances:
    1. Neither King nor Rook has moved.
    2. The King is not in check before or after castling.
    3. All squares between the castling King's initial and final squares (including the final square), and all of the squares between the castling Rook's initial and final squares (including the final square), must be vacant except for the King and Rook.
    4. No square through which the King moves is under enemy attack.
    The movement of the King and Rook during castling should be easily understood by players of Orthodox Chess:
    1. When castling on the h-side (White's right side), the King ends on g1 (g8), and the rook on f1 (f8), just like the O-O move in Orthodox chess.
    2. When castling on the a-side (White's left side), the King ends on c1 (c8), and the rook on d1 (d8), just like the O-O-O move in Orthodox chess.
    3. Sometimes the King will not need to move; sometimes the Rook will not need to move. That's OK.
  4. The object is to checkmate the opponent's King. Have fun!

Audio file of Bobby Fischer explaining Fischerandom

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 46 OF 46 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-10-12  pjl1015: Play 960 on
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <karban: Technically, I don't like the idea of castling here. I know that is like heresy but it should be abandoned in my opinion - too much messy with it for amateurs and in the end play'd be even more agressive.>


<GeneM: The chess world should choose one sensible start setup from the other 959 of chess960-FRC, and then STICK WITH IT FOR A COUPLE DECADES.>

I agree, but it will never happen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: Almost no updates here in the last two years. Was this just a passing fad?
Feb-02-13  IMFSTJP: 1st Chess960 Singapore National Championship:
May-23-13  marljivi: Chess960 is 960 times better than traditional chess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: <Caissanist: Almost no updates here in the last two years. Was this just a passing fad?>

Seems, though it still has some hardcore advocates. I think its heyday was around 2000-2005.

As a solution to chess becoming over-analyzed, it would be at best a short-term one. You can't outrun Moore's Law and/or the constant progress in heuristic algorithms - at least with a measly x1000 factor. Then there is quantum computing which is making some real progress of late.

Jan-08-14  GeneM: No, chess960-FRC is not a mere fad. In his weekly blog devoted to chess960, Mark Weeks uses his post of 2014-Jan-04 to give more statistics about the surprisingly large popularity of chess960 on chess playing websites. While still dwarfed by traditional chess1, more chess960 games are being played than we would have guessed.

And from one of Mark's 2013 posts:

GM Andrei Deviatkin decided to finish his chess career and announced his decision on his Facebook page: "Maybe I will continue playing Fischer's chess, but the fact that there are no tournaments in this format means that chess is over for me. It's time to try out something else." "I just understood that chess became an absolutely different game from the one I have played in my childhood and youth. The computer has changed it dramatically."

Still, I think Fischer Random Chess is better without the 'Random' part; as contradictory as that sounds. Thanks.

Jan-08-14  RookFile: The genius of Bobby Fischer. He was talking about this form of chess many years before it started to catch on. If you think about it, FRC is closer to real combat - how often do you know exactly where the troops are on both sides prior to the battle starting?
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: It's fun to play, when you're drunk.
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: <HeMateMe: It's fun to play, when you're drunk.>

That's about it. No future otherwise. You can't outrun technology.

The computers are even eating the game of Go much faster than anticipated even five years back. The state-space complexity of chess is around 10^45 of Go, 10^150. Adding pieces, squares to chess - assuming you could keep the harmony and balance of classical chess - no real help, either.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: <parisattack> <That's about it. No future otherwise. You can't outrun technology.>

Isn't the point that memorizing opening variations becomes an impossibility and that keeps the game fresh? I don't see how technological advancements change that. I think 960 has a lot of future, myself.

I do think chess death by opening theory looks like less of a threat now than it did fifteen years ago, given the style of the fellow currently on the throne.

Interesting note about go.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: I entered a Fischerandom Tournament.

The position that showed was one with every piece on its natural square. You know, normal chess.

I withdrew and gave up that form of chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: <Shams> I suppose it depends what you want out of the game. If playing a machine-busted game that still is a mystery to the human mind, then there's life in the old girl, for sure. But consider correspondence and email chess - almost dead because so many use engines.

People still play checkers - but how many young people are growing up with the desire to be in the checkers Elite or WC?

A linear factor of x960 against computational speeds and leading-edge heuristics just won't by much time, really. But then, it can still be fun to play for humans, of course.

Classical chess has basically had a 200 year run. I'd give 960 - even if it caught on which I don't think it ever will - 20 years.

Premium Chessgames Member
  northernfox: IMHO 960 Chess will never attract any significant interest, and will eventually die out. It is not an improvement on the classical game; it is a retreat from the classical game, in particular the intense and extensive experiential (and now computer) analysis of the opening and recurring aspects of the game.

We already see continuing serious and justified complaint about how difficult it is to make classical chess more "popular", which problem would be magnified at least 960 times for fischerandom!

It will be a mere footnote in chess history.

Apr-06-14  randomguy181: If we are going to call this "random chess", then it should truly be random. If we forget about castling and the bishops placement on opposite colored squares, the number of potential setups for the first rank explodes 40236( someone please double check my math). if we are going to play random chess let's make it all the way random not half—baked random.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Are you saying it is OK for one side to have two dark-squared bishops and the other side two light-squared? That was never the intention when this alternative was developed. Don't see the advantage of "all the way randon" - think you are just nit-picking.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bob Loblaw: I read somewhere that Peter Svidler was the World Champion at chess 960. I really like the variant. All the principles of regular chess strategy apply, but you approach them in unique ways. Instead of a generator why not have one player place any piece any where on his back row. His or her opponent then places the same kind of piece on the corresponding square on his or her back rank then places another, which the player who made the initial move mimics, and so on. Like coloured bishops would be avoided of course. Doing this would add another dimension to the game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bob Loblaw: Here is a really fascinating game developed by a programmer bent on creating a game computers couldn't crack, and named after his son. Apparently humans can still beat computers at it and nobody has yet claimed the 20 grand the game's inventor put up for anyone who creates a program that can beat his game against a strong human player.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bob Loblaw: Here's an excellent video demonstrating the moves in Aarima (with some hot jazz in the accompanying audio track).
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: I have a blast playing Chess960 over at <ChessCube>. The fun never ends!
Apr-07-14  JustAFish: I like Fischer Random, I'm pretty sure that it will never replace the traditional setup- not because computers will play it out, but precisely because traditional chess has so much theory.

The way I see it, chess- that is, traditional chess- is not one game, but an entire ECO volume of different games. This is a cultural legacy that has been built up over the centuries.

When two players sit down, they mutually perform a dance and end up "deciding" to play a game called "Sicilian Moscow", "Ruy Lopez- Marshall Gambit," "St George Opening" or "VanGreet" or whatever... Each of these games has a different flavor and and progresses along different lines.

Part of the "dance" of a chess game is the skill of steering the game into these "sub-games" that a player knows how to play well.

Throwing 960 into the mix dumps all of this "culture".

Apr-07-14  randomguy181: nit picking?? the point I'm trying to make is that if you are going to call something random then let it be completely random. If it turns out that both sides have 2 light or dark squared bishops then so be it
Apr-07-14  SirRuthless: Its not called "random." It's called "Fischer random." The point of the game is to remove opening memorization as an advantage and prevent the solving of the game from the front end. The fun of FR is that as you move into the middlegame the game becomes just like the chess you know. There is no reason to mess with the bishop color distribution. Even if chess gets solved, 960 wont be for a while longer and even if it is, no one is going to remember the best strategy for every opening configuration, especially if it is a much shorter time control than classical.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: <randomguy181> You're welcome to make a new variation of chess adhering to your ideas, allowing for two bishops on the same color or the king that's not between the rooks. I'm skeptical it will be much fun, but nobody's stopping you from giving it a try.

Bobby explicitly explained in his radio interviews that Fischerandom was intended to preserve the spirit of the game of the chess. That means that we always have one bishop of each color, and that castling is, to some degree, a move that gets the king out of the middle and help connect the rooks. Without those basics principles preserved, the game would scarcely resemble the chess we all love.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Having one's bishops on the same colour seems a mite silly.
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