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  position #  random
FEN: brkbnrqn/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/BRKBNRQN 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 44 OF 51 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-09-09  Gene M: (Mark Dvoretsky was quoted by Eyal....

"But in chess-960, there will be practically no accumulation of experience: there are too many opening positions, and too many differences between them. And thus, the concept of the opening phase will find itself frozen, for a long time, at a childhood level." )

In practice Dvoretsky's criticism of FRC-chess960 is right. Sadly, there is "no accumulation", though accumulation is necessary to achieve the most interesting play. (General intuitive accumulation might be achievable if most players focused most of the playing on chess960, but that will not happen.)

*** IS IT TIME ? ***

-- for Hans-Walter Schmitt and the in Mainz to PRE-ANNOUNCE one of the 960 setups eleven months in advance of its annual August chess960 tournament?

ALL chess960 games that pre-announced year would use just that one non-traditional setup.

One such pre-announced year would teach us more about abstract chess than will all future years combined of yet more constantly random setup selection.

In other words, chess960 offers two GOALS....

[1] To free the players from having to study specific opening variations; but that has now been proven to lead to a low uninteresting quality of opening phase play. This was the only FRC goal that Bobby Fischer ever spoke of.

[2] To learn how these pieces on this board should be used from different initial setup positions; to see whether Reuben Fine's nine principles of opening play are all equally robust when challenged from different setups. This is the one remaining area of chess study that is large & interesting & unexplored, just waiting to be investigated and claimed.

May-16-09  chessboyjazz: 960 is the best!!

I love it. A great gift from the most important chess player in modern history.

there is a new clock out that has the 960

plus iphone apps

at my local chess club here in nyc I am getting more and more players into it!!!!!!

May-30-09  Gene M:

(In the above, entry number #145615)

I did not know the following until today:

"The Chess960 rules have officially been implemented in the FIDE rules this year, and the acceptance of the Chess960 tournaments in Mainz has been a decisive reason for FIDE to accept Chess960 in their handbook."

Premium Chessgames Member
  unununium: Chess 960 is definitely on the rise!

Thanks <Gene M> for your Dvoretsky post.

That would be a great idea. Hopefully FIDE is paying attention to it!

I'm happy to see this website fostering this amazing chess variant by creating team chess games for it.

Keep it coming!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: 6 games today, no draws and 5 black wins. Aronian seems unbeatable right now.
Aug-31-09  Chessforeva: Play some kind of Fischer random on the web:
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: Quoting <Viewer Deluxe>, who was quoting me:

<To conclude, I tend to agree with <YouRang>’s view that “<the castling rule> in chess960 is arbitrary and unnatural” and that MK2S rule would at least keep it fair and simple.>

Although I still think the chess960 castling rule is somewhat arbitrary, now that I've participated in a game (Chessgames Challenge: Team White vs Team Black, 2009), I can at least see some justification for it, if I look at it from this perspective:

The primary goal of chess960 is to play a game <as close as possible to chess1> while <avoiding the reliance on memorized opening theory>. I think that the castling rules as currently defined do that.

Premium Chessgames Member
  andu11: I have a problem with position #873.

Here is the position QRBKNRNB and I play this in a tournament on Schemingmind with QRKBBRNN (also on is #873 so)

Could it be that the generator here is not correct?

Jan-04-10  Kazzak: @andu11

You have to uncheck the random button. When you do, and enter 873, then your position comes up.

Premium Chessgames Member
  mandolndoc: Maybe asked already, but any computerized versions yet?
Mar-23-10  Valmy: <Mandolndoc> Not sure I understand properly your question. I have a free version of FRUIT and it plays fischerandom. I think many software does.
Jul-22-10  Bixel: Chess960 is great. I pretty much play it exclusively now.
Aug-13-10  eightsquare: This is a very good way of improving imagination.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: I agree. I would think playing this way would improve one's vision and ability to calculate as well. But truly, who plays this way much?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: I wonder how humans would do against computers in this kind of game, since the opening books go out the window. I suspect the computers might even trounce humans more easily.
Aug-13-10  eightsquare: can't say
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Didn't Naka play 960 against an engine and kill it?
Aug-14-10  eightsquare: <HeMateMe> I have not heard of that . But i do no that he thrashed rybka twice in standard chess. And by thrashed , i mean humiliated . he once mated with 5 bishops and once with 6 knights or something like that. and rybka didn't even resign!
Aug-14-10  eightsquare: Chess960 is still in its infancy. Many people don't even know about it. Unlike supply chess , this way of playing really improves ones chess. I recommend it to everyone .
Sep-07-10  Gene M: I believe that Fischer's castling rule for FRC-chess960 is better than the MK2S (Move-King-2-Squares) proposal.

Fischer's rule, which merely retains the traditional destination squares for the castling king and rook, is better at promoting asymmetrical positions between White and Black, in the form of opposite wing castling.

In FRC when the kings start in column-c, few players would castle their king to column-e. Instead we would see relatively dull sameness of both White and Black castling to column-a, highly symmetrical and drawish.

I am unsure what the MK2S proposal would mean for castling toward column-a when the two kings start on column-b: would castling toward column-h, with king jumping to column-d, be the only castling option? If yes, then yuk. That would promote even more symmetry.

Sep-07-10  Gene M: The chess world might get more out of Fischer Random Chess if it dropped the "Random" aspect.

If FIDE or announced that RNBBKNQR was the only chess960 start setup to use for at least the next decade, we could watch the growth from infancy of a whole new set of openings. (RNBBKNQR is legally reachable after 1. e3 e6)

Opening "theory" took hundreds of years to accrue for the traditional setup. But with today's legions of sophisticated grandmasters, all equipped with chess engines that crush the World Chess Champion, we could observe the growth of virgin opening theory in relative real time. It would be facinating.

Until we have substantial opening theory accrued for a second start setup, we cannot reliably judge our assumptions that are currently based on only the one traditional body of opening theory. For instance, Reuben Fine said it is unwise to move develop your queen too early. But I am confident that such advice is bad in some chess960 start setups. Fine's principles remain untested until a second chess960 setup is study for years.

Even grandmasters cannot play strong opening moves when presented with a random setup they never studied. Truly random FRC is still fun to play, but so could be a second stable setup before deep move trees are available to memorize.

For spectators, a stable second setup replayed and honed by grandmasters over the coming years would be far more interesting than continued random setups.

From watching the annual chess960 tournaments in Mainz, it seems that --- "We have learned that we have already learned all we are ever going to learn from random chess960".

Sep-07-10  Gene M: More thoughts about the random aspect of FRC:

Premium Chessgames Member
  kellmano: I wonder how much the benefit of first move varies with the different set-ups. Perhaps in some positions it is a fairly big advantage to be white and in other positions it'll be a minimal advantage.

If it is variable, this would introduce an element of luck into any FRC match, unless one position was used for all games.

Sep-16-10  Gene M: Undoubtedly the size of White's unfair advantage is bigger in some FRC-chess960 setups than it is in the traditional setup, and smaller in some others.

What we have not yet learned about chess is: What are the factors that make White's advantage relatively larger or smaller. And what does the ultimate answer teach about chess? Likely something we do not yet understand as well as we could.

We will never learn the answer until at least a second start position is studied in depth -- classic need of 2+ cases for any measure of variability.

Feb-14-11  Eduardo Bermudez: Shall we play Chess960?
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