How to Play Chess960?

In the world of chess, the name Chess960 is synonymous with innovation and variety. Chess960, sometimes referred to as Fischer Random Chess, is a unique variant of chess invented by the legendary Bobby Fischer, the  eleventh-world chess champion and a man who was after new challenges.

Although a similar variant of Chess was known prior as Shuffle chess, “Chess960” was formally introduced to public in 1996. In Chess960, the position of the pieces on the back row is randomised, with the following restrictions:

  • The bishop must be placed on a square of the same colour as the one it started on.
  • No two pieces of the same kind may occupy the same file.
  • The king must be placed between the rooks.
Bobby Fischer

Fischer’s rulebook guarantees that both sides have two bishops of opposite colours and castling in both ends stays viable, unlike other similar versions that shuffle the pieces on the back rank. In this way, we arrive at a final total of 960 options.

Fischer hoped that by randomising the starting position, chess would become more challenging and interesting and that players would have to rely more on their positional understanding and tactics rather than memorising opening lines.

The Chess960 variant

The objective of Chess960 is to checkmate your opponent’s king, just like in regular chess. However, there are some important differences to keep in mind. First of all, since the starting position is randomised, pawns may be able to move forward two squares on their first move (just like in regular chess), or another piece may block them. Secondly, there is no such thing as “castling” in Chess960. However, if you move your king piece two squares toward a rook and then move the rook towards the square next to the king, you will have the same effect (on either side). Finally, remember that en passant captures are only possible if the pawn being captured could have legally captured another pawn by moving two squares forward on its previous move.

What Makes Chess960 Special?

There are several things that make Chess960 special. One of them is that each game starts with a unique position, which helps to level the playing field between beginner and expert players.

Another thing that makes Chess960 special is that it requires players to really think about what they’re doing rather than relying too much on memorization and pre-planned opening lines. So chess960 might just be what you’re looking for if you’re looking for a new challenge!

Chess960 is a variation of chess invented by Bobby Fischer with 960 unique starting positions. It’s a great way to level the playing field between beginner and expert players. It also requires players to think carefully about their moves rather than relying too much on memorization or pre-planned opening lines. If you’re looking for something new and challenging, give Chess960 a try!

We at Saswath Academy, provide courses and resources to learn the basics as well as the advanced strategies of chess, including techniques like Chess960. You may get a free trial and see our class format. We teach children many in-depth topics and variants of chess. You are welcome!

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