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Pre-Chess. Place your first rank as you choose before the game begins.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
George Duke wrote on 2010-08-02 UTC
Pre-chess of recent incarnation is by Benko in 1978. He put article in USCF ''Chess Life,'' then with editor Hochberg, about it.

Ovidiu wrote on 2010-06-27 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Benko-Chess (Pre-Cchess) seems THE solution, the best shuffle variant I've
seen. It is much better than FischerRandom because you choose/make your
set-uo and by doing so also get time to adjust to it, as oppossed to having
suddenly in frot of you and having to move.
Excellent idea.

Charles Daniel wrote on 2009-07-29 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Another possibility, closely resembling Fischerandom chess, was advanced by GMs Pal Benko and Arthur Bisguier in two articles in the November 1978 issue of Chess Life & Review, and by me in a two-part article for in 1997

The positions of the pieces are decided entirely by the players, not by a computer program. Strategic chess thinking therefore begins with the first piece placement. The two players place their pieces alternately, one at a time.
White does not necessarily have any advantage here; in fact, Black may have the advantage because Black gets the first look at the opponent’s placements.

  • The pieces may occupy any squares as long as the bishops are on opposite colors. The kings do not have to be placed between the rooks.
  • Castling is permitted only if the unmoved king is on e1/e8 and an unmoved rook is on a1/a8 or h1/h8; orthodox castling rules apply. The possibility of castling is up to the players, who may or may not place their kings and rooks appropriately.
  • There are 8,294,400 possible opening positions.
Both variants obviate all opening analysis (but not opening principles) and make all opening manuals superfluous. Imagine a world without the Sicilian Defense! Should either variant become prevalent, chess-book publishers would have to take up gardening. But surely publishers will be resourceful enough eventually to put out strategy guides on choosing the optimum piece placements in Pre-chess (but not in Fischerandom chess, of course, because there the computer does the choosing).

- Burt Hochberg from Copyright 2004 CyberCafes, LLC.

Does someone have the original text of this article from Chess Life & Review by Benko? It seems quite important for historical purposes.

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