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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2004-05-11
 Author: Terumi  Kaneyasu and Fergus  Duniho. Inventor: Robert J. Fischer. Fischer Random Chess. Play from a random setup. (8x8, Cells: 64) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
JT K wrote on 2017-02-03 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Kevin, you raise a good point about book sales, etc., but as for the "one year per setup" idea, I think Fischer's original plan was to avoid the opening theory discussion altogether.  If everyone studied one particular random setup for a year, I'll bet White's advantage would be exploited even moreso than it is in the standard setup.

With a random setup, determined just before the game starts, you can just look at a random position between two players and enjoy the actual battle of minds in that moment.  The match would be 100% performance-based, instead of being so preparation-based.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2016-09-19 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

As a variant that's close to chess, Fischer Random (aka Chess960) does the trick of avoiding all opening theory admirably.

One thing Chess960 lacks compared to chess is ironically usually seen as it's very strength and reason to exist, i.e. that one can't study Chess960 opening theory at home (if that's viewed as desirable/enjoyable), plus book sales thus will suffer, arguably to the detriment of popularizing the variant. This would be partly due to not otherwise having more literature around (i.e. about the opening phase of Chess960).

A way to solve that to some extent is to adopt Kasparov's idea of using the same starting position for a year & then switching to a new one. I'd go farther and suggest not switching the start position for 50 or even 100+ years (chess opening theory took a long time to develop, after all). One drawback of this idea is that the game would be studied to death by, say, 960x100 years from now, whereas never knowing the position one will begin with, as per the rules of Chess960, would avoid such study. However, the lifespan of any board game of skill (e.g. chess) is liable to be finite for one reason or another, IMO.

My estimates for the values of chess pieces applies here too, naturally: P=1; N=3.49; B=3.5; R=5.5; Q=10 and a fighting value of K=4 (though naturally it cannot be traded).

Student wrote on 2010-11-15 UTCAverage ★★★
It is a GREAT informational page. It helped me on my project. THANKS!! :D

Charles Daniel wrote on 2009-07-31 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Fischer is the 'inventor' because only he had the audacity to come up with this seemingly convoluted but quite logical castling rules. It is truly amazing that world caliber players are now playing this variant - it is really taking off. 

Treating the squares c1 and g1 as safety bunkers for the king - castling makes perfect sense .  

With this in mind, I have a new idea one i may submit soon regarding shuffle chess. An alternative to castling,  King's leap to the b or g squares (from any position in backrank), applicable to shuffle chess and seemingly never 'invented' before in the 'exact form' i propose. In conjunction to Fischer random castling slightly modified - I call this new system: King to Bunker Leap. It is applicable to shuffle chess and to pre-chess. 

There are many who would differ that 'Chess 1' is exhausted though. I tend to agree to some degree, with the caveat 'for high rated > 2000 elo' or for  those not willing to specialize in 1 game. 
Try 'exhausting to compete in' instead. 

Excellence in Chess 1 translates almost directly to full capability in 960 with some debacles because of unfamiliarity with weird angles and so forth. 

Nakamura could very well be future world champ. But Anand competed very strongly in this event losing to Aronian years back. 

Note that computers win in chess 960 just as easily, but novelties/opening preparation not an issue here, though one can always attempt to memorize 960 position opening theory to some extent.

George Duke wrote on 2008-09-20 UTCGood ★★★★
Definitely the sense of CVPage readers in second year 1996 of website, when Bodlaender alone posted, was Track One, the Next Chess. We appreciate Joe Joyce's making serious comments briefly recapitulating unbeknownst that early ethos. In Argentina Fischer presented his alternative the same year of this article. Eric van Reem and the other authors may not mention anywhere that best information is that Alexandre in 1820's came up with the seminal idea for FRC. (Alexandre was one of the operators hidden inside The Turk automaton for Maelzel's circus.) By the time Betza became prolific in 2001, Track Two of whimsy and divertissement overtook Track One, and they both still have a role. Hey who would give up ''A Visit to Nemeroth'' for some extended Shatranj?

Juan Pablo wrote on 2006-02-17 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Very good, I hope you can develop a chess game to download and promote de

cheers from Argentina

Leo wrote on 2005-01-13 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
it was invented in 1996 by Robert Fischer in Argentina.

taa wrote on 2005-01-10 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
you might be right, i based the castling assumption on something else.
something i assumed before i learnt about fischer castling.
take standard chess and its mirror as variations in chess960. castling
would be the only difference between the two, other than
left-hand/right-hand bias. that's a shame.
my goal, is to liberate capablanca chess from the slavery which that
person has put it under, with his incredible patent. (note, contrary to
popular opinion, incredible doesn't mean good, it means 'not credible')

taa wrote on 2005-01-09 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Reinhard, may i suggest an improvement to CRC? it seems to me that you
to limit the number of credible variations to 'as low a number as
possible', to increase the overall credibility of the system. in
Capablanca84000, i considered deleting 42,000 of the variations since
are mirror images of the other 42,000. however, the reason behind
Capablanca84000 was to expose a conman using the traditional Fischer
system and no new formulae of my own (except those required for
Capablanca's archbishop and chancellor). thus, i am happy with the
84,000. indeed, i could even introduce more than 84,000 if i wanted to by
not being strict about bishops or rooks.
by introducing my suggestion you can get CRC down to about 10,000
variations [edited]. especially since
Capablanca84000 belongs not to I, but to the public domain. [edited]
my suggestion comes in several forms:
A: king must be to the right of the queen. traditional, includes
'invented' position.
B: king must be to the left of the queen. untraditional, deletes need for
patent skirting.
C: king must be on the right side of the board. see A.
D: king must be on the left side of the board. see B.

taa wrote on 2005-01-07 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Capablanca Random Chess (CRC) and Capablanca84000 were hybridised from
previously existing ideas (by Robert James Fischer and Jose Raul
Capablanca) independantly by their respective authors. Capablanca84000 is
the property of the public domain. I request confirmation as to whether
CRC is also the property of the public domain. The author of
Capablanca84000 supports and acknowledges the work of the author of CRC.
CRC and Capablanca84000 are the fruit of the same idea by two independant
authors. CRC and Capablanca84000 are significantly different to allow the
employment of either mathematical system.
Capablanca84000 is a more direct hybrid of Capablanca Chess using the
Fischer Random Chess (FRC) system. CRC is a modified hybrid of Capablanca
Chess and the FRC system.

As for catering for the possible system result which gives a position
similar or identical to a previously existing 'patented' 'invention',
I would state that generating a random number does not breach any patent.
Further, applying this random number to mathematical system which is the
property of the public domain does not breach any patent. Coincidence does
not breach any patent.

Thomas Alsop wrote on 2005-01-05 UTCGood ★★★★
I have expanded Fischer's mathematics system to cater for Capablanca's
chess variations.

Capablanca84000 is a variant of Fischer Random Chess (Chess960), based
on the Capablanca (10x8) variation.
The light (for white. dark squared for black) squared bishop may start
on one of 5 files (b,d,f,h,j). the dark (light for black) squared
bishop may similarly begin on one of 5 files (a,c,e,g,i).
The archbishop may then be placed on any of the remaining 8 files.
The chancellor may then be placed on any of the remaining 7 files.
The queen may then be placed on any of the remaining 6 files.
The two knights may be placed within the remaining 5 files in 10 ways:
1+2, 1+3, 1+4, 1+5, 2+3, 2+4, 2+5, 3+4, 3+5, 4+5.
The remaining 3 files are filled in the order of rook-king-rook to
allow for castling on both sides of the king.
Multiplying the quotients gives the number of combinations: 5 x 5 x 8
x 7 x 6 x 10 = 84,000

By taking the random number, 12345, we can calculate the combination
for white (black is mirrored from white through 4th/5th rank).
Placement of light squared bishop: 12345/5 = 2469 with no remainder.
the light squared bishop goes in it's first possible file, b.
Placement of the dark squared bishop: 2469/5 = 493 with remainder of
4. The dark squared bishop goes in it's last possible file, j.
Placement of the archbishop: 493/8 = 61 with remainder 5. The
archbishop goes into its 6th (note, lowest remainder is 0, not 1)
possible file. b and j are already taken, so the archbishop goes into
file g.
Position of the chancellor: 61/7 = 8 with remainder 5. The chancellor
goes into the 6th available file. b, g and j are taken, so the
chancellor goes into file h.
Placement of the queen: 8/6 = 1 with remainder 2. The queen goes into
the 3rd possible file. b, g, h and j are taken so the queen goes into
file d.
Placement of the two knights: The last integer result, 1, indicates
that the two knights occupy the 2nd possible combination of files,
1+3. b, d, g, h and j are taken, so the knights occupy files a and e.
The remaining three files (c, f and i) are filled by the two rooks and
the king, with the king inbetween the two rooks. Thus, the rooks go
into files c and i. The king goes into file f.
The set up for combination 12345 is:

One of the current most popular chess variants on the market today is
Gothic Chess, 'designed' by Edward Trice. The pieces row in Gothic chess
is as follows (from left(a-file) to right(j-file)):
rook-knight-bishop-queen-chancellor-king-archbishop-bishop-knight-rook on
a 10x8 board.
How to calculate the equivalent Capablanca84000 combination: The light
squared bishop is in the 4th possible file. We use the quotient 3.
The dark squared bishop is in the second possible file. For this we
use the quotient 1.
The archbishop is in the 6th possible file, quotient = 5.
The chancellor is in the 4th available file, quotient = 3.
The queen is in the 3rd available file, quotient = 2.
The knights are in the 6th possible orientation, quotient = 5.
Using these numbers we calculate backwards. The last quotient is 5.
The number 5 is achieved after dividing 30 by 6. 30 + 2 is the
previous number. 32 is achieved After dividing 224 by 7. 224 + 3
should be the previous number. 227 is achieved After dividing 1816 by
8. 1816 + 5 should be the previous number. 1821 is achieved After
dividing 9105 by 5. 9105 +1 should be the previous number. 9106 is
achieved by dividing 45530 by 5. The final calculation is to add the
first quotient, 3, to 45530 to give 45533.

The first Capablanca84000 combination is 00000. The last combination is

Capablanca84000 and its calculating system are intended to be made the
property of the public domain and may be used or improved by any entity,
or hosted for free on any internet website. The reason for designing
Capablanca84000 was to give something to the world of chess. It took under
an hour to design and I would not feel comfortable for receiving anything
more than acknowledgemnt of contribution, since no novel idea was
employed. I wish that no third party may charge or be charged for using
Capablanca84000. I wish for it to be public domain. I wish that the design
ownership belong to José Raúl Capablanca and Robert James Fischer.
I have 'designed' my own personal combination which I believe is unique
and the best set-up. Currently, I choose to keep this combination secret,
until I am the recognised 'designer' of it.

Anonymous wrote on 2004-07-30 UTCGood ★★★★
This variant is currently not supported at <a href=''>Red Hot Pawn Online Chess</a>, but do you think it should be added?

Larry Smith wrote on 2004-05-14 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

David A. Wheeler wrote on 2003-07-25 UTCGood ★★★★
A clarification: in Fischer Random Chess, the kings and castling rook are <i>not</i> allowed to jump over any pieces except each other. I've talked with Eric van Reem about this, and he did <i>not</i> intend to allow piece jumping, though I think you could easily read his rules and think that piece jumping is allowed (and the chessvariants page is baed on van Reem's rules). In other words, the rules of FullChess are a correct (and a better stated version) of the Fischer Random Chess rules. For more information, along with a nice simple explanation of the rules, <a href=''>see this page on Fischer Random Chess</a>. I suggest that this chessvariants page be updated to give clearer rules that forbid jumping during castling, since it appears that its promulgators don't intend to allow piece jumping during castling at all.

David A. Wheeler wrote on 2003-07-08 UTCGood ★★★★
Beware: The castling rules for FullChess are _NOT_ the same as
the rules for Fischer Random Chess.  This is clear from the
Spanish ruleset.  I'm sure both games are enjoyable - it's just
important to note that they are different.  If you happen to get the
orthodox initial position, it doesn't matter, but in other positions
the difference could make a difference.

Reinhard Scharnagl wrote on 2003-03-30 UTCGood ★★★★
<p>Sorry, the FRC castling rules has to be commented again, because they are not absolutely correct described here. For those who want to redefine them: remember that classical chess has to be compatibly included!<br> I have tried to rewrite the FRC castling rules in a shorter but equivalent form at my homesite: <a href=''>FRC Castling Rules</a> and something more around that theme (in english / german).</p>

roy keene wrote on 2003-03-29 UTCGood ★★★★
very nice item. I just want to make a comment. I think Fischers chess is
realy good, but would have one thing different: as there is no kingside or
queenside as such (the k and q being setup randomly ) it would be better
if you cuold castle the same on both the king ends up on g1
or on b1. In standard chess castling q side has the disadvantage that king
is nearer the centre and has tl be moved to protect the a pawn. 
Leettting him castle deep int the corner would encoutrage opposite side
castling which leads to lively game sswithbsimultaneous attacks on bith
wings in my experience.
A very nice article thank you very much

M. wrote on 2002-12-02 UTCGood ★★★★
I played a game like this, and I liked it. Oh, and I set it up using David Coffin's method. Moussambani, g1 and h1 are different colors. what's the problem?

Reinhard Scharnagl wrote on 2002-11-23 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
You will find a nice freeware tool of a FEN-editor for Fischer Random Chess including a position generator at the following Link: <a href=''>FullChess FEN-Editor</a>. Some ideas on chess algorithms and Fischer Random Chess could be found at this site too (English and German).

Dave Coffin wrote on 2002-11-01 UTCGood ★★★★
I found a simpler procedure to set up Fischer Random Chess.
It doesn't require computers, dice, or lookup tables:

(1)  Put the eight white pieces in a bag.  Draw them one by one
and place them on squares a1, b1, ... h1.

(2)  If the bishops are on the same color, look at the following
pairs:  a1-b1, c1-d1, and e1-f1.  Swap the leftmost pair that
contains a bishop.

(3)  If the king is not between his rooks, swap the king with
the closer rook.

     All 960 legal positions are equally likely to result from
this method.

Anonymous wrote on 2002-10-18 UTCGood ★★★★
Fischerandom association:

Scharnagl wrote on 2002-10-05 UTCGood ★★★★
The rule of castling is not correct (last line of text). Please compare to <a href=''>Castling</a>.

Marountas John wrote on 2002-09-25 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Hello guys ! <p> I found this article extremely helpfull. <p> I have implemented all rules and created a playing program. It is web-based and free of charges. <p> Come and take a look at DC PlayZone : <a href=''></a> <p> Regards, <b>Marountas John<br> <a href=''></a> </b>

Chuck wrote on 2002-09-14 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Brad, I think your method favors positions with the king near the edge of the board, relative to the standard method. <p> This is because, since the king has to be between the two rooks, it's more likely to be closer to the center than to the edges. If the king is on the b1, there are only 6 combinations of squares the rooks can be on, while if it's on c1, there are 10 possible sets of squares for the rooks, and on d1, there are 12. (The fact that bishops must end up on opposite colors muddles things a bit too--it means that the king and two rooks are less likely to all three end up on the same color than they would be without the provision that bishops must be on opposite colors--but I can't think of a good way to explain this in detail without making this post much much longer than it already is.) <p> To look at it from a brute-force perspective, if you simply count up the king positions out of <a href=''>all 960 possible setups</a>, you will find there are:<p> 108 setups with kings on b1 & b8<br> 168 setups with kings on c1 & c8<br> 204 setups with kings on d1 & d8<br> 204 setups with kings on e1 & e8<br> 168 setups with kings on f1 & f8<br> 108 setups with kings on g1 & g8<p> The standard method gives an equal probability to each of the 960 setups .

ken wrote on 2002-04-28 UTCPoor ★
actually.. if you are a real fan of bobby fischer, you would have heard how
the real set up goes..

all pawns are in the exact same spots

king is placed in same position..
all other pieces in back row are shuffled but there must be at least 1
piece of 1 kind on each side and on the opposite side like a mirror

same goes for black.. mirror of whites side

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