Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Chess960: Naming the Knight Pairs

There are a number of structural elements to a Chess960 position and a number of different ways of looking at it:
  1. The King with respect to the Rooks
  2. The Independent Queen
  3. How many times each pawn is defended (SP518: 11144111)
  4. The Bishop Pairs (Insider info on the Bishops)
  5. The Knights Pairs (Insider info on the Knights)
For me personally, the last two regarding the minor pairs are pretty important. They hold up the character of the starting position to me. Check out the insider info links above as well as the respective naming entries in Wikipedia:
Wiki on the Knight

Each name has a historical analog to their Chess960 character (the Knight Orders).

Note that if you want to win at Chess960, better brush up on the theory behind the Military Knights and the Chivalry Knights. Together they account for roughly 50% of all games...

The Knight Pair Configurations and their Naming:

The Military Knights (except on DE)
  • Can work together or rapidly split apart
  • Can support each other in enemy territory
  • Complicated interaction confusing the enemy
  • Able king protectors forming a defensive wall
  • Need to be pawn protected for max effect
  • Have two blind squares directly in front
  • Found in 216 SP's (23%)

The Chivalry Knights (1 or 3 squares apart)
  • Exist in two forms N.N or N...N
  • N.N->Incredibly cooperative attackers
  • N.N->Morph in complex and confusing ways
  • N.N->Attack focused
  • N.N->Flexible but unbalanced defenders
  • N...N->Surprise attackers that can defend
  • N...N->quickly morphs into N.N
  • Have a significant pawn forking weak spot
  • Tend to compete with each other for the same color squares
  • Found in 320 SP's in both varieties (33%)

The Monastic Knights
  • Dual colored ambiguous attackers
  • Can morph into military or chivalry roles
  • Can deploy into wing attacks
  • Can cover the center more in shifted forms
  • Can form a strong defensive wall for a king
  • Found in 180 SP's (19%)
The Hereditary Knights

  • Deploy to traditional positions
  • Flexible balanced attackers
  • Flexible balanced defenders
  • Found in 144 SP's (15% with the DE form)

The Ceremonial Knights (5 or 6 squares apart)
  • May become ineffective in the corners
  • Might deploy into rapid attack on a wing
  • Important home territory defenders
  • May come out in ceremony late in the game
  • Rarely co-operate in tandem
  • Found in 100 SP's (10%)

1 comment:

  1. Harry, In an FRC-chess960 setup, the important thing about the two white knights is whether they start on the same shade of square as each other.
    In the traditional setup they do not: this creates a lot of "knight opposition" between the white knights and the black knights, which prevents some deep penetrations by knights into the enemy's half of the board.

    The chess world is missing out by not have a cache of thousands of long time-control FRC-chess960 games where the two white knights started on the same shade of square as each other.

    Thanks, GeneM, 2011/Oct/16