Monday, November 23, 2015

Chess960: The more the better? part 3

This is a continuation of the discussion of Basque Chess960 that was had *here* and *here*. In Basque Chess960 each player simultaneously plays one board as white and the other as black. I've played it a few times and think that it is a wonderful way to play Chess960 and really makes sense because it eliminates any differences in advantage that the white player has.

I found that it is even possible to play Blitz Basque Chess960 because two games are not that difficult to keep a track of - our brains seem to be pretty good at seeing in double! If anything, I found that Basque Chess960 actually maintained or improved the quality of my blitz play because I could not stop to think - it forced me to play instinctively. Stopping to think in Blitz can often make your play worse not better.

With that in mind, I was surprised that the two commentators at the Showdown in Saint Louis 2015 exhibition match between Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana were intrigued by the Basque Chess960 idea too. Here is a transcript of their thoughts as they were commenting game one of the Chess960 competition:

Jennifer Shahade: "I really wish that we had Basque Chess for Fischer Random don't you? So that we could see how Fabi would tackle playing white (in contrast to Hikaru)"

Yasser Seirawan: "Oh that would be intriguing for sure"

Jennifer Shahade: "I think in Fischer Random it really makes a lot of sense, because you get to show....cause it's to easy to say after the game 'hey white just has an edge in this particular Fischer random'. But if you play Basque Chess960 you have to show it from both sides"

Basque Chess960 is a lot of fun, equalises fairness 100% and you get twice the game for each start position. You can also play it against the computer if you set up two Winboards side by side on your screen.

Enjoy 960

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