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Eh Chess960 players
Keep up playing this great game you will only benefit from stretching your mind as chess 960 does. How much more evidence do we need that Chess960 is good for Chess? Nakamura has won Tata Steel (Wilk aan Zee) the GM super tournament for 2011. He is also the GM Finet Chess960 Champion of 2008.
Take note that that the top three players of this super tournament Nakamura, Anand and Aronian (excluding Carlsen tied for third) have all played Chess960 at GM tournament level. Even more amazing is that the winner of group-B David Navara is also a GM tournament level player of Chess960!
Chess960 is great for your chess if you let it. If it is not helping you, then just get more acquainted with Chess opening theory in terms of general principals. That is what Chess960 does. It stretches your mind in creative ways (not necessarily winning ways) and get's you out of the boring doldrum of playing the same opening over and over again without thinking any more.
Correlation, causation, blah blah blah.
You are getting your cause and effect mixed up.
Yes it is true that I should not raise false hope with unprovable theories. On a personal level Chess960 has improved my Chess because it has gotten me to think more tactically and creatively from move one which has been fun to experience. It has exercised my tactical muscle more than my memory muscle. But the improvement is only modest because my talent is limited. However it has improved my enjoyment of Chess by 100% on a personal level.
Sincerely best wishes to you and may you enjoy your chess however you play it.
A big drawback of Chess960 is that one cannot prepare, and make creative work in one's own chess laboratory at home. So it is all about pragmatic capacity, something which does not enthrall the general chessplayer. Therefore my relocation variants is better.
Re relocation variants, it's an interesting idea whose time might arrive someday. Before that happens, there is a lot of uncharted territory to be explored in chess960, about which you make several statements that are opinion masquerading as fact.By 'one cannot prepare', I suppose you mean 'one cannot prepare openings'. There is plenty of preparation to be done for the endgame, which was enough for a naturally talented player like Capablanca. As for the middlegame, there are many more types of typical middlegame patterns, e.g. Pawn structures, in chess960 than arise naturally from the traditional start position. There is also a type of opening theory in chess960, I'll call it 'hypertheory' (after Rowson), to guide the player in the initial assessment of a new chess960 start position. This theory is little understood today and players like Nakamura and Aronian are occasionally introducing ideas that would be preposterous in traditional chess. What guides them to these ideas?As for 'creative work in one's own chess laboratory at home', I suppose you mean OTB chess. Chess.com offers only correspondence chess960, which provides ample opportunity for creative work at home. In fact, already on the first moves chess960 allows for more creative work than does traditional chess, where the 'creativity' involves deciding whether to open 1.c4, 1.d4, 1.e4, etc., or to respond to 1.e4, with the French, Sicilian, or whatever.As for 'pragmatic capacity [...] does not enthrall the general chessplayer', is there any evidence to support your assertion? I have collected several stories from OTB players, club level players who have a busy life outside of chess, who have no time to study openings, and who don't like playing opponents who are booked up to move 15 in the Najdorf or the Slav or whatever.Relocation variants might be a great idea, but let's take it one step at a time. - Mark
The question I ask is why do people think that you cannot do home preparation for Chess960 in the chess lab? I just don't get that. I am doing lot's of preparation theory work. The progression goes like this:
1) Just think of Chess960 as fun and have an open mind every single game.
2) Start to play many starting positions. You will find common themes very quickly.
3) Take one Chess960 game and analyse it very very deeply. You will learn a lot about general principles that help your other Chess960 games.
So I just don't get why people think you cannot do home preparation in Chess960. I do think Bobby's Fischer's observation is probably the correct explanation. If the game feels "over-whelming" we feel intimidated and don't want to play. It just comes down to perception and habituated thought patterns.
Re relocation variants, it's an interesting idea whose time might arrive someday. Before that happens, there is a lot of uncharted territory to be explored in chess960, about which you make several statements that are opinion masquerading as fact.By 'one cannot prepare', I suppose you mean 'one cannot prepare openings'. There is plenty of preparation to be done for the endgame, which was enough for a naturally talented player like Capablanca. As for the middlegame, there are many more types of typical middlegame patterns, e.g. Pawn structures, in chess960 than arise naturally from the traditional start position.
It's not actually clear to me why opening preparation is thought to be in some sense less valuable than endgame preparation. (Also the notion of Capablanca as a natural talent is in large measure a consequence of the self-image that he liked to project, surely no-one reasonable would believe that he didn't have a chess set at home as he stated.) As it is, 960 removes the benefits of opening preparation while endgame preparation still works, a condition which I am not entirely happy with. However, fortunately most of my 960 games are decided in the middlegame.
Delayed effect, ey?
Delayed effect yes why not?
Chess960 restores the balance between opening and endgame preparation. All that is happening is that we are thinking about Chess960 openings in the wrong way. In traditional chess we analyse one starting position to a very great depth but in Chess960 we analyse 960 starting positions to a much shallower depth. The analytical approach marries traditional chess techniques with new techniques:
1) Proactive analysis - play many Chess960 openings to six moves deep and compare approaches
2) Retrospective analysis - take one failed Chess960 opening and study it to 15 moves deep
If people actually made the effort to play just a couple of thousand Chess960 games so that you have contacted most positions at least once, you would see your natural intelligence beginning to form theoretical concepts and volumes of books could be written on Chess960 openings if that is what was wanted.....
It's just that we have no young generation of Chess960 players who have played a couple of thousand games. We just have a bunch of Chess players commenting on Chess960 without having had proper exposure to the game.
You know Nakamura attributed the win at Tata to his maturation as a chess player, though? No more crazy openings etc. It doesn't seem at all plausible to use a 2008 FRC success to explain his performance three years down the line.
glider, do you play standard chess ?
Atos: 'It's not actually clear to me why opening preparation is thought to be in some sense less valuable than endgame preparation. (Also the notion of Capablanca as a natural talent is in large measure a consequence of the self-image that he liked to project, surely no-one reasonable would believe that he didn't have a chess set at home as he stated.)'The distinction between types of preparation is a good one. Opening preparation involves memorizing specific moves in specific positions. Endgame preparation involves learning methods for classes of positions. How many beginners know the first three moves of the Ruy Lopez, but can't mate with King & Rook vs. King? How many experts know the ins and outs of the Kings Indian Bayonet Attack, but can't mate with King, Bishop, & Knight vs. King? (I don't know how many, but I bet there are lots of players in both situations.) Em.Lasker wrote something about the value of studying methods, but I don't have the time to find it.As for Capablanca, I've heard the same of Reshevsky. I suppose they were talking about certain points in their lives. Of course they needed a chess set to study anything related to chess, whether openings or endgames. Reshevsky was another gigantic talent (and prodigy) who wasn't booked up on openings. Maybe there's a connection between chess talent and aversion to memorization.That endgame theory is the same in both traditional chess and in chess960 was one of Fischer's selling points for chess960. Once both players have castled, it's hard to tell what the start position was and it gets harder as the game progresses. - Mark
The opening isn't even relevant until at least 2000 anyway. I don't get the issue people have with this.
Actually, since amateurs tend to win / lose in miniatures much more often than GMs, it seems arguable that openings knowledge is more important on amateur level. (Because it is more scarce.) A GM has to invent a sound novelty to get an edge in the opening, all that an amateur needs to do is to learn a sharp line. (Assuming that the opposition is on their respective levels, of course.)
bemweeks: 'Em.Lasker wrote something about the value of studying methods, but I don't have the time to find it.' It's from Lasker's 'Manual', p.337...'Education in Chess has to be an education in independent thinking and judging. Chess must not be memorized, simply because it is not important enough. [...] You should keep in mind no names, nor numbers, nor isolated incidents, not even results, but only methods. The method is plastic. It is applicable in every situation.'...The full paragraphs, along with the rest of the chapter, are here...FINAL REFLECTIONS ON EDUCATION IN CHESShttp://www.xspace.com/kloro/choat/WEB/bk6.end.html...In fact, the entire book is accessible from that URL. - Mark
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