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Old September 30th 15, 05:43 AM posted to
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Default Relocation variants--better than Chess960

I have developed an idea involving modest changes to the chess rules, less
dramatic than Chess960. I wrote an article about it he

"Relocation variants - rearranging the initial array"

The various relocation methods allow the players optionally to relocate king
and/or queen before the play begins, whilst retaining the castling rights.
The players can abstain from this if they prefer the standard setup. It is a
cogent method of rearranging the initial position to enhance opening
ramification, while allowing the players to remain in control. The resultant
positions deviate marginally from the standard position and would be
experienced as natural by most chess players. Castling follows Chess960

There are different relocation variants. I haven't decided wich is
preferable. Some methods will generate only mirrored positions, just as in
Chess960. Thus, a subset of Chess960 is generated, as in "Placement Chess",

Diagrams of the 20 possible positions in Placement Chess can be viewed he

The diverse positions could easily be tried try out with a program that can
handle Chess960 castling. I have also created downloadable Zillions programs
that follow the diverse relocation rules. By comparison, Chess960 employs
randomization. Thus, the players lack control, which is frustrating to some,
since chess players like to deliberate their choices. In relocation variants
the player himself decides how the pieces should stand. It is interesting
from move one.

Fide-chess remains an option. It's just that the players refrain from
performing a relocation, which is allowed in relocation variants. Indeed,
the castling rules in Fide-chess also follow the Chess960 (relocation)
rules. Thus, Fide-chess is just a special variant. I discussed it with a
ChessBase representative and explained that it would be fairly easy to adapt
the software to relocation variants.

Arguably, chess training would become more effective since the players have
to think strategically from move one. "Placement Chess" is defined like
this: "Black may optionally decide the initial positions of the kings, while
White may, thereafter, optionally decide the initial positions of the
queens, after which he makes the first move." It is a very simple rule
change which dramatically increases the ramification of the chess tree.
Since it gives rise to only a limited number of positions, the players can
still prepare and study the different positions at home. Chess players are
fond of study and preparation.

M. Winther

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