The unofficial Fischer Random Chess Computer World Championships for software programs commenced at Reykjavík University yesterday afternoon. The tournament is open to the public and admission is free. According to a news report on the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, RÚV, the Fischer matches are hard and fast, and a Bobby Fischer chess clock will be used.
Fischer Random Chess (also called Chess960, Chess 960, Fischerandom chess, FR chess, or FullChess) is an increasingly popular variation of chess. The chess involves placing the pawns in the same positions as normal chess, but all the other pieces in random places behind them, making for 960 different starting positions in the game. Intuition and creativity are leveraged opposed to memorizing complicated games.
Fisher announced the chess on June 19, 1996 at a press conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
According to Wired Magazine the game “also holds a strong appeal for chess programmers. Conventional chess-playing programs, which can calculate moves deep into the future, still rely on a digital version of an opening book — basically a lookup table dictating the right move for two million or more positions. The random aspect of Chess960, on the other hand, requires original analysis for each move. ”
The competition at the Reykjavík University is a side step from the official Computer World Championships that ends on Sunday. The report did not mention whether Bobby Fisher would be at the match.