Chess960 in St. Louis: Caruana, Svidler, So and Nakamura win

by ChessBase
9/5/2019 – Public appearances by Garry Kasparov are often notable, even more so at chess events and especially if the ex-world champion is coaxed into playing chess himself. At the "Champions Showdown" from the Saint Louis Chess Club, Kasparov faced Fabiano Caruana in a 'Fischer Random' match from Monday to Thursday. Although the final score is clearly one-sided in favour of Caruana, the world champion showed he still has what it takes to play against an active player of the elite. In the other match-ups Wesley So and Peter Svidler got comfortable wins over Veselin Topalov and Leinier Dominguez, while Hikaru Nakamura bounced back from a lousy start to finally beat Levon Aronian. | Photo: Lennart Ootes

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2019 Champions Showdown: "Chess 9LX"

The "Champions Showdown" has become an annual event to showcase the Saint Louis Chess Club by bringing world-class with a twist. Instead of eight grandmasters playing a typical round-robin ("all-play-all") tournament, each player has a match opponent against whom he has to play the total of 20 games. The four separate matches, running in parallel, this year feature Chess960 (a.k.a. Fischer-Random Chess) with the following pairings.

Final standings

  • Caruana 19 : 7 Kasparov
  • So 18 : 8 Topalov
  • Dominguez 10½ : 15½ Svidler
  • Nakamura 14½ : 11½ Aronian

Live commentary

Commentary by WGM Jennifer Shahade, GM Yasser Seirawan & GM Maurice Ashley

Garry Kasparov warmed up with the "Ultimate Moves" exhibition | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Grand Chess Tour

Chess 9-what-now?

In this chess variant, the pieces are lined up on the first and last rank in a random order, with a few stipulations (e.g. the king must begin between the rooks, the bishops must be balanced). In all 960 different starting positions are theoretically possible. The basic premise is that the players can forget their theoretical knowledge in "normal chess" (a.k.a. position 518) and are instead on their own from the first move.

But what is "Chess 9LX"? The organizers seem to be pursuing a marketing strategy, something that can be more readily branded or even trademarked, but the meaning simply derives from the Roman numeral system, popular for instance in the American football Superbowl: "L" for 50 and "X" 10 - "LX" is simply "60". Chess 9LX = Chess 960.

It might have been "Chess CMLX" of course, but that doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, like "nine-el-ex".

Prize fund

USD $200,000 is on offer for the players.

Time control and scoring

Rapid (6 games): 30 min. / Game (10 sec. "Delay"), a win is worth 2 points

Flash (14 games): 5 min. / Game (5 sec. "Delay"), a win is worth 1 point

Schedule

A new starting position will be drawn for every four rounds, with the same position being repeated in each round. In the unlikely event that, by random chance, the "normal" position 518 is drawn, it will not count and a new draw will take place. After the draw, players have a little time to prepare, but are not allowed to use any electronic devices. A (human) second is allowed. In addition, the players will be filmed during their preparation — it's part of the show!

Times in UTC.

Day

Date

Time

Event

Monday

September 2

17:00

Selecting position

18:00

Rapid game 1

19:30

Rapid game 2

21:00

Blitz game 1

21:30

Blitz game 2

Tuesday

September 3

17:00

Selecting position

18:00

Rapid game 3

19:30

Rapid game 4

21:00

Blitz game 3

21:30

Blitz game 4

Wednesday

September 4

17:00

Selecting position

18:00

Rapid game 5

19:30

Rapid game 6

21:00

Blitz game 5

21:30

Blitz game 6

Thursday

September 5

17:30 

Selecting position

18:00

Blitz game 7

18:30

Blitz game 8

19:00

Blitz game 9

19:30

Blitz game 10

20:00

Selecting position

20:30

Blitz game 11

21:00

Blitz game 12

21:30

Blitz game 13

22:00

Blitz game 14

Links




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bbrodinsky bbrodinsky 9/6/2019 01:13
Great comeback for Naka!
KevinC KevinC 9/6/2019 03:01
Garry was better is probably more than half the games, but at his age, the time controls were just too fast for someone, who is out of practice.
Sampru Sampru 9/6/2019 01:28
Masquer, go to the official site which is linked at the end of the article.
Masquer Masquer 9/5/2019 05:36
So, no actual chess960 games to play through? Having the pgn would be appreciated.
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