Epic Showdown in Casablanca

by Anna Burtosova
5/6/2024 – From 18-19 May 2024 the world’s top Grandmaster will play a rapid event, trying out the new Casablanca Chess Variant. Titans Carlsen, Nakamura, Anand, and Amin are set for epic showdown in a game that intends to bridge history and innovation. In this variant – not to be confused with Capablanca Chess – the game commences from equal positions inspired by historical gems. Could this be the beginning of a beautiful friendship?

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


The chess world has walked a long way, evolving from the timeless brilliance of past masters to the dynamic landscape of modern play—replete with technology, online matches, engine variations, and meticulous opening preparation. In this digital age, some games unfold seamlessly, their moves orchestrated in advance, leaving little room for creativity at the board.

To inspire the spirit of independent thought and strategic creativity, the Casablanca Stock Exchange introduces the groundbreaking Casablanca Chess Variant.

Unveiling the Casablanca Chess Variant

  • Starting Positions: The game commences from equal positions inspired by historical gems—some renowned, others less so. Will today’s masters follow the well-trodden paths of their predecessors, or will they choose a new direction?

  • Tournament Name: Casablanca Chess organized by the Casablanca Stock Exchange with Casa Events & Animation, and the Royal Moroccan Chess Federation

  • Tournament Details: Mark your calendars for the inaugural event in the vibrant city of Casablanca, Morocco, from May 18th to 19th, 2024.

  • Elite Players: Representing four continents, four top players will play rapid games. Grandmasters Laurent Fressinet and Hicham Hamdouchi will choose and unveil surprise starting positions before each game.

    • Magnus Carlsen: Widely considered as the strongest chess player of all time, former World Chess Champion and current world #1, represents Europe.

    • Hikaru Nakamura: A streaming sensation with millions of devoted fans, world #3 player, defends the colors of North America.

    • Viswanathan Anand: The legendary 5-time World Chess Champion, the trailblazer of Indian chess, represents Asia.

    • Amin Bassem: Africa’s strongest Grandmaster, numerous times continental champion,plays on home turf.

Weaving Tradition and Innovation

Morocco, a nation steeped in historical traditions, embraces progress while honoring its past. The Casablanca Stock Exchange, known for its innovative spirit, weaves threads of history into the fabric of the Casablanca Chess Variant. The echoes of bygone games will resonate alongside the promise of new strategies by the world finest players—a captivating blend of heritage and modernity. Notably,Casablanca Chess is being held in conjunction with the FIDE 100 celebrations as the International Chess Federation marks a century since its foundation.

Lawyer, chess journalist, editor, educator and promoter. As a chess player, Anna won numerous medals at the youth championships. In 2009, she earned her Woman Grandmaster (WGM) title. In 2010-11, Anna worked as an editor and reporter for the Russian Chess Federation website. Since 2018, after moving to Canada, Anna has been FIDE Social Media Manager, Website Editor, and Head of PR.
Discussion and Feedback Submit your feedback to the editors


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register

Frederic Frederic 5/8/2024 10:52
Excellent, Badbishop. I imagine that 10% of our readers are old enough to catch the reference.
thebadbishop thebadbishop 5/8/2024 10:28
The teaser image is a reference to the 1942 movie Casablanca. :)
Frederic Frederic 5/8/2024 10:21
Did anyone understand my front page teaser image?
Karsten Müller Karsten Müller 5/7/2024 02:42
Capablanca chess is indeed different: on a 8*10 board with archbishops on c1 and h1 resp c8 and h8. An archbishop can move like bishop+knight. I guess that this is too complicated and an 8 * 10 board and archbishop pieces are needed additionally. Casablanca chess does not need additons. Only a new equal starting posotion from an old chess game...
rokko rokko 5/7/2024 09:28
According to the article, CaSablance chess is diffrent from CaPablance chess. Otherwise, more art than sport but I like the idea.
arzi arzi 5/7/2024 06:37
You could use Google, Bing or some Indian search service, shivasundar?

shivasundar shivasundar 5/7/2024 03:32
Heard of this, Anna; details on positions wud be nice: or will it be randomized from a book of drawn positions? Which positions?