Garry Kasparov will play Chess960 event in Saint Louis

by ChessBase
8/27/2018 – The Sinquefield Cup 2018 is not over yet but that does not stop the Saint Louis Chess Club from announcing its next big event: in about two weeks, from September 11-14, ten top players will battle it out in Chess960. Garry Kasparov is one of them! | Photo: Lennart Ootes

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Saint Louis Chess Club to Host Champions Showdown Chess 960 September 11–14

Exhibition matches feature ten chess champions, including legendary World Champion Garry Kasparov

Press Release from the Saint Louis Chess Club

SAINT LOUIS (August 24, 2018) The Saint Louis Chess Club will bring ten of the top chess players in the world, including legendary world champion Garry Kasparov, to play in the Champions Showdown this September. The matches will be played in Chess 960 style, also known as Fischer Random, with a $250,000 prize purse. The competition will include six rapid games and fourteen blitz games over the five days of play.

"Bringing this amount of talent to an event is a tribute to Saint Louis, the chess capital of the world," said Garry Kasparov. "People will get to see chess champions battle it out in a nontraditional and exciting format that will challenge all competitors."

Fischer random is a variant of chess created by Bobby Fischer in the late 1990s in which the pieces on the home rank are randomized. The 960 represents the number of possible starting positions. Players will not know the order of the home rank pieces until they arrive before the start of the round and will have to rely on their creativity in rapid and blitz games.  

Player Matchups
Player URS Rating   Player URS Rating
Garry Kasparov 2734 vs. Veselin Topalov 2722
Hikaru Nakamura 2812 vs. Peter Svidler 2758
Wesley So 2794 vs. Anish Giri 2763
Sam Shankland   vs. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2796
Levon Aronian 2794 vs. Leinier Dominguez 2754

"This format of the unknown setup presents quite the challenge for even the top players in the world," said Tony Rich, executive director of the Saint Louis Chess Club. "We will see some of the most interesting games as this format puts these players in positions they may never have seen before."

Play will begin at 1 p.m. each day September 11-14 at the Saint Louis Chess Club  and be broadcast live on

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DennisBrian DennisBrian 9/21/2018 01:00
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fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 8/31/2018 03:32
universal rating system - i believe it combines classical, rapid, and blitz into a single rating, or maybe just 2/3 of those

I'm not sure I like the format. Instead of 5 matches, why not make it a tournament? Find out who is the best FischerRandom player.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 8/30/2018 07:33
"Sam Shankland rating left out for any reason? He's still over 2700 " Green 22. Good question. I do not know the answer (if someone knows, please tell us).

Speculation: the ratings indicated are the "URS" ratings - what is that? These are not FIDE ratings - could be some kind of special rating system not yet applied to Sam Shankland.
fons3 fons3 8/28/2018 08:30
@ Mr TambourineMan

You can have Bronstein Placement Chess with chess960 rules. So mirror placement, king between rooks, bishops on opposite color.

White places 1st piece.
Black mirrors and places 3th piece.
White mirrors and places 5th piece.

In that case you do have to pay attention so as to leave room for proper placement of rooks and bishops. (For example you could end up with only room to put the last bishop on the wrong color if you do not pay attention.) I guess this "complication" is too hard for people and so this variant will never be adopted.
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 8/27/2018 11:21
Fantastic! Would be great not only to have more chess960 tournaments, but even a world chess960 association and a world championship.

@genem, as I have pointed out in the comments on other FRC articles, selecting a position totally defeats the purpose of FRC - which is to avoid memorization of opening moves. See this article on Bronstein chess:
According to GM Benko, " The amount of study a master has to do to remain up to date in the openings would suffice for a college education. If he neglects his studies his score suffers. I think this corrupts the essential nature of chess, which is a fight between the creative ideas of two individuals. "

Selecting a position in advance requires extensive amount of study in memorizing openings.
genem genem 8/27/2018 10:19
In addition to the traditional start setup, one more different yet sensible setup would give chess enthusiasts a measurement of variability, a perspective on the traditional setup that is unknowable until another setup is investigated deeply enough.
These chess960-FRC (Fischer Random Chess) tournaments that use a different setup for every round, and announce the setup only minutes before the game begins, fail to provide that measure of variability: instead they merely brief shallow examinations of this or that alternative setup.
Better would be to pick one sensible second start setup, and then to stick with that particular alternative setup for several special tournaments. Or to put it more succinctly.....

Discard the 'Random' from Fischer Random Chess!
Green22 Green22 8/27/2018 08:06
Sam Shankland rating left out for any reason? He's still over 2700
Mr TambourineMan Mr TambourineMan 8/27/2018 07:13
boorchess A basic aspect of how we have learned to identify the game is that white and black pieces mirror each other. So for that identification factor only, yes randomization win.
boorchess boorchess 8/27/2018 06:40
It is sad that or any internet play site does not have Bronstein Placement Chess. This is the logical evolution for the game and what inspired the addled mind of Fischer to want to rearrange the pieces in the first place. A real tragedy of history that randomization may win out over thoughtfully placing the pieces on the first 8 turns. cry.png
SmartShark SmartShark 8/27/2018 06:09
Thank you Gary. Your mere presence will make it a great tournament. Though I do not think you will win, I am sure you will produce some fantastic games and also suffer some bad defeats, and I think you know this. But despite knowing this, you are willing to play, and for that I respect you.
Jarman Jarman 8/27/2018 05:47
Not a fan of any fast time control, but so be it if it is the price to pay to lure Garry back to the board one more time.