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Carlsen v Nakamura: Fischer Random Match

February 9-13, 2018

World Champion Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura play a 16-game match at rapid and blitz time controls at Fischer Random/Chess960. For the first four days, 2 games per day at 40 moves/ 45 min + G/15 (no increment). Final day: 8 games at 10 min + 5 sec per game. The match will be in an Art Center outside Oslo, Norway. Total prize fund: just under $200,000 US.

Carlsen would normally be the prohibitive favourite in any match, but Nakamura actually has a winning record against him in their Fischer Random games.

Chess 960/Fischer Random is a form of "shuffle" chess where the pieces start on one of 960 semi-random configurations on the back rows. The arrangement is not completely random since: 1) the two Bishops always start on opposite colours; 2) the King always starts somewhere between the two Rooks; 3) Black's pieces are a mirror image to White's. All rules of chess are the same as regular chess. It is known as "Fischer Random" because it is a form of chess promoted by Bobby Fischer in the 1990's, when he believed "old" chess had become too much a matter of memorized opening preparation.


Live Video (commentary by Yasser Seirawan and Anna Rudolph)

Chess 960/Fischer Random

Stockfish 9

The latest version of the world's strongest chess engine -- open source, multi-platform, freeware! -- was released at the beginning of the month. Stockfish 9 can be downloaded from the developers' site:

Stockfish is in continual development, with new releases almost daily. Fanatics can get these "development builds" here:

2018 Saint Louis Norm Congress

February 8-13, 2018

Two 10-player RRs, in groups designed to enable GM and IM Norms, at the Saint Louis Chess Club. Canadian WGM Qiyu Zhou is playing in the IM group. She lost her first game to the top seed IM Sergei Matsenko (RUS, 2557). Games start at 11am and 5pm Central (noon and 6pm EST) and can be followed live online.