Last modified on 3 October 2011, at 19:26

Chess/Variants/Random Opening Chess

One of the possible Random Opening Chess setups

Computers are able to defeat even expert human Classical Chess players, partly because of their reliance on a database of openings. Fischer Random Chess is one alternative; however, computers will soon have a strong database of openings for all 960 possible starting positions. Random Opening Chess is a chess variant in which it is not possible to compile a database of openings, because there are too many possibilities, even for computers. Random Opening Chess includes all the charm of Classical Chess, save for the openings.

On the diagram at the right you can see one of the possible setups, likely set by experienced chess players with a feeling for the harmony of chess. However, you can also create much more wild and unique opening positions possible only in Random Opening Chess. Note that in this setup, both players are able to castle on both sides.

Random Opening Chess is a chess variant. It is based on Classical Chess, but has some similarities with Problem Chess and Go.

There are not many differences in the rules, you will still enjoy Random Opening Chess if you like the beauty of Classical Chess. In Random Opening Chess you use the same chess board, the same chess pieces and even the same rules as in Classical Chess. The only difference is the starting positions. A game of Random Opening Chess starts with an empty chess board.

The rules are simple. First set up an empty chess board as in Classical Chess, with a white square on the bottom right. Game play starts with white pieces. White Player puts one white piece on the empty chess board. He can choose any white piece.

  • If he chooses pawn, he can put it on any square in the second, third or fourth row.
  • If he chooses any other piece than a pawn (knight, bishop, rook, queen or king) he can put it on any square on the board.

Then it's black's turn. He can put his first piece on any empty square on the board.

  • If he chooses pawn, he can put it on any free square in the fifth, sixth or seventh row.
  • If he chooses any other piece than a pawn (knight, bishop, rook, queen or king) he can put it on any free square on the board.
  • If the opposite king is already on the board, he is not allowed to attack it.
  • He is not allowed to put his own king under attack.

Play continues with players alternating setting pieces. After all 32 pieces are set, the game continues as with the Classical Chess rules.

Note that:

  • Bishops must be set on opposite colored squares.
  • You can castle if the kings and rooks are in proper position and they didn't move (As per Classical Chess rules.)
  • You can also use the en-passant rule if positioning allows it.