Ever Heard of "Chess 960?" Todd Wolf North Dakota Chess Assn. – KFGO News

In This Podcast:  Todd Wolf, the five-year president of the North Dakota Chess Association.

I had never heard of Chess 960.  I thought it might be a new video game version of the classic board game.  Wrong.  

It’s a twist on the old game, envisioned by former chess great, Bobby Fischer.  The Rooks, Knights, Bishop, King and Queen are placed randomly on the back row.  The Rooks are still the front line soldiers. 

Here’s more details on a $250,000 Chess 960 tournament next month. 

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.

“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



Saint Louis Chess Club

Our guest in this podcast, Todd Wolf, says that he’s tried the 960 variation, and didn’t do too well.  But, he does a great job explaining the differences between the standard game and this new version.  Thanks, Todd.

(Jack Sunday is a radio veteran with nearly 50-years “behind the mike.” He likes to say he’s not old….just aging. Follow Jack on Facebook and Twitter @nodakjack. Listen weekdays for “The Drive With Jack Sunday,” 4-7pm on 790, KFGO.)

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