Random is the Future

FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich recently commented:

It is an unprecedented move that the International Chess Federation recognizes a new variety of chess, so this was a decision that [had] to be carefully thought out. But we believe that Fischer Random is a positive innovation: It injects new energies and enthusiasm into our game, but at the same time it doesn’t mean a rupture with our classical chess and its tradition. It is probably for this reason that Fischer Random chess has won the favor of the chess community, including the top players and the world champion himself. FIDE couldn’t be oblivious to that: It was time to embrace and incorporate this modality of chess.”

Bobby Fischer disparaged chess as it was being played at the highest levels. On June 19, 1996 he announced a variant of chess called Fischerandom that was designed to “put creativity first.” Far from being against new chess variants, Fischer was completely for them! “I don’t like to dwell on the past. I’m interested in Fischerandom now. I’m trying to make chess a more exciting game today.

In Fischer’s own words:

“Chess [at the top levels] is all about memorization and pre-arrangement. Creativity is lower down on the list. ‘Old chess’ is banging your head against a wall with…theory. You get less and less enjoyment. Now, about Fischerandom, I’ve never made any claims that it’s the greatest thing… that it’s perfect. What I say is that it’s much better than the old chess… and it’s very easy to remember the rules. That’s my point. Capablanca had a very interesting game that he proposed…it was 10×10 [board] and it had 2 kings and extra pieces…and you win by mating either of your opponent’s kings. And it looked like a very creative game, maybe much better than Fischerandom. But it looks very intimidating, even for me – a top chess player. Very intimidating! All these extra pieces, huge board, two kings. You see, that’s my point…you can learn Fischerandom in 10 seconds practically! I’m not anti-chess, I’m pro-chess – I’m trying to keep it alive.

Grandmaster Eugene Torre remains an ardent supporter of FR. Fischer Random…is the future of chess. Classical chess has been with us for hundreds of years. We have an emotional attachment to classical chess…But we have to get ready for the future…”

Kasparov called Fischer “the detonator of an avalanche of new chess ideas, a revolutionary whose revolution is still in progress.” Viswanathan Anand described Fischer as “the greatest chess player who ever lived.”

Bobby Fischer: “Teach people to play new chess [random] right away. Why do you offer them a black and white television set, when there is a set in color? I think we need a change in the rules of chess. For example, I think it would be a good idea to shuffle the first row of pieces…because chess is becoming more and more simply memorization…I think it is true, we are coming to the end of the history of chess with the present rules. It’s time…to start playing new rules that I think are better.”