Sunday, June 25, 2006

fischer-random setup

I was trying to figure out how to set up a game of fischer-random chess without relying on dice or flipping coins, or use of any other props that wouldn’t always be at hand to a chess player. What I came up with still requires a bag, but even that’s flexible.

First off, get three black pawns and one white pawn, put them all together in a sack and jumble it up a bit.

Start to place the black bishop on one of the four black squares by drawing out the pawns one at a time. If the white pawn is drawn, place the bishop on the left-most black square (a1). If, however, a black pawn is drawn, set it in front of the a-file and draw another pawn. If this is the white pawn, place the bishop on the second left-most black square (c1). Or if the second draw is another black pawn, set it in front of the c-file and continue in the same manner until the bishop is placed.

After the black bishop is placed, put any pawns you drew back into the sack and follow the same precedure, working from left to right, to place the white bishop on one of the four white squares. After both bishops, the queen will be placed, but because there are six valid placements for the queen, add two more black pawns to the sack. Then carry out the same process as before to place the queen. Remove one of the black pawns from the sack before placing a knight into one of the five remaining positions. Remove one more black pawn from the sack and place the second knight in the same way.

Now there are three vacant squares. Place the king on the central one and a rook on each outer square and the layout is done. Mirror the layout for the black pieces and everything is set.

Obviously, if you don’t have a bag to put the pieces in, improvise something or hide them behind your back or whatever.

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