Demonstration match

Questions & answers

The match Luteijn-Donner

Questions & answers

1. What is variable baseline chess?
Variable baseline chess is a version of chess that generally starts with empty bottom lines; the pawns are already on the board. If the pieces are to be lined up symmetrically, this is done by lot. The idea is over 200 years old.

2. What is Fischer Random Chess?
In Fischer Random Chess the white and black pieces are symmetrically lined up by lot, provided that the rooks are placed on both sides of the king and the bishops on squares of different colours. After castling the king and rook are on the same squares as in classical chess.

3. What is Basic Chess?
Basic Chess is a version of variable baseline chess without drawing lots and with the rooks already on the corner squares.

4. What are the objections against drawing lots?
Drawing lots means that players, even before they have made their first move, often face positions they don't like. Basic Chess also greatly increases the number of possible starting line-ups, but it does not force players to struggle with extremely awkward positions right from the start.

5. Why will the knowledge of openings in Basic Chess not reach the degree of saturation of the theory of openings in classical chess?
The possibilities of classical chess openings follow the lines of a so-called tree diagram. The same goes for Basic Chess. The substantial increase of starting line-ups ensures that Basic Chess is not a temporary solution. A human being can only memorize a very small part of all these added possibilities.

6. Why are the rooks already on the corner squares of the board before the game starts?
In other versions of variable baseline chess, such as Fischer Random Chess, castling is more or less awkward. In Basic Chess castling is made variable, but otherwise it is as clear as in classical chess. That is why the rooks in Basic Chess are already on the corner squares.

7. Why is it important that short (kingside) and long castling are variable?
With both kings on the e-squares (e1 and e8) the possibilities of Basic Chess would be halved. If the white king always were on his e-square, mirrored positions could not occur, but black would have a positional advantage.

8. Why does the game begin by placing an arbitrary piece on the board instead of, say, the king?
If the pieces were placed on the board in a fixed sequence - first the king, then the queen, next the bishops and finally the knights - variability would enormously be reduced. The sequence in which the pieces are placed on the board, is of considerable strategic importance and is part and parcel of the game of Basic Chess.

9. How can Basic Chess be introduced?
As to the introduction one could think of mixed tournaments and competitions in which players who exclusively want to play classical chess, indicate this in advance, so that their opponents can prepare classical openings.

10. Why can Basic Chess build a bridge to classical chess, while variable baseline chess by lot cannot?
In Basic Chess both players still have the opportunity to choose the classical line-up. Because of this overlap between Basic Chess and classical chess, the unknown can be explored gradually. In variable baseline chess by lot it cannot. In that sense Basic Chess can be considered an extension or even a protection of classical chess.

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