Wired magazine has an interesting article entitled “Unorthodox Chess From an Odd Mind” that talks about Chess960 AKA Fischer Random, a variant of chess invented by “fugitive chess genius” Bobby Fischer:

The rules of Chess960 are mostly the same as orthodox chess – but the setup incorporates something once considered anathema to the game: chance. Pawns begin where they always do. However, the pieces behind them on the white side are arranged at random, with the proviso that bishops must end up on opposite colors, and the king dwell somewhere between the two rooks. The black pieces are lined up to mirror the white.

That makes for 960 different starting positions in the game, instead of just one. The point of Chess960 is to free chess from the yoke of memorization.

I’m not really a chess player, but this does sound interesting in that it favors skill over memorization.

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