Over the weekend, I've had the opportunity to play a lot of online chess, and many of those games are still ongoing. I've been fortunate to win 12 out of 12 of my first games, but know that my streak will end soon. I have had great fun playing these particular games, because they are of a strain known as Fisher Random Chess or Chess960. The pieces on the back row are randomly placed (ensuring only that there is one bishop of each color). It appears that many of my opponents were caught off guard by the games, as comments bear out. However, it is spelled out in the game invites, so it's not like I was hiding anything from them. I play over at chess.com, which is also reachable through Facebook. If you'd like to play a game, send a challenge over to rgautier.
What I really enjoyed about these games is the absence of preplanned openings. The games are extremely tactical in nature, and the spirit of the fight is well preserved in this version of the game. You are on your guard from the first move, and find yourself constantly searching for the kill. The games are exciting with plenty of gotchas waiting around the corner. Focus too much on strategic movement and the quick tactic will take you out quickly. If you play chess and you haven't played this variation of the game, I strongly urge you to try it. And if you have an iPod or iPhone or iPad, download the free app from chess.com and invite me to a game. I'd love to play you.