Q. How is Neoclassical chess played?
A. All rules are identical to the rules of chess. The only difference is that the game starts on a certain (fourth) move, by White.
The first three full moves (i.e. three by both White and Black) are obtained in a random manner just before the game starts
through a software program designed for this purpose, among positions taken from recent chess master practice.
Q. Which program is used to play Neoclassical chess?
A. In order to play Neoclassical chess, a method and its implementation in diverse applications, both patented [pending], are used. They provide the initial position of the game, unknown to the players until that moment. This constitutes a single, worldwide standard of play. With this standard we ensure that the probability of starting the game from a given position is identical to the relative frequency with which such position occurs in recent master practice. The application will be available in all major mobile and tablet platforms.
The website has various information, including a Q&A, a main paper "A bright future for the game", a technical paper "Foundations", and some intellectual property rights claims (the patent is pending).
They bring up a point that was made with Chess960 (doesn't it just mean 960 times as much preparation?!):
And declare 3 to be an optimised parameter:Q. But if the initial moves are randomly obtained, does that not lead to much more dedication to the study of the opening, in order to study all of them?
A. Opening study in Nc chess is based on understanding, not on memorizing long lines that will be forgotten or are left obsolete due to theoretical innovations. Hence it will relieve players from the burden of rote memorisation. You may not be an expert on the opening you are going to play, but your opponent will likely not be either.
Q. Why precisely 3 full moves are imposed ?
A. The number 3 is neither magical not arbitrary: is our standard depth based upon a stable singularity of the empirical distribution (set of relative frequencies) of chess openings in human master play. This depth is the key parameter and is chosen to be optimal in a clearly defined sense.
Ivan Salgado won the initial rapid event (May 9), an 8-player round-robin.