Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik often produced fascinating chess when they came face to face, until the Russian retired in 2019. That rivalry resumes on Wednesday – albeit in a brand new format.

The 14th and 15th World champions are set to play a series of four games of No-Castling Chess at Dortmund for the Sparkassen Trophy. The format will not allow the players to castle – that is, bringing the king, from the middle of the board, to the safety of a fortress at either of the flanks, by a single move.

Castling is the only move in chess with which you can move two pieces – the king and the rook – at the same time. Now, chess is a very theoretical game with professional players memorising the first few moves (called the opening).

So the real, unpredictable action would begin only after the opening moves are played out. Castling is very much part of the opening…

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