As you may know, a major tournament is going on right now, based on a variant of Fischer Random rules, sometimes misleadingly called “Freestyle.” Subject to some constraints, the pieces are placed into the starting position randomly, so in Fischer Random chess opening preparation is useless. You have to start thinking from move one. This is a big advantage in a game where often the entire contest is absorbed into 20-30 moves of advance opening preparation, with little or no real sporting element appearing over the board.
1. Most of the time, at least prior to the endgame, I don’t understand what is going on. Even with computer assistance. I could put in five to ten minutes to study the position, and get a sense of the constraints, but as a spectator I don’t want to do that. As a relatively high opportunity cost person, I am not going to do that.
1b. Classical chess sometimes generates positions where one does not really understand what is going on. Then it is thrilling, precisely because it is occasional. A perpetual “fog of war,” as we receive in Fischer Random, just isn’t that thrilling. In the opening, for instance, I don’t even know if one player is attempting “a risky strategy.” I am not sure the player knows either. And I don’t feel that watching more Fischer Random would change that, as there are hundreds of different possible opening positions, mostly with different properties.