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Monday, October 18, 2004

Is chess as fun as it used to be?

This article exerpt comes from the San Antonio Express-News.

Some things in sports hardly change: the height of a basketball net, the length of a football field or the circumference of a baseball diamond.

Chess is different: evolution, change, even a variety of forms characterize this very unusual sport. Astonishingly, a game can take six or more hours to play. But there are also specialists in one-minute chess.

As the exploration of opening moves probes deeper and deeper, the chess battleground itself is being redefined. In an increasing number of today's game, the first 15 or 20 moves may have been played before.

And a once quintessential human role is changing. In a July interview, Vladimir Kramnik estimates that 80 percent of opening preparation depends on computer analysis which often substitutes for human analysis, creativity and insight.

The knowledge explosion limits human mastery in another way, says Kramnik. Today's grandmasters concentrate of necessity on a narrower repertoire of openings. Finding themselves frequently on unfamiliar ground, they are more willing to accept draws.

2 Comments:

Blogger Shadow said...

That is somewhat depressing. I guess humans find that beating a machine, such as Deep Blue, is more satisfying than overcoming a human opponent, yet again proving that man is better than machine. I dunno, humans have always interested me more...

9:12 AM  
Blogger 1987dodge said...

I agree. Humans are more complex. But isn't chess one of the last vestiges of man vs. man? Seems that games (computer, video, and otherwise) cater to the individual more than they do to pairs or groups.

8:05 PM  

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