Should You Hate Chess Engines?

Should You Hate Chess Engines?

May 9, 2015, 2:03 PM |

Here is my comment passed on "Ghosts," the latest post on one of the most popular chess blogs (Google "chess blog" and Dana's Chess Blog will come up as #4) that I wanted to share with you. It is just an idea about technology and "smart" chess engines use.

Carlo Bolmida, Turin, Italy, Evoluzione degli scacchisti/Chess player evolution

Heidegger wrote The Question Concerning Technology long before (1954) any hint of digital ubiquity we inhabit today, with chess engines and all.

The problem with technology is that it “enframes” us, preventing us from seeing the world in any other way than the one it offers. The cheap-chip chess engines are monster crunchers, and that’s where their abilities stop. No intuitivity, no imagination, no creativity, no spontaneity, no strategic insight, no human mistakes (their bad evaluation and non understanding of position we swallow easily as “scientifically based”).

Take just one of these, intuition (“The only real valuable thing is intuition,” –Albert Einstein), computers kill it.

Here is the Yugoslav GM Ljubomir Ljubojevic on intuition and non-intelligent monsters (from an interview conducted by Evgeny Surov)

“Chess engines are not always right. I have experimented with it a number of times, in a position I would make a move using my intuitive judgment and then turn my last generation engine on to show me that my move wasn’t even the forth, or fifth line of calculation. But after forty hours of constant crunching the machine finally shows that my move was the first line of play. After forty hours, can you imagine that?!”

As long as technology is a good servant, and not a master, dictator, that’s fine.

As long as it is a non-dominant partner to our intellect, not a replacement, that’s fine too.

Else, you s-h-o-u-l-d hate it with every bit of yourself.