Chess is dead

Chess is dead

Sep 5, 2009, 11:39 AM |

and the future of chess?

Bobby Fisher famously stated that chess is dead.  


Further quotes from  and  :

  • "...checkers has been solved (again thanks to hisbestfriend) leads me to believe that chess will be solved in the next 1-2 years.  The public interest in chess has already waned once Deeper Blue defeated Garry Kasparov, and Kramnik lost to Deep Junior Fritz..."
  • ".... I believe that the era of meaningful human/machine interactions is behind us. Fritz made moves during the tournament that left other grandmasters scratching their heads wondering how and why it did what it did. In many respects, the internal machinations of the computer is beyond human comprehension."
What I believe is that soon computers will be much stronger than humans in chess. But does it really matter?  It does however matter for IBM and other manufacturers of chess programs, because there will be no meaningful "human vs computer" contest to promote and make money from.

What soon will be dead is chess between humans and computers.  BUT even if chess is solved to a draw by computers, then this will still not mean to much for humans, as I do not believe that the best memorizers will be able to memorise the total tree of the "solved game".

Take another example:  It will be possible to  build a machine that plays better golf than Tiger Woods.  (Something with a pin point missile launcher).  But what will be the point to let such a machine play against a human?  Will this mean that golf is dead?  No! The fun in golf and chess for that matter, is to play against other humans or to play against yourself (e.g. improving your ranking or handicap).

Chess will be a human vs human fight except for the one human chess player that is the best in the world.  Pity Anand, Kramnik or whoever is currently the Best Human.  He /(She??) only will only have an unbeatable computer opponent to conquer and chess will be dead for this person.

Maybe Bobby was partially right !? Chess was dead for him, for the rest of us, chess is alive and well.