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if we "solve chess," will anyone play it anymore?

  • #41

    Relative to class C players, grandmasters have solved chess, and have written opening books. Yet class C players still enjoy playing chess and exploring non book moves and getting crushed by stronger players.

  • #42
    ianmoffitt wrote:
    think about it.

    Checkers is solved, and people still play it at highly competitive levels.

     

    Additionally, we will not be solving chess for many, many years to come (if at all).

  • #43

    I think casuals will still play it, but it won't be taken as seriously anymore at the higher levels *assuming* that GMs can actually implement the correct series of moves. So if GMs like Nakamura or Napomniatchi can implement perfect play, then I think chess will die out as a competitive sport.

     

    However, if chess is solved but can only be played perfectly by a computer from all positions (presumably because no human can memorize all the correct plays), then it won't really affect anything. Such an outcome would be indistinguishable from the current state of chess, which theoretically does have ideal moves, its just no one knows what they are. We already use stockfish as a pseudo-objective guide as to what moves are ideal, so the only difference is we would have a perfect chess engine to compare our mortal brains to.

    It would definitely change chess strategies though, as Anand has pointed out with respect to AlphaZero.

  • #44

    What exactly does "solved" mean? I'm assuming it means knowing the correct response for every move your opponent makes, i.e. those which always lead to a win? How does that work if your opponent is also making the correct response for every move you make? There can't be a path that results in both winning, though maybe a draw - is that "solved" then? What if your opponent makes a move that has no winnable solution for you? I can only realistically see it as solved if both players are in collusion to bring about a win for someone - and at that point you're not playing a game, but collaboratively solving a problem.

     

    Taking a really simple example: noughts and crosses / tic-tac-toe is "solved", but generally leads to a draw once people know the process. You can only win if someone doesn't know the methodology, makes a mistake, or deliberately doesn't do the correct move. However, the paths are very, very limited unlike for chess. According to Wikipedia, we're talking 765 combinations of positions that can be solved by just 8 rules. As long as you have two unassisted humans playing, there's no way for the solution to every possible move in chess to be handled.

     

    Edit: so, in summary, yes people will continue to play it. :-)

  • #45

    I like what Garry Kasparov said about it.  Just because we now have cars doesn't mean people are going to stop jogging.  

  • #46

    John, "solved" means we know the result of perfect play.  From the opening position, that could be a draw, a win for white, or (unlikely!?) a win for black.  We actually already "solved" chess for endgames positions up to 7 pieces.

    In other words, if the computer opens with 1. d4 and prints "mate in 72", chess is solved.

  • #47
    craigamoffitt wrote:

    John, "solved" means we know the result of perfect play.  From the opening position, that could be a draw, a win for white, or (unlikely!?) a win for black.  We actually already "solved" chess for endgames positions up to 7 pieces.

    In other words, if the computer opens with 1. d4 and prints "mate in 72", chess is solved.

     

    The computer can print "mate in 72" from the first move only if the moves of the opponent are also "theorically perfect" or preventively known by the engine that controls white. Otherwise how could be possible to predict the exact number of moves necessary to checkmate the opponent if you don't know his moves? The optimal move changes with the opponent's answers.

  • #48
    Gatsuuuu wrote:

    The computer can print "mate in 72" from the first move only if the moves of the opponent are also "theorically perfect" or preventively known by the engine that controls white. Otherwise how could be possible to predict the exact number of moves necessary to checkmate the opponent if you don't know his moves? The optimal move changes with the opponent's answers.

    @craigmoffitt was giving the definition of a "solved game".  That is, if the outcome of the game can be proven from move 1 (assuming perfect play from both sides - regardless of what that outcome may be), then the game is solved.  Checkers (aka draughts) is a solved game as it has been proven that perfect play from both sides always results in a draw.

     

    In Chess theory (see the Theory of Steinitz), we assume that perfect play from both sides would result in a draw, but we have been unable to prove it (and likely will not be able to do so for quite some time, if ever!)

  • #49

    In "mate in 72", imperfect defense could of course result in faster checkmates.  It really means "mate in 72 or less".

  • #50
    craigamoffitt wrote:

    John, "solved" means we know the result of perfect play.  From the opening position, that could be a draw, a win for white, or (unlikely!?) a win for black.  We actually already "solved" chess for endgames positions up to 7 pieces.

    In other words, if the computer opens with 1. d4 and prints "mate in 72", chess is solved.

     

    That's a good way to say it. It would be even a little more interesting if chess was solved and we had two perfect players for both White and Black. A game would then be the players sitting down at the table and would proceed in one of the following three ways:

     1) Black says I resign, and White accepts.
     2) White says I resign, and Black accepts.
     3) Black says I offer a draw, and White agrees.

    But chess is not solved, and there are no perfect players, so we keep playing chess. Even computers have not solved chess, so we have tournaments between engines too.happy.png

     

  • #51

    Yes I will still be playing it. I be playing till I'm not alive anymore.... Just clam down & relax I'm not going anywhere

     

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