AI Is Ruining Chess
The game of chess has been around in one form or another for 1500 years. Chess has long been praised as a game of wits because it removes the randomness of other games and pits two people against one another on an even playing field. Most games have an element of randomness and chance. A dice roll. The draw of a card. This randomness serves to keep games fresh. It also serves to help keep the skill gap between potential players more narrow than it would be otherwise.
A less skilled player can win a game of cards over a more skilled player based on the luck of the draw. Chess has never been like that. In chess, there is a set number of moves possible in any given situation, and a handful of moves are more optimal than others. It is up to the player to figure out which move is the most optimal in any given situation. That has always been chess’s greatest strength, but now it is being seen as a growing weakness. Why? Because of AI.
AI has been used to create chess engines that far outstrip anything a human can match. Computers can analyze a board and come up with thousands (if not millions) of different moves in the blink of an eye. They can also think multiple moves in advance while tapping into their superhuman ability to create the perfect analysis of any situation.
The result is AI players that will likely never lose to a human again. Human’s simply can’t think as quickly or as far in advance as a computer. That puts them at a severe disadvantage. The best chess players in the world have ELO ratings between 2500 and 2800. (ELO is a metric that gauges a player’s strength based on the average player. The higher, the better.) There are AI chess players with ELO ratings that far exceed 3000.
At first, this wasn’t much of an issue. If you didn’t want to be embarrassed by an AI player, you simply didn’t play them. The strength of an AI chess player had little bearing on a match between two regular old chums. But that is no longer the case.
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