Kenilworth Kibitzer

A blog for members of the Kenilworth Chess Club.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Gary's Review

Gary Kasparov reviews Chess Metaphors: Artificial Intelligence and the Human Mind by Diego Rasskin-Gutman.

Gary gives a recap of his own personal history of playing chess computers and believes that these machines are far from solving our ancient game. Gary writes, “Chess is far too complex to be definitively solved with any technology we can conceive of today.” He uses one of the metaphors presented in Chess Metaphors to explain why; “Diego Rasskin-Gutman points out that a player looking eight moves ahead is already presented with as many possible games as there are stars in the galaxy.” The one thing computers presently do is give people access to a strong player and a huge database. Kids are playing chess younger and younger with the help of computers. And being able to absorb even more of it. Earlier this month Time interviewed Magnus Carlsen who said himself that he isn’t sure if he even has an actual chess board at home! Bobby Fisher’s record of youngest GM has been broken only once in 1991. Since then the record has been broken twenty times. Gary credits computers for this.

The fight against computers have passed and machine now can easily draw or win against GMs. But what about poker? Gary questions, “Perhaps chess is the wrong game for the times…. while chess is a 100 percent information game—both players are aware of all the data all the time—and therefore directly susceptible to computing power, poker has hidden cards and variable stakes, creating critical roles for chance, bluffing, and risk management.” This is where humans have an edge. Gary has faith! “Perhaps the current trend of many chess professionals taking up the more lucrative pastime of poker is not a wholly negative one. It may not be too late for humans to relearn how to take risks in order to innovate and thereby maintain the advanced lifestyles we enjoy. And if it takes a poker-playing supercomputer to remind us that we can't enjoy the rewards without taking the risks, so be it.”

The review gets lengthy (especially on if you play chess, you must be intelligent), but if you are interested you can read it in its entirety here. One factoid mentioned that I never knew is the Kasparov match vs Topalov where it was “Man and Machine”. Both were allowed to use Fritz 5 and Chessbase 7.0. It is an interesting read found here. Gary’s tactical genius could be held in check by Topalov using Fritz and the two tied the match with 3 points apiece. Enjoy!

PS Where are the keys at?!

thanks for the link to that info on the Topalov - Kasparov centaur match. Very interesting.

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