🐟 Effect of modern chess engines on professional chess players¶
As the technology is impacting world in every field possible that mankind can think of the game of chess is no exception. Chess has evolved a lot and developed lot of theory with the help of chess engines and Artificial Intelligence. Chess engines are there for a while, the first chess playing program was by Bernstein (1957) and ran on an IBM 704 computer, capable of performing approximately 42,000 operations per second but it only selected the best seven moves for consideration using heuristics based on chess lore. As the time passed more powerful engines started to develop and today, we see engines like Stockfish, Alpha-Zero, Komodo, Leela0, etc. and new terms like Neural network, Artificial Intelligence, etc. has kept making these engines more and more strong. These modern unbelievably strong engines have become the tool in the hands of new generations professional chess players which made the human chess more exciting, brilliant and sophisticated. As Vladimir Tukmakov says “The engine has become the “Holy Cow” to which all chess players now pray regardless of their religious convictions or rating. Far from being a foe or rival it has become an invaluable helper, consultant and the highest of authorities. Since the highest of all oracles is soulless and cynical it is ready to help anyone ignoring opinions and preferences.”
Stockfish 14.1 (Strongest chess engine with rated elo of 3566)8^th^ Feb,2022
With the assistance of modern chess engines top professionals got the element to surprise their opponents in the opening by playing odd looking moves which is objectively good and has the potential ability that opponent blunders or misplays position giving edge to surpriser. The preparation has become so important in chess that sometimes we witness a preparation by both players which goes 35-40 moves deep preparation with both the players blitzing out there moves in a classical time control game which was never witnessed before the introduction of engines. Modern engines revolutionized how the game is played in all three phases of game that is opening, middlegame and endgame.
The benefits that modern chess engines give to chess world are immense but there comes the factor of cheating in online tournaments. Any layman with no knowledge of chess can beat the top-rated players of chess with the help of engines. But there are advances in detection technology of different chess platforms which with their AI powered system and huge database of games track the cheaters and take necessary action on them. FIDE has already approved a complex cheat detection system with a behavior-tracking module for FIDE Online Arena games.
Former world champion Garry Kasparov playing against Deep Blue. CREDIT: Sovfoto / Universal Images Group Rights Managed / For Education Use Only
This modern chess engines have given new prospective to look at chess. Deep Blue’s victory over Kasparov in 1997 declared a new era of chess. Even though problem exists in the form of cheating, but the advantages chess engines and AI programs provides to the Chess world definitely outweighs it. With the people locked inside their home due to global pandemic chess saw a huge boom in 2020 with millions of people getting newly interested in chess and needless to say Netflix series ‘The Queens Gambit’ was one of the reasons for chess boom. With all these things happening all at once we can say without hesitation the good days for chess have come.