Is Artificial Intelligence Destroying Chess?

A cheating scandal that rocked the world of chess in the past month has led to controversy over the significance of high-level artificial intelligence games. This controversy led to our main question Is AI really destroying chess? Before you go to conclusion, first, let’s go through the story.

In March, the five-time world champion Magnus Carlsen dropped out of the tournament after only playing one piece against the rising teenage player Hans Niemann. In the following days, Carlsen formally accused Neimann of cheating, sparking an issue that was simmering for months.

This week on Wednesday, the online chess website published a 72-page report which concluded that Niemann “likely has cheated” in over 100 online chess tournaments; however, it did not provide “concrete statistics” to determine if Neimann has been caught cheating in live games, or over-the-board ones.

The basic concept is that chess-playing machines, referred to in the industry as “chess engines” can be significantly more effective in this moment than humans. So if you were to get guidance from them, even for a few crucial points in the game, it would be an advantage.

Deep Blue defeated then-champion Garry Kasparov in 1997. It was a big deal. However, the machine was the same scale as an enormous 3000-pound computer in a research lab at IBM. Imagine now, with AI everywhere, and it’s orders of magnitude more sophisticated than computers can do.

Over the next few years, there are many advancements in hardware and software, so you get to a point where artificial intelligence — a chess engine — running on a standard desktop can beat the world’s top players.

When evaluating how well a chess player has done in a match, people will often compare their moves to what a much better chess engine would have done.

Centipawn is yet another instance of how far computers can outsmart humans. Centipawn is a computation that defines how many hundredths of a pawn the player would have lost compared to what the computer would have done.

There was another shift that was introduced in the year 2017. That’s when Google launched a program called AlphaZero. It was an artificial intelligence based on neural nets that played itself. Then, after four hours, it was based on playing itself; it became more effective than any other chess-playing software.

Carlsen stated that the game made him “Inspired” when he first watched AlphaZero play. The engines have helped make it simpler for beginners to get better while also opening up new game dimensions for professionals. In this regard, Chess engines haven’t destroyed creativity but also redefined the definition of being innovative.

The cheating scandals could be nothing more than a natural step in the evolution of the chess. What’s your thought, Is AI really destroying chess or it’s a natural step in evolution?

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