Monday, June 20, 2011

Chess Has Been Dismissed

Vishal Mehta Has posted an essay on Technorati titled: Chess Is Dying? (

I went to the USCF website and found two players named Vishal Mehta, one of whom is Vishal R. Mehta. One is from MI, and the other from CA. I have no idea if one of them is the writer. He writes,
"Chess is fast approaching a dead end one can say.
But top grandmasters with the help of chess engines..." And there it is, man and machine. What he does not mention is the fact that, with the advent of programs that are stronger than the best human players, chess fans, and everyone else in the world, will always wonder how much is man and how much is machine in the same way fans of major league baseball wonder how much was the man and how much was raging 'roids. Now that top GM's have been caught cheating using the advanced programs, there will always be suspicion.
It is always interesting to read what 'outsiders' think of the Royal game. For example, Ray Kurzweil, an American author, entrepreneur, scientist and futurist, was a guest on the show REAL TIME on HBO last week. Kurzweil mentioned to the host that he had predicted a computer would beat the world chess champion in 1998. The host, Bill Maher asked when the computer actually beat the world chess champion. Kurzweil answered by saying the computer won the world chess championship in 1998. Then he added, "Chess has been dismissed."
First of all, the program did not win the chess championship of the world. Unfortunately, since it did beat the human holding the title of world chess champion, the general public now consider it a fact that the machine became the chess champion of the world. Once something like this gets into the public consciousness, it can never be eradicated. You can thank Gary Kasparov for that fact. Why the man played the machine, especially in such a short match, is beyond my grasp. I hope he was paid well to lose the title...
I do not know how many times I have been replaying a chess game in a coffee shop when someone who knows very little about the game will come up and say something like, "I did not realize people still played chess now that the computer beat that man. What was his name? You know, the world champion."
It has reached the point where people are writing things like, "In 1997, a computer called Deep Blue beat world chess champion Garry Kasparov. Headlines triumphed about the victory of machine over man, as we humans were “conquered”, “vanquished” and, as a result of our defeat, “stunned.” The real question isn’t why we finally were defeated by a chess playing computer, but why it took so long." That was written by Gord Hotchkiss, from: Understanding The Human Part Of The User Experience. ( are no longer expected to compete with machines.
It is difficult for those involved with the game to acknowledge that chess has been dismissed. Even today you can go to the USCF website and read an article by an International Master, Greg Shahade, where he talks about trying to get chess on ESPN. Chess people are obviously in denial. ( It will never happen! The reason it will never happen is that in the public consciousness the game of chess has been dismissed.


Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate, but you are right. The perception is the reality.

Vishal Mehta said...

Hello there. I am the person who published the Technorati article. Thanks for sharing on your blog. Cheers.