Home Sports Are “chess engines” killing originality; or has learning advanced?
By Timothy Jaikarran
The world is advancing every day, thus individuals are finding various methods to improve their chess game, such as “chess engines”.
Many persons hold different views on this topic, the predominant positive view being that engines are a form of improvement to the game, while the negative counterpart view is that engines are the killer of all originality in the game.
Many chess players have shared the view that engines, at a certain level, are destroying the human cognitive process of figuring out moves by themselves over the board, mostly in regard to their opening moves.
Programmes such as Houdini and Rybka can trash any chess grandmaster in a simple chess match, even current World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen, since the ELO ratings on such programmes are 500 more than that of the highest rated human; thus proving that modern day chess players, especially at highest level of the game, lack originality, and just seem to consult chess engines for new ideas to beat their fellow human competitors.
They execute their plans by memorising those lines, and the one with the best memory wins; unlike in olden times, when players tried new things over the board and used their skills and originality to win games. Therefore, regardless of the use of engines, the computer should really take credit for the victory, as the competitors are now self-dependent on the engines and can’t use their brain power.
Some would disagree with this reasoning because they believe that using engines is just an advanced form of learning compared to the olden days. Yes, engines have definitely raised the quality of players’ home preparation, as engines have been proven to do a lot of heavy lifting; but the engines are still just tools that strong players use to aid their creative opening endeavours.
The same is true of preparation in eras aided only by books and periodicals. Then, too, games were sometimes won simply from superior opening preparation. The world is currently in its technological state, and the use of chess engines now can be seen as the resort to books and periodicals in olden days.
At the end of the day, whatever moves are plugged into the system, the option is always given to the player, as they would be the ones who would have to choose what moves they should make.