Magnus Carlsen recently held his crown as world chess champion defeating the American 25 year old Fabiana Caruana. The first 12 games were draws, largely because every grandmaster game is on line and current ones merely replicate the opening 15 moves from another game.
This practice extends to club players on line. I don’t see the point in recreational chess of your computer playing your opponent’s. After 12 games the two grandmasters – Carlsen and Fabuana – were obliged to play speed chess of 25 minutes per game and Carlson won these easily 3-0.
How does Carlsen rate amongst the chess legends?
Of the moderns there are two who stick out: Bobby Fischer, who redefined the word eccentric, broke the hegemony of Russian chess when he beat Boris Spassky in Reykjavik but he only stayed at the top for 3 years.
After retirement rumours abounded that an anonymous player on line in Japan who was destroying everybody on the chessnet site was in fact Bobby Fischer.
Gary Kasparov was world champion for a staggering 20 years and for me was the greatest ever. Given the events at Salisbury he is now to be admired for his consistent criticism of Vladimir Putin and his regime .
One of our Rust contributors referred me to a Times article covering a super computer which has established total supremacy but it doesn’t adhere to opening theory and practice. Chess players would routinely set up their position in a computer called Fritz to advise on the best move but his machine has taken game management to a whole new level.
Sadly I cannot see it doing anything to popularise the game or make it more spectator friendly.