AI in Chess: Can Magnus Carlsen beat a Computer?

In the ever changing world of technology, artificial intelligence (AI) has touched virtually every aspect of our lives. Chess, the ultimate test of strategic thinking, is no exception.

Much like AI’s influence on other domains, it has made an indelible mark on the world of chess. But it’s not merely about human versus machine battles; AI has assumed a remarkable role as the supreme teacher, guiding players at every stage of their preparation.

Are Computers better at Chess?

Indeed, they are. Their superiority over humans can be attributed to two primary reasons. First, they can perform thousands of calculations per second, dissecting the game’s complexities with precision. Second, they lack the emotional baggage and self-doubt that often plague human players.

1st unbeatable Chess Computer:

It all started with IBM’s Deep Blue. The 1st chess computer that won against the then world champion Garry Kasparov and the dynamics of learning and playing chess changed forever.

Currently, chess at the top level is all about memorization and preparing games using chess engines, which basically are computers designed to play chess.

Competition among top level professionals is so brutal that mere inaccuracies can cause a loss or a draw.

Many top-level chess players like Bobby Fischer even went to the extent of saying that they hate chess because the creativity part that makes chess a beautiful game is 3rd in the priorities order.

The 1st two are memorization and pre-arrangement. You can listen to Bobby Fischer’s views on modern chess in the video below:

Can Magnus Carlsen Beat a Computer?

The short answer is no. Modern chess engines, powered by AI, outshine even the best human players in terms of skill, and they are immune to mood swings and fatigue. The era of human players besting chess computers is a thing of the past.

The Best Chess AI:

Leading the pack in the world of chess AI are Stockfish, Leela Chess Zero, Komodo, Alpha Zero, and Houdini. These engines consistently rank among the top, maintaining their dominance in computer chess.

Strength of Chess playing AI:

Modern chess playing computers have an ELO rating of at least 3400+. Keeping in mind that the current human chess world champion is at ELO level of 2850 around. With that kind of strength they are too strong on a human level.

They neither get tired of playing chess nor they have emotions to stop them from playing the best moves which means that if in the future there is a human as capable as AI in finding the best moves, he/she might still lose because of doubting their own moves at some point in the game.

Who can beat AlphaZero?

Not even the most accomplished human players can dream of beating AlphaZero. It’s an impossible task for any human player. The strength of AlphaZero is so high that it even leaves other AI engines struggling to contend.

Only AlphaZero itself, or a select few engines like Stockfish or Leela Chess Zero, stand a chance of winning against AlphaZero.

How Computers Changed Chess?

The dynamics of playing and learning chess changed the day Deep Blue of IBM won against Garry Kasparov in 1997. It was the beginning of a new era where adjourning the game in the middle is now totally out of question.

Many believe the future world champions will be the ones who can memorize chess better. But that’s a far distant theory. Chess still has that element of surprise. The dimensions of play are so lot and so much that you can’t expect someone to memorize everything.

You can only call it bad luck if somehow you landed in the total preparation of your opponent. In that case, there is almost no chance to survive.

Computers, on the other hand, can perform thousands of calculations at a time and although most of them are dumb considerations, it still carries a lot of weight.

Are Chess Engines Beneficial for Humans?

For the average human player, understanding the complex moves generated by computers can be a daunting task, with recollection fading over time.

Therefore, computers primarily serve as invaluable tools for top-level preparation. Analyzing games and incorporating minor improvements, rather than competing against these digital titans, is the key to personal growth in chess for professional players.

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