Everything Is Broken

An email arrived recently in which a reader accused me of being “Mr. Doom & Gloom.” The writer takes exception to some of what I write, most of which he considers “negative.”

The email arrived during a week the chess community learned, “Parviz Gasimov, a 14-year-old from Azerbaijan, has managed the incredible feat of going from a 1949 rating in October 2014 to 2517 in the first rating list of 2015 – no less than a leap of 568 points in three months.” (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/from-1949-to-2517-in-three-months)
Unlike previous players who “enjoyed” amazing leaps there have been no accusations of any cheating by the boy. He accomplished this unbelievable feat because the F.I.P.s in charge of the world chess organization changed the rules. Keep in mind Sam Sevian, the young GM currently playing in the Tata Steel tournament, was initially rated 315 in the middle of 2006. Six and one half years later he hit first hit 2500 USCF. Where is the outcry and outrage from the chess community? As far as I have been able to determine there has been no one from the chess community to even question this revolting development. Could that be because Kirsan the E.T. and his fellow travelers have instituted so many Draconian changes the chess community has become inured to the changes? Has the chess community collectively decided to accept anything and everything these henchmen deliver? Keep in mind the FIDE president has said, “There is no professional chess and non-professional chess, there is only chess. And we will have discipline.” Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, explaining FIDE’s zero tolerance rule to interviewer Danny King (http://en.chessbase.com/post/king-talks-with-kirsan)
Full disclosure-I have taken this from the Mechanic’s Institute Newsletter #692 (http://www.chessclub.org/news.php?n=692)
What Kirsan the E.T. said sounds like something an adult would say to a child. Does Kirsan the E.T. consider the chess community his children? Or was it said more along the lines of what an older Soviet KGB agent may think? The Nazi Gestapo instilled “discipline.” Why do the very best human chess players allow themselves to be treated as children, or subjects? Why is FIDE allowed to be administered like a Third World dictator runs a banana republic?

Albert Einstein said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

During the week the “Doom Gloom” email arrived the chess world learned, “With an Elo-rating of 2399 (January 2015) Kenny Solomon is South Africa’s number three but a few days ago he became the country’s first grandmaster. In the Africa Chess Championship 2014 he finished with 7.0/9 and had a better tie-break than tournament favorite GM Ahmed Adly, World Junior Champion from 2007. This tie-break win made Solomon Grandmaster.” This is from an article, “South Africa’s first Grandmaster,” dated 1/4/2015, on Chessbase. (http://en.chessbase.com/post/south-africa-s-first-grandmaster) Mr. Solomon TIED for first place; he did not win a playoff. He is rated 400 points lower that the number one GM; 200 points lower than an average GM; and 100 points lower than the minimum allowed to become a GM. I have seen nothing questioning this development, so I ask, “Is this a good thing for the Royal game?” Is it a good thing to have such a mediocre player spoken of in the same way one speaks, or writes, about Magnus Carlsen? Now that Kenny has “joined the club” how much does his being a member cheapen the GM title? And why am I the only one questioning this development?

Change is inevitable and chess has changed dramatically this century. The Draconian dictators of chess no doubt believe these changes are good for the Royal game. This flies in the face of the reality. For example, funding for the most prestigious event of the chess world, the World Championship, was difficult to find. The chess world still does not know who funded the match. The public has tuned out chess. Here are some recent headlines to bolster my case:

“Grandmaster Clash: One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.” By Seth Stevenson (http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_nut/2014/09/sinquefield_cup_one_of_the_most_amazing_feats_in_chess_history_just_happened.html)

“Destroying the grandmasters,” by Clive Thompson (http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/11/26/clive-thompson-destroying-the-grandmasters/)

“How computers changed chess” By Guillermo Campitelli (http://theconversation.com/how-computers-changed-chess-20772)

This seems an appropriate place to insert measures taken by another game, a cousin of chess, which were not taken by the Royal game:

“Have computers invaded the realm of this ancient game as they did to the western chess? Of course, although it took much longer and caused quite a bit of consternation to the JSA, who in 2005, officially forbade professionals to compete publicly against machines as a way of preserving the dignity of shogi masters. In any event, shogi computer programs were too weak, for a long time, to present a serious challenge to the human mind.” (http://en.chessbase.com/post/the-knight-that-jumps-high-falls-prey-to-a-pawn-2)

Have chess Grandmasters lost “dignity” because of losing to chess programs? What you and I, members of the chess community, think matters little in relation to how the general public answers the question. Has chess become a kind of ivory tower, insulated from those outside its borders, or does what the general public think have any meaning? You bet your sweet bippy it means something!

“What chess can learn from rebranded sports: Chess has long been associated with the cerebral and socially awkward, but now a million-dollar Las Vegas tournament is trying to combat that image. Which other games have tried to rebrand?” By Telegraph Men (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/the-filter/11070041/What-chess-can-learn-from-rebranded-sports.html)

What does it say about chess when the sponsor(s) of this tournament, meant to change the public perception of chess, took a bath? Rather than enhance the stature of chess, the final analysis of the tournament from those in the media, and general public, is that chess, as one member of the general public said, who happens to have played chess when young and who continued to avidly read the New York Times chess column until it ended, “Chess received yet another black eye.”

I will end with a poem about chess, found in the article, “Man vs Machine: A poet on Kasparov-Deep Blue,” by Colin McGourty (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/man-vs-machine-a-poet-on-kasparov-deep-blue).

Chess

awaited
in great anticipation
the match between a man
distinguishing trait: a knife between his teeth
and the monster of a machine
distinguishing trait: Olympic calm
ended in the victory of the dragon

for nothing
poems ripened
in the gardens of Andalucía
the nouveau riche
Deep Blue
elbows his way across squares
sewn from a Harlequin’s cloak
a mocking ignoramus
stuffed
with all the openings
attacks defences
and finally with a joyful
hallali above the corpse
of his opponent

and so
the royal game
passes into the hands
of automatons

it needs to be snatched by night
from the prison camp

when the mind slumbers
machines awaken

we must begin again
a journey to the imagination

Zbigniew Herbert (translated by Colin McGourty)

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The Stoltz Variation

One of the games at the 90th Hastings Congress began 1 e4 c5 2 Bc4 e6 3 Qe2. Naturally, this caught my eye. Regular readers know of my fondness for the Bishop’s opening, and also for the Chigorin variation against the French, or any opening containing the move Qe2. How could I not pay attention when both moves are played in the same opening? The game was between David Sedgwick (1995) and Ali R Jaunooby (2175), and was played in the eight round. The latter played 3…Nc6. I considered only 4 Nf3 or 4 c3, but Sedgwick played 4 d3, which I did not understand. A quick consultation with the Chessbase database (http://database.chessbase.com/js/apps/database/) shows only those two moves having been played, so 4 d3 must be a TN. The game continued: 4…b5 5.Bb3 Nd4 6.Qd1 d5 7.c4 bxc4 8.Ba4+ Bd7 9.Bxd7+ Qxd7 10.Nf3 cxd3 11.Qxd3 Nf6 12.e5 Nxf3+ 13.Qxf3 Ne4 14.Nd2 f5 15.Nxe4 fxe4 16.Qg3 Qb5 17.a4 Qa6 18.Bg5 Rb8 19.Qc3 h6 20.Bd2 Be7 21.Qg3 Kf7 22.Qf4+ Kg8 23.b4 Bg5 24.Qg3 Bxd2+ 25.Kxd2 Rxb4 26.Rhb1 Rd4+ 27.Ke1 Kh7 28.Rb5 Rf8 29.Rab1 Rf7 30.h4 h5 31.Qg5 Rf5 32.Qe7 e3 33.fxe3 Rxa4 34.Qxc5 Rxh4 35.Qc2 Re4 36.R1b3 Qa1+ 37.Qb1 Qxe5 38.Qc1 Qg3+ 0-1

Because of my experience playing 2 Qe2 versus the French I would never play a move like 4 d3, allowing the Knight to come to d4, attacking the Queen, so I checked out 4 Nf3 on the CBDB, learning that both Komodo and Stockfish play the Knight move. After 4 Nf3 both Komodo 8 and Houdini 4×64 play 4…Nf6, which would be a TN, as the CBDB contains no games with the move. It does show that Komodo 6 plays 4…Nge7, which is a move that has been previously played. Finding no games at the CBDB, I surfed on over to 365Chess (http://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=9&n=75620&ms=e4.c5.Bc4.e6.Qe2.Nc6.Nf3.Nf6&ns=3.3.195.572.2485.4268.4065.75620) finding two games with 4…Nf6, so we do have a “main line.” Both games were played last century, back in 1972, the year I met Bobby Fischer at the Church’s Fried Chicken tournament in San Antonio after Bobby bested Boris, winning the World Chess Championship.

Slavoj Kupka (2375) vs Josef Pribyl (2435)
CSR-ch 1972

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 e6 3. Qe2 Nc6 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. d3 Be7 6. Bb3 O-O 7. c3 e5 8. O-O d6 9. Rd1 Qc7 10. Bg5 h6 11. Bh4 Be6 12. Nbd2 Rad8 13. Nc4 Nh5 14. Bg3 Nxg3 15. hxg3 Rfe8 16. Ne3 Bxb3 17. axb3 Bf8 18. g4 f6 19. g3 Qf7 20. Nd2 a5 21. Ndc4 Ra8 22. Nb6 Ra6 23. Ned5 Be7 24. Kg2 Bd8 25. Nc4 Qe6 26. Rh1 Rf8 27. Nce3 Rf7 28. Nf5 Kf8 29. Qd2 Ke8 30. b4 cxb4 31. cxb4 axb4 32. Qc2 Rxa1 33. Rxa1 Rd7 34. Ra8 Kf7 35. Qa4 Be7 36. Rc8 Bd8 37. Ra8 Kg6 38. Nfe3 Kh7 39. Nxb4 Bb6 40. Nc4 Bd4 1/2-1/2

Jiri Malis (2220) vs Ivan Jankovec (2320)
CSR-ch 1972

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 e6 3. Qe2 Nc6 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. d3 Be7 6. Bb3 d5 7. Nbd2 O-O 8. c3 dxe4 9. dxe4 Qc7 10. O-O b6 11. e5 Nd7 12. Re1 Bb7 13. h4 Rfe8 14. h5 Bf8 15. Nf1 g6 16. Bc2 Bg7 17. Bf4 Ne7 18. Rad1 Rad8 19. N1h2 a6 20. Bg5 b5 21. h6 Bh8 22. Ng4 Nb6 23. Bf6 Rxd1 24. Rxd1 Ned5 25. Bxh8 Kxh8 26. Qd2 Qe7 27. Be4 Nc4 28. Qc2 Rd8 29. b3 Ncb6 30. c4 Nb4 31. Rxd8+ Qxd8 32. Qe2 Bxe4 33. Qxe4 Qc7 34. Ng5 Nxa2 35. Qf3 Qe7 36. Qf6+ 1-0

Further research shows this is not the first time Mr. Sedgwick has played this opening, having had the temerity to play this way against a future World Champion of Women.

David Sedgwick (2095 ) vs Alex Longson (2135)
7th Monarch Assurance 1998

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 e6 3. Qe2 Be7 4. d3 d5 5. Bb3 Nc6 6. c3 Nf6 7. Bg5 O-O 8. Nd2
b5 9. f4 a5 10. Ngf3 a4 11. Bc2 d4 12. O-O a3 13. bxa3 dxc3 14. Nb3 Nd4 15.
Nbxd4 cxd4 16. e5 Nd5 17. Bxe7 Qxe7 18. Nxd4 Qc5 19. Qf2 Rxa3 20. Bb3 Ne7 21.
Nc2 Qxf2+ 22. Rxf2 Ra8 23. Nb4 Rd8 24. Rd1 Bb7 25. g4 g6 26. d4 Bd5 27. Rc2
Bxb3 28. axb3 Rac8 29. Kf2 Nd5 30. Nxd5 Rxd5 31. b4 Rc4 32. Ke3 Rxb4 33. Rxc3
Ra4 34. Rc8+ Kg7 35. Rc7 Ra8 36. f5 gxf5 37. gxf5 exf5 38. Kf4 Rad8 39. Rg1+
Kf8 40. Kg5 Rxd4 41. Kf6 R4d7 42. Rgc1 Rxc7 43. Rxc7 Kg8 44. Rb7 Re8 45. Rxb5
Re6+ 46. Kxf5 Rh6 47. Rb2 Rg6 48. h4 Rg1 49. h5 Kg7 50. Rf2 h6 51. Ke4 Ra1 52.
Kf5 1/2-1/2

David Sedgwick (2091) vs Alexandra Kosteniuk (2398)
9th Monarch Assurance 2000

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 e6 3. Qe2 Nc6 4. c3 Be7 5. d3 d5 6. Bb3 Nf6 7. Bg5 O-O 8. Nf3
b6 9. e5 Nd7 10. Bxe7 Qxe7 11. d4 a5 12. Nbd2 Ba6 13. Qe3 cxd4 14. cxd4 Nb4 15.
O-O-O a4 16. Bc2 Rfc8 17. Ne1 Bd3 18. Nxd3 Nxc2 19. Qg3 Na3+ 20. Nc5 Nb5 21.
Qd3 Na7 22. b4 axb3 23. Ndxb3 bxc5 0-1

These were the oldest games found:

Goesta Stoltz vs Jan Foltys
Karlovy Vary 1948

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 e6 3. Qe2 Nc6 4. c3 Be7 5. d3 d5 6. Bb3 Nf6 7. Nf3 dxe4 8. dxe4
O-O 9. e5 Nd5 10. Bc2 Qc7 11. h4 f5 12. exf6 Nxf6 13. Nbd2 e5 14. Ng5 g6 15. h5
Nxh5 16. Nxh7 Nf4 17. Bb3+ Kg7 18. Ne4 Rh8 19. Bxf4 exf4 20. O-O-O Bf5 21. Neg5
Ne5 22. Bc2 Bxg5 23. Nxg5 Kf6 24. Ne4+ Kg7 25. Rxh8 Rxh8 26. Nd6 Kf6 27. Bxf5
gxf5 28. Rd5 Qe7 29. Kc2 Rh2 30. Qd2 Rh4 31. Rxc5 f3 32. gxf3 Qd7 33. b3 Nxf3
34. Ne4+ Ke7 35. Qxd7+ Kxd7 36. Nd2 Rf4 37. Kd1 Nxd2 38. Rd5+ Kc6 39. Rxd2 Rf3
40. c4 a5 41. Ke2 Rc3 42. Kd1 Rf3 43. Rc2 a4 44. b4 Rd3+ 45. Ke2 Ra3 46. Kf1
Rd3 47. Kg2 b5 48. Kf1 bxc4 49. Rxc4+ Kb5 50. Rf4 Ra3 51. Rxf5+ Kxb4 52. Rf4+
Kc5 53. Rf5+ Kc4 54. Rf4+ Kd5 55. Ke1 Rxa2 56. Kd1 a3 1/2-1/2

Goesta Stoltz vs Gedeon Barcza
Karlovy Vary 1948

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 e6 3. Qe2 a6 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Nge7 6. d4 cxd4 7. cxd4 d5 8. Bb3
dxe4 9. Qxe4 Na5 10. Bc2 Qd5 11. Qe2 Qc4 12. Qd1 Nd5 13. a3 Bd7 14. Ne5 Qc7 15.
Nxd7 Qxd7 16. O-O Rc8 17. Nd2 Qc7 18. Be4 Nf6 19. Bf3 Be7 20. b4 Nc6 21. Bb2
O-O 22. Rc1 Qd7 23. Nc4 Rcd8 24. Qb3 Nd5 25. g3 Bf6 26. Rfd1 Nce7 27. Ne5 Bxe5
28. dxe5 Rc8 29. Be4 Rxc1 30. Rxc1 Rc8 31. Rd1 Qb5 32. Bd4 g6 33. Bd3 Qc6 34.
Bc5 Qc7 35. Qb2 Qd7 36. Be4 Qa4 37. Re1 b6 38. Bd4 a5 39. bxa5 bxa5 40. Bd3 Nc6
41. Be3 Rb8 42. Qa1 Nxe3 43. Rxe3 Ne7 44. Be4 Rd8 45. Qc3 Rd1+ 46. Kg2 Nd5 47.
Bxd5 Rxd5 48. Qc7 Rd7 49. Qb6 Kg7 50. h4 h5 51. Qc5 Rb7 52. Kh2 Qd1 53. Qd6
Qxd6 54. exd6 Kf6 55. f4 1-0

I propose this opening be named the “Stoltz variation.”

Ilia Smirin (2664) vs Vitezslav Rasik (2436)
CZE-chT 2003

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 e6 3. Qe2 Nc6 4. c3 Be7 5. Bb3 d5 6. d3 Nf6 7. Nf3 O-O 8. O-O
b5 9. Bg5 c4 10. dxc4 bxc4 11. Ba4 dxe4 12. Bxc6 exf3 13. Bxf3 Rb8 14. Bf4 Rb5
15. b4 Nd5 16. Bg3 Bf6 17. a4 Rxb4 18. cxb4 Bxa1 19. Qxc4 Bb7 20. Na3 Bc3 21.
Rd1 Bxb4 22. Rxd5 Bxd5 23. Qxb4 a5 24. Qd6 Qxd6 25. Bxd6 Rc8 26. Kf1 Bb3 27.
Ke2 Bxa4 28. Ke3 Bc6 29. Bxc6 Rxc6 30. Be7 f6 31. Kd4 Rc1 32. h4 Rf1 33. Ke3
Rd1 34. Nc4 a4 35. Nb2 Ra1 36. Nc4 Rb1 37. Kd3 Kf7 38. Ba3 Kg6 39. Bb2 Rxb2 0-1

Slavko Cicak (2497) vs Bengt Lindberg (2420)
35th Rilton Cup 2006

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 e6 3. Qe2 Nc6 4. Nf3 d6 5. c3 Nf6 6. Bb3 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. d4
cxd4 9. cxd4 e5 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. Rd1 Qb6 12. h3 Bc5 13. Bg5 Nd4 14. Nxd4 Bxd4
15. Nd2 Be6 16. Bxf6 gxf6 17. Nf3 Bxb3 18. axb3 Rad8 19. Nxd4 Rxd4 20. Rxd4
exd4 21. Rd1 Rd8 22. Rd3 Qc6 23. Qd2 Qxe4 24. Rg3+ Kf8 25. Qb4+ Ke8 26. Re3 1-0

“A Chess Engine Is NOT Your Friend!”

In their new book, “Play Unconventional Chess and Win,” Noam A. Manella and Zeev Zohar posit, “…that technological tools do contribute toward creativity of top human chess players.” This flies in the face of conventional thinking, and they mention this in the preface to the book:

“Experienced chess players, those who learned the game some decades ago (or even recently),
are sometimes puzzled while being in the tournament hall or watching a live
broadcast of a top game. Do they witness a game between two wise and experienced people,
having enormous knowledge combined with a unique creative ability, or is it rather a
battle between machines, cold, technical, mechanical super-computers which happen also
to have bodily needs, feelings and desires?
The influence of technological tools over the game of chess is controversial. Some think
that chess players become robotic, lose all creativity and avoid taking any risk. The inevitable
outcome is a lot of uninteresting games ending in a draw.
Back in our youth, when chess programs had not yet been used, the players found the
moves “over the board”. The first impression is that the game was then slightly different,
and that nowadays we witness the decay of classical chess. Our intuition suggests that top
players find it hard to play creatively, and the computer plays an important role in this
situation. The fact that those top players and their seconds spend most of their time preparing
while looking at the computer monitor surely contributes to this.
However, others think that technological advances have made a huge amount of information
available to chess players. Thus they can solve, within a short time, problems
which were hitherto considered too complex. Today’s players have more resources to look
for new creative ideas, and those emerge in abundance.
One of the co-authors, Zeev Zohar, a chess expert, has investigated this subject deeply
as part of his academic work. He looked deeply at the arguments of both sides while interviewing
professional chess players as well as chess software developers. Finally he became
convinced that technological tools do contribute toward creativity of top human chess
players. He shared his conclusions with Noam Manella, who is a well-known expert in the
field of creativity, besides being a chess national master and study composer whose works
have received many awards. Mr. Manella, author of the best-selling book The Creative Code,
was highly enthusiastic about the subject. Thus this book was born.
Chess is a game based on patterns, axioms, rules and mathematical calculations. A
computer has no psychological barriers. It is “willing” to check moves that most humans,
including top players, reject instantly as part of a psychological elimination process based
on paradigms. Computer-aided home analyses of top chess players leads to a reassessment
of all old axioms, principles and evaluations. Hence one can easily understand why work
with computers adds a new creative layer to the game.” (http://www.everymanchess.com/chess/books/Play_Unconventional_Chess_and_Win)

I have not seen the book, only an excerpt provided at the Everyman Chess website. I am not now, nor have I ever been, one to “tow the party line.” Knowledge is only advanced by those who question conventional thinking. Although it is true “…that technological advances have made a huge amount of information available to chess players,” I do not understand how that fact can be considered “creative.”

The computer chess programs have drastically altered the Royal game; this is not your father’s chess. For example, take the response to a question posed by Sergey Kim to Rafael Vaganian during an interview on the Chess24 website, “Both at the board and simply in life you met all the Soviet world champions from Botvinnik to Kasparov. The world champions of the twentieth century – of your generation – and the champions of the third millennium – first and foremost, Carlsen: how do they differ?”

GM Rafael Vaganian: “It’s hard to compare, because the chess is totally different. Those champions worked in another setting, playing another kind of chess. With no computers, they worked and created on their own, and their creativity was immense. If they found something it was with their own minds, while now there are these amazing programs. Theory has “grown” to 30-35 moves, and you simply can’t compare the two types of chess. Frankly speaking, I don’t like modern chess, and I’m not sure what’s going to happen next. After all, a person isn’t capable of remembering so much, so they simply suffer because of it. They need to remember and learn it all, but then what of creativity? They barely play at the board, but at home, and that’s bad.” (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/rafael-vaganian-anand-won-t-lose)

Prior to the domination of the chess “engines” knowledge was gleaned from intercourse between humans. Mikhail Tal was forced to work with Anatoly Karpov by the Soviet authorities and it changed his style of play. Contrast the games of the young Tal from the 1950’s and 60’s with that of the Tal of the 80’s and you will see an almost complete transformation. Granted, most players change as they age, but not to the drastic extent of Tal. Back in the day human players fed off of each other and learned from their human peers. Today the intercourse is between man and machine. The chess playing programs have altered the natural development of the game of chess. We will never know how chess play would have developed if humans had been left alone.

Former World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik had this to say in an “Indepth interview with Vladimir Kramnik” on Chessbase: “Chess openings are like science. It keeps evolving. Judging by the standards of the time when Garry was an active player, he indeed knew the opening extremely well. Now it is over, his preparation isn’t good anymore. It is part of the past. Chess is developing very rapidly – just like the Internet, gadgets. You know, no one cares about the first models of iPhones now. Without day-by-day opening studies it is not possible. You can’t just invent a bunch of ideas and then spend ten years capitalizing on them. In the 70s or 80s this might have been possible. Now, in the computer age, you have to keep finding more and more new ideas. This is a paramount amount of work. You can’t rely on the old databases.” (http://en.chessbase.com/post/indepth-interview-with-vladimir-kramnik-120413)

Kramnik had this to say in response to a question by mishanp, on August 4, 2013, during an interview on the Chess in Translation website:

“A lot has been said recently about how super-computers will put an end to chess. Is chess really finite?”

Vlad: “It’s finite, no doubt, but it’s a number with 27 or 28 zeros – for the human mind it’s still infinite. Checkers, and particularly Russian checkers, really has been exhausted by computers, if you can put it like that. Chess is too complex: even the most powerful computers we use to train can analyse positions to a maximum of about 30 moves ahead. Games, meanwhile, can sometimes stretch to 200 moves. Yes, computers are strong, but they don’t calculate the game to the end and sometimes they make mistakes.” – Kramnik: “Intellectual effort gives me enormous pleasure.” ( http://www.chessintranslation.com/2013/08/kramnik-intellectual-effort-gives-me-enormous-pleasure/)

Computer chess programs are now two of three classes above Vladimir and have become so powerful that it is rare when Black loses a game in a match between these monsters. The same fate awaits human grandmasters as they become stronger.

Colin McGourty posed this question to GM Levon Aronian, “Is there a particular part or subject of the game you enjoy studying? (openings, middlegames, endgames, tactical combinations, etc.)” Levon answered, “I really enjoy finding new ideas in the early stages of the game. The biggest joy in the modern chess era is the discovery of good moves that are not approved by the computer.”

If the grandmasters today are “creating” anything, what is it they are creating? The young players today eschew post-game analysis so they can put the moves played into a computer in order to learn how the “engine” evaluates their moves. Things have changed in the same way things have changed for the game of Checkers. Name the current World Human Checkers Champion. As the “engines” become ever more powerful, chess will inevitably follow the same path as that of the game of Checkers.

IM Jeremy Silman wrote this recently, “The point of this article is to discuss something that needs to be addressed: CHESS ENGINES ARE OFTEN DETRIMENTAL TO THE CHESS HEALTH OF NON-MASTERS. – A Chess Engine Is NOT Your Friend!” (http://www.chess.com/article/view/chess-engines-are-not-your-friend)