Is Chess Obsolete?

Is chess an obsolete game now that computers are better than humans?

Is strength training obsolete now that we have machines that can easily lift much more than humans can?

Are bicycles obsolete now that we have cars?

Is walking obsolete now that we have bicycles?

No.

Computers can certainly play a much better chess game than any human in the world can play.  Computers “think” about chess differently, but they do have the advantage of being able to “look” farther into the future while analyzing each possible position accurately.

So, if you’re a human and you want to play the most accurate/brilliant chess games ever, you’re already guaranteed to fail.

But you still appreciate a nice walk, even though you own a bicycle, and you still use a car or public transportation at least some of the time.

And if you go to the gym, you never think about the fact that a mechanical crane can “deadlift” much more than you can!

For the same reason, it simply doesn’t follow that chess is obsolete.

Even though humans are much less accurate at playing chess, there are numerous significant benefits from playing this and other strategy/logic games on a casual (or even serious!) level.  These benefits can be applied to the rest of your life.

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2 thoughts on “Is Chess Obsolete?

  1. The interesting thing is that chess is in many ways a lot more creative now than before computers, although in obvious ways it is also much narrower. The plus side for creativity: (1) in the old days, the analysis of human authorities were trusted and often copied without verification, but now computers are the best critic and force constantly looking for and testing new ideas, (2) the game has become much more psychological, about surprising an opponent with ideas not likely to have been pre-seen and memorized from home computer analysis.

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