Crazy Chess, from Newton Linchen

February 10, 2009 |

 Is that true that chess software cannot deal with incoherent, random, crazy, moves?

My own chess is very low ranked so I am no match to most chess software. I was playing (in the absence of a available friend) with web-based software named Jester. Playing "fairly" I wasn't able to beat the software. Ever. Then, one day, while listening to Philip Glass's "Etude N.3" loud in my earphones, I started to play furiously, just reacting, not thinking, making whatever move I could make. Crazy chess.

Guess what: the game didn't last few moves (as it used to) and I was able to go to the end game, and I saw a weakness in Jester's game. I went for it (this last couple moves were "rational", the ones before them, not). I won the game, amazed that the Jester wasn't able to "see" the weakness in his own end game.

PS: In a "fair" game, I usually felt like the software "knew where my stops were" and just hit them.Is that true that chess software cannot deal with incoherent, random, crazy, moves?

Nigel Davies replies:

If you got better results over many trials it could be that you're 'switching off' some aspect of your reasoning that leads you to play weaker moves, i.e. that at some level there's a misconception. This of course has huge implications for traders — they may be using an approach with a negative expectancy in a highly disciplined way.

So just guessing moves represents a better chance of beating Kasparov than those thought up say by 1500 players because they'll lack systematic error. There's a chance (albeit a very small one) that every move will be perfect!

GM Davies is the author of Play 1 e4 e5: A Complete Repertoire for Black, Everyman, 2005


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