Impossible to play chess without computers: Anand

Acknowledging the technology's role in strategising for games, Viswanathan Anand said it has become impossible to play a competitive game without computers

updated: December 26, 2008 17:30 IST
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Acknowledging the role of technology in strategising for matches, world chess champion Viswanathan Anand on Monday said it has increasingly become impossible to play a competitive game without a computer.

Anand said in 1987, the first database (simulation of real time intelligent and real-world chess environments) was incredibly low at 20,000 games.

"Right now, my select database is about 12 million," he said.

"Progressively, it has become impossible for people to work without computers. Nowadays, it's very difficult, if not impossible (to play chess without computers)," Anand told reporters at a press conference.

Some of the top young chess players have never known a world where chess was not studied through computers, he said. "I am looking at more opportunities than I used to (before using computers). My way of looking for unusual moves, moves that don't fit into the pattern recognition... have improved because of working with computers," Anand said.

Anand was today gifted a gaming computer, powered by quad-core Phenom processor, and the one tera flop ATi Radeon 4870x2 graphics card by chip major AMD, of which he is the Brand Ambassador.

He conceded that human beings would never be able to match up to high-end computers if games are played between them.

"Field is heavily tilted in favour of computers", Anand said, adding, humans would, however, continue to be very competitive against machines.But advances are taking place in technology so rapidly that humans are not able to keep pace with them.

If one "isolated" segments (broke the games separately), humans are very competitive but overall to carry a whole game against computers is very difficult, he said.

Anand also said he reads a lot about other subjects. "Because you never know when some connection might occur to you". The chess champion said he looks for any experience, new perspective and strategies to analyse games better.