The Chess Drama

9/21/2022 1:20 pm |

I can't escape the chess drama that is going on right now. The current World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, feels another GM was cheating against him and withdrew from the tournament though there is no hard evidence that he did so. In another event this past weekend where they had previously agreed to participate, when they faced off, Magnus made one move and then resigned the match.

Cheating is not new in chess. There was a big hullabaloo a few years ago when Women's GM Anna Rudolf was accused of cheating by using a computer hidden in a bottle of lipstick. And much of the commentary around the ongoing event is a basic acknowledgment that cheating is a real threat given the comparative strength of engines these days. To achieve what Deep Blue did decades ago no longer requires a specially engineered super computer. The modern reality is that most GMs struggle against a chess engine on just modest computer hardware.

Overall, it feels unfortunate that the game is being shown in this light in such a large way. It is definitely also being boosted by the content engine. Every chess YouTuber I follow has been forced to make a video about the drama for fear of losing out on easy revenue. And, to that end, I think some are prolonging the coverage in hopes of continuing to make the money while they can.