I recently read a very cool, decently long article about how aging grandmasters see today’s grandmasters and computer chess technology. Much of the opinions were of GM Genna Sosonko, who was one to be feared back in the day.
If you don’t want to read the whole thing, I can sum it up in one sentence: Chess today is for the young, and computers have changed the game forever.
I have been saying this for many years. Some agree and some don’t, but at least one GM sides with me. Today’s top grandmasters are indeed getting younger and younger--heck, just look at Nakamura and Carlsen. These kids aren’t even twenty-five yet and they are among the world’s elite.
Sosonko goes on to say that chess youth today can learn at an extremely accelerated rate compared to enthusiasts of the past. What would take a student in 1950 months or even years to learn can now be absorbed in a matter of weeks or even less with chess technology.
Remember, when Fischer and Alekhine and Euwe and Morphy and Keres were playing, chess grandmasters weren’t comparing hundreds of games from a database in a single evening. They were inventing and being innovative and creating. Sure, today’s GMs do that to an extent, too, but they can’t get away with nearly as much. Today’s chess game seems to largely be one of theory, not necessarily one of experimentation.
Where technology takes chess in the next five, ten, twenty years is anyone’s guess. Will Fischer Random eventually be implemented as the norm? Will chess variants like crazyhouse and atomic become more popular? Maybe they’ll add a new piece that moves in a lower-case o. Okay, probably not that.