On Chess: Excessive study hasn’t killed game
Saturday March 24, 2012 8:59 AM
by Shelby Lyman

“The old chess is dead.”

Such was the pronouncement of Bobby Fischer, who perhaps had played the traditional classical game better than anyone else.

He blamed computers, which he said had killed creativity. Fischer wasn’t the only one to say this; many others did.

U.S. grandmaster Larry Christiansen, an ingenious attacking player, decried the “butt busters” who spent unimaginably long hours before their computer screens investigating each nuance of opening play and then delivering merciless blows of home preparation on the 15th or 20th move of their games.

Was this chess? If so, it seemed hardly recognizable.

But players have adjusted. Because they have expanded their opening repertoires and vary their selection of opening moves more frequently, home preparation by their opponents isn’t as effective.

Young talents such as Magnus Carlsen, the world’s top-rated player, no longer expect to get much of an advantage, if any, in the opening. He is happy to duke it out in the middle or endgame, confident that he will outplay his foe.

The sporting element has been enhanced.

So chess is not dead; it’s simply different.

Source: http://www.dispatch.com

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