It’s tough to keep up without a computer
Saturday, April 3, 2010 2:49 AM

Today’s chess professionals are a far cry from earlier generations of grandmasters who often enjoyed a leisurely lifestyle.

Computers have raised the ante. If your opponent uses one, you have little choice but to do the same.

More than a decade ago, U.S. grandmaster Larry Christiansen complained about what he called “butt-busters”: those who had obsessively embraced the use of computer programs for opening preparation.

He deplored the long hours they spent crunching chess moves. Adopting their lifestyle was not an option for the three-time U.S. champion.

Today, of course, computer-based chess is the norm – so much so that Magnus Carlsen recently revealed that his usual tool to represent chess positions is a virtual one: a computer program and console, not the customary three- dimensional chess set.

Adjusting to the technology is especially difficult for older players. One of the strongest grandmasters of his generation, 79-year-old Viktor Korchnoi, said:

“I think that now I am very weak in opening theory, since I do not work very confidently with a computer. Young opponents constantly outplay me in the initial stage.”

Source: Columbus Dispatch

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