I used to play chess in school competitions, from age 9 or 10-ish to (effectively) 19. I was fairly good: At one time, I ended up in the finals (after a mind-blowing 100% winning streak) where I gave up a winning game after I found out I was going to miss the train back home (earlier on xsamplex, 3 years ago). Anyhow: before computing became big, I ended up buying two chess “computers”: one was a TravelMate (Saitek?) and the second one was the Scisys Turbo 16K (“endorsed by Gary Gasparov”).

Why do I mention all of this? I just saw ‘Bobby Fisher against the world”, a documentary about the tragic life of chess grandmaster and world champion, Bobby Fisher. I followed the 1992 Spassky rematch and from what I recall, it was indeed a match that should have never been played. While a lot of people of my generation had Fisher as their primary chess champion, my personal favourite chess player was Garry Kasparov. I don’t agree with Kasparov’s political aspirations, but as a chess player he promoted aggressive and solid gameplay without the theatrics and antics of his predecessors.

I still do play chess so once in a while, mostly against the computer using any of the current known free chess engines: It’s amazing how the technology to write chess computers has advanced into the current state. No, let me rephrase that: with the current technology’s pace, chess engines have become so good, that they can outplay and outrank grandmasters. This is an amazing feat. Whether that’s good or not, I’ll leave to the current generation of chess grandmasters.

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