“Most gods throw dice, but Fate plays chess”*…
Chess has been revolutionized several times since 1850. 1851 marked the first international chess tournament in London, leaving the German Adolf Anderssen as the official best chess player in Europe at the time. The 20th century saw several breakthroughs in chess theory as chess players began to treat chess as a science more than a pastime. With the advent of computers in the mid-1900s, chess players started analyzing games and writing computer opponents to hone their craft. Then in the 1990s, the widespread adoption of the Internet allowed players to play chess games with anyone in the world online.
That leaves us to wonder: How has chess changed in that timespan?…
Find out at “A data-driven exploration of the evolution of chess.”
And for a close look at one of the most recent developments– the surreptitious use of illegal technology– check out “Chess grandmaster accused of using iPhone to cheat during international tournament.”
* Terry Pratchett
As we begin to understand Marcel Duchamp’s choice, we might spare a thought for the polymathic Benjamin Franklin; he died on this date in 1790. Justly remembered and rightly revered as a Founding Father of the U.S., author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, diplomat, and aphorist, it is perhaps less well known that Franklin was a fanatic chess player. He was playing chess by around 1733, making him the first chess player known by name in the American colonies. His widely-reprinted and translated 1786 essay “The Morals of Chess,” a paean to the game that prescribed a code of behavior for its players, is the second known writing on chess in America. He was inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame in 1999.