Playing Chess against a Computer Vs. Playing Chess against a Human Player

Today, playing chess online is shouldn’t be a costly affair-; Chess-playing software is now both very available and quite affordable. There are many programs such as Crafty, GNU Chess, and Fruit that can be downloaded from the web for free. These chess games might be free but with the aid of virtually any modern personal computer, it can defeat most master chess players under tournament conditions.

Top commercial programs who support playing chess against a computer (like Fritz or Shredder) have surpassed even world champion players at very short and short time controls. The current top rated computer chess software is Rybka, which has won many recent official computer chess tournaments such as CCT 8 & 9, the ‘06 Dutch Open Computer Championship, the 16th IPCCC, as well as the 15th World Computer Chess Championship.

The most important reason people name for preferring to play chess against a computer is solo entertainment. This allows chess enthusiasts to practice and to amuse themselves when they do not have any human opponents available. Computers are also very valuable as aids to chess analysis, for major computer chess competitions, and as research tools to help provide insights into human cognition.

There is no doubt that computer chess has been a phenomenal success. It went from strength to strength, and from its earliest real attempts, to programs that tried to challenge the best human players in less than fifty years.

There are, of course, chess purists who think that playing chess against a computer vs. playing chess against a human player is not even an option and would not be caught dead playing chess against a computer. They will be playing chess against a real human player until they could not physically play at all. These chess players are mostly from the older generations or chess players who are lucky enough to be part of a chess group. For them, there is nothing like getting together each week to battle their human opponents.

Playing chess against humans is obviously also a way of socializing. Your computer chess games won’t offer you a beer or ask you about last night’s game. It will also not tell you what the reason for its last move was.

You can find a chess group at a local school or community centre. You can even play chess against yourself, as it forces you to think through the reasons and implications of your moves. Since you will know what the ‘other guy’ is about to do, you are not trying to operate against his secret or hypothetical knowledge, but only with what is possible, available, and apparent on the chessboard.

The Internet now gives us the opportunity to play chess against computers as well as playing chess against other people online. You can join an online community, practice against the computer for a couple of games, and then challenge other human players to battle until death, or at least checkmate.