A group of grand masters has outsmarted a chess robot in the first game of a chess series. The robot, which calculates thousands of moves ahead and was found to be smart in chess by all members of the unusual contest, suffered a defeat due to human resourcefulness.
One of the three participants in the game, seven-year old Arina Shtypel, was the first to turn up. A winner of several international tournaments, Arina sat watching the reporters, the audience and the robot manipulator, which was doing a warm-up easily picking up the chess figures, moving them across the chessboard, removing them and pressing the clock. After watching for a few minutes, Arina announced that she would play the Italian game. “I played this robot recently,” she says. “It plays strong. So I will play as usual, the way I play myself.”
Simultaneously along with Arina, the game against the robot was played with international grand master Igor Berdichevsky and presidential aide Arkady Dvorkovich, who has a passion for chess. All three were playing a blitz, each had 5 minutes. The curious thing was that at the fourth move Arkady Dvorkovich noticed that the figures had been misplaced and the black queen was in the place of the king. In addition, the robot forgot to press the clock at the end of the game and exceeded the time limit. Dvorkovich says that even though he was in the losing position, formally he won. But the robot, he argues, was playing better.
Arina and the grand master lost, having failed to keep the time limit. Next, a return match was offered, and the chess players decided to play the robot as a team. Considering the fact that the robot took too long to turn and manipulate the figures, they agreed to make their moves simultaneously, and the robot failed to bring the games to a finish. Human friendship beat artificial intellect. Arkady Dvorkovich comments:
“Playing a robot is psychologically difficult because you never know what it is up to. The game went off well and I even had an edge but I began to play for time and lost this edge. I kept track of the clock, not the board. But in cooperation with other players we outsmarted the robot, even though all had losing positions at the end of the game. If the robot could be made to look friendlier, like a human, everyone would be fascinated by the game.”
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– GM Susan Polgar