Chess and Go

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Intelligence in chess

Chess is often associated with how intelligent someone is. While chess players may indeed be intelligent when it comes to chess. That knowledge does not necessarily translate to other areas. Being less skilled at chess simply means that you are not as skilled as others in chess. Chess can be enjoyable, but it is not a tool to measure your intelligence.

Keep it fun

Bobby Fischer, theory in Chess - Good Knight Chess

Fischer makes excellent arguments. It is challenging for a board game to strike a balance between fairness and memorization. Games that heavily depend on luck tend to be less fair and are not as focused on skill. While the addition of random elements can enhance interest, it tends to undermine fairness.

People who excel at competitive games typically invest a long time of their lives in it. However, only a few can turn it into a career. Chess is unlikely to help most people further in life. Although it appears more worthwhile than eSports, since the rules do not constantly change.

Computers can ruin the fun

A game becomes less interesting when a computer can beat any human, and can analyze all the moves. The interesting part of the game is then solved, and it can become pure memorization. The best game moves are known at that point. This is already the case with chess. It has lost a lot of creativity.

Is "Go" still interesting?

Go is still interesting. Computers can't fully explain their own moves yet. Go has many more possible moves than chess. It is possible that not all tactics are known yet. Go players often act on feeling and experience. AlphaZero, an AI that beats all Go players, uses a neural network. That means that the AI can't give you much insight.

Artificial Neural Network is Nasty - Xah Lee

AlphaGo, award winning documentary - DeepMind

Board games

In terms of socializing, board games often fall short. Players are focused on the game rather than getting to know each other. While many may find "will to power" value in board games, I usually do not. However, I would be interested in designing a board game which is life-affirming and promotes socializing. Chess and Go may be good for your memory, but other tasks may deserve your time more. Socializing after playing a game is an option, and can open up opportunities.

Computer party games sometimes seem better at socializing than board games. In games like Lethal Company, you have time to get to know each other a bit. Games have addictive elements by design, so keep the "will to power" concept in mind when deciding to consume a game. There is creative value in games, but interesting games are rare.

My article on "The Productivity of Deep Work" contains information about what the "will to power" concept means.

The productivity of Deep Work


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