November 18th, 2018

risk

nothing ventured

to follow up on my last post about the chess, one thing that really stands out for me is how many times both players, in the analysis of computer-assisted observers, have failed to make midgame or lategame moves that would have set them up for a near certain victory. i would not be surprised if it is the case that players who've reached this level are fairly risk-averse overall and all too willing to accept a draw rather than lose (and perhaps look foolish) and although i don't know this to be true it is quite possible those moves were unorthodox and risky. still, it says a lot to me that our greatest human players can fail to glimpse all of the possibilities once they've been substantially narrowed, even as they clearly see so many of them; that even they are quite fallible. i wonder how much of the admixture each contributes to these failings, between risk-averse play, failing of ability, and over-reliance on known lines of play causing unorthodox unprepared-for lines of play to be dismissed out of hand (out of mind...). have our best players perhaps become more 'robotic' than actual (with figurative license) robots?