Online chess offers many ways for chess enthusiasts to enjoy, play, and improve their game. Those who do play online face a variety of opponents â€“ opponents that are real people and some that are actually computer generated. For anyone involved in online chess, it is important to know about the advantages and disadvantages of playing against a computer versus real people online.
Chess playing machines have been around for over two hundred years. People have been intrigued by the idea of having a constant, challenging opponent. With the advent of the digital computer, various computer programs have been made, challenging even the grandmasters of the game. Some have been successful in beating computer programs, while there have been computer programs that have beaten some of the greatest chess minds. The experience of playing with a computer varies from player to player, match to match.
Computer chess programs follow a certain basic method to play the game. The computer calculates the possible moves, usually five, ten, twenty moves ahead of the opponent. This is done through levels of “trees ” of interconnected strategies. These levels can multiply and, depending on how many positions it’s calculating for, can number into the millions, billions, and trillions. A tree that has ten levels, for example, has around ten trillion positions. Depending on how fast the computer is, the more levels it can create. The fastest chess computer programs can calculate millions of chessboard positions per second.
With all this complexity and with calculations so high, it would almost seem pointless to play against a computer. It would seem frustrating to try to play against something that has its moves calculated as many as twenty moves ahead. Or would it? Some people are up for the challenge and enjoy it for various reasons.
One thing that the computer offers versus other people online is a constant challenge, one that keeps you on your toes. As you progress, the computer keeps pace with you. Playing with other people can seem limiting â€“ you need to find someone that meets your playing skills and once you surpass that level, you’ll need to find someone else. The computer basically eliminates the need of finding the right person to play with â€“ you can play whenever you want, at whatever level you’d like.
While computer eliminates the search for an opponent, it lacks the social aspect of the game. Some players enjoy the one-on-one competition of two minds strategically battling one another. Even if the opponents don’t speak and the whole game is online, the whole notion of a battle of minds is lost. This element is enjoyable for some and could make playing the computer at chess less appealing.
Another reason people play against the computer is because it’s a good way to improve your chess skills. Users can practice specific strategies and moves as much as they want or focus on certain aspects of the game. This wouldn’t necessarily work with a real person online. Few people would have the patience to let someone practice with them. The computer offers this opportunity to anyone trying to improve their abilities.
Finally, one aspect of computer chess versus playing with other people online deals with cheating. This is actually one place where they can sometimes come together. Sometimes on online chess sites, players will use a computer program when playing with an unknowing opponent. This is a somewhat controversial topic on the online chess scene. Knowing that cheating with computer programs is something to watch out for will save a lot of unnecessary frustration.
When it comes to playing the computer versus other people online, the key is to decide what is important to you as a chess player. Whether you are interested in a one-on-one competition of minds or just want some extra practice, you will be able to use the Internet to play online chess just the way you want.