Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

CEO of SpaceX and Tesla and owner of X Elon Musk has predicted that chess will essentially ‘be solved’ within 10 years just like checkers. However, Musk’s opinion drew sharp responses from some of the world’s top grandmasters and others in the chess community.

“Computers are so much better than humans at chess, it’s absurd. I predict that chess will be essentially fully solved (like checkers) within 10 years,” said Musk.

However, Musk’s comment drew sharp reactions from the chess community across the globe.

In response to Musk’s comment, Emil Sutovsky, the CEO of chess’ global governing body FIDE, said, “Engines haven’t advanced much for few years now. Even the task of solving all positions with 9 pieces can’t be completed. It’ll take years to cover 10 pieces, and you have 32. Engines are incomparably better than humans for 20 years now, but no checkers-type solution expected.”

Peter Heine Nielsen, who has been a trainer for both Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen, said: “From a technical aspect I quite agree with Musk’s takes on chess. For practical purposes chess is close to being solved. And from a general game perspective, the lag of ‘fog of war’ hurts chess. But chess is the perfect game from a sporting perspective, and truly global.”

“In a practical sense it is close to being solved. Any reasonable question we have, the computer will give a very precise answer to. There are no big ‘mysteries’ left,” he added.

“In some sense, agree, ‘fully enough’ to understand almost everything about the game. But still humans competing each other will be interesting for public if we find a way to make sure no computer help possible during the games. Public will wonder who of two players is dumber,” tweeted former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik.

Earlier, Musk had claimed that he found chess too simple to be useful in real life. He had also taken digs at former World Champion Garry Kasparov, calling him an ‘idiot’.