Robert Desjarlais

in Counterplay

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267398
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948204 | DOI:

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Computers are changing how chess is played. They are altering how players prepare for and analyze games, how they think during a contest, and what they make of chess. The impact of computers on the game is striking. The technological-cultural backdrop to these emergent and ever-evolving chess practices and sensibilities is the vast change in media, scientific, and information-sharing practices that are shaping and reshaping the lives of so many these days. With chess, as well, contemporary technologies of information and communication are contributing to the way players think and act, and the way forms of consciousness, bodiliness, subjectivity, and sociality proceed for chess players. When it comes to analyzing positions, computer chess programs these days rely on a brute force approach, examining every possible position in a “game tree” for a fixed number of moves. The method is much more systematic and comprehensive than the ones of which human chess players are capable.

Keywords: computers; chess; games; information; sharing practices; communication; consciousness; subjectivity; sociality; game tree

Chapter.  13157 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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