Why Human Chess Players Are Still Better Than Computers?

The more extensive a computer chess is allowed to compute, the stronger it becomes. Thanks to Moore's Law, computer programs have become more powerful over the years. Despite of this, the best human players have still prevailed over these computer chess programs. Yet while these programs run ob faster hardware, better software, and massive databases of chess openings, the human brain have not made any further development. Unlike these computers, humans do not get upgraded every twenty months. So the question remains: why can't these machines beat human players?

In 1982, programmer Kenneth Thompson launched a project aimed at determining how much improvement a chess program would have if given the chance to plan ahead. He then pitted Belle, his leading computer chess against another program with an extra half-move. The latter won three out of the four games.

This becomes a different case when the computer is pitted against a human opponent because they have varying strengths and weaknesses giving plenty of room for adjustments.

The weakness of the humans is in computation while the computer is in long-term planning. They key is to make openings that will push the computer chess to exploit its weakness. In the third game of the match involving World Champion Garry Kasparov against the computer program Fritz.

In an opening on the ninth move, Kasparov gained the upper hand when Fritz could not decipher the position—an impeded position that demanded both humans and computers to make slow attacks against a carefully selected goal. So slow were the attacks that Fritz could not analyze the position.

Using the white pieces, Kasparov moved to the queenside, giving Fritz the opportunity to attack the kingside. Fritz should have made a move by moving its king bishop pawn ad exchange it for Kasparov's king pawn. That would have opened up the squares for Fritz's rooks and would have weakened the surrounding squares of Kasparov's king bishop pawn paving the way for an imminent attack by black on the uncastled king of white.

What Kasparov did was to make sure that the machine would not be able to see that position by extending it much longer. The potential weakness at that position was beyond the computer's search ability, so it was not able to make any grounds on advancing to the kingside.

This is the reason why many people believe that it would take time for a computer chess program to totally defeat the best human players.