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How Chess Engine Helped Kamath Cheat Against Vishwanathan Anand

The Zerodha co-founder tweeted that he took help from chess analysts and computers to beat Vishwanathan Anand.

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Tech and Auto
3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>The chess event, held for charity, was streamed online and piqued interest when Anand resigned from the match.</p></div>
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India's youngest billionaire and co-founder of Zerodha, Nikhil Kamath has confessed to cheating in an online charity chess event against former world chess champion Viswanathan Anand.

Nikhil tweeted on Monday, 14 June, that he took help from chess analysts and computers during the event on Sunday.

The chess event was streamed online and piqued interest when Anand resigned from the match. However, the truth emerged on Twitter when Kamath’s account on Chess.com was blocked, implying Kamath had used the chess engine to predict Anand’s moves.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Nikhil Kamath's account blocked on Chess.com.</p></div>

Nikhil Kamath's account blocked on Chess.com.

(Image: The Quint)

The computer analysis of Nikhil’s play calculated his efficiency at 98.9 percent.

This efficiency is a measurement of how you played against your opponent’s moves. The closer a player is to 100, the more chances of a 'perfect' play.

Several experts suggest that only computer softwares can play chess above 97 percent efficiency. Clearly, Nikhil did not play on his own, but used a computer chess engine to suggest his moves.

It is worth noting that Nikhil in several media interviews claimed that ‘playing chess’ contributed to his success.

How Does the AI Work in a Chess Engine?

A chess engine is a software program which is designed to analyse chess moves and suggest 'tactics' to win the game. The word engine refers to a high-powered program that does a lot of searching and gathers the best results similar to a search engine.

Artificial Intelligence-based chess engines are much stronger than humans. These algorithms are getting stronger every year due to major improvements in computer technology.

These softwares examine all possible moves of the opponent. Currently, Stockfish 13 is the strongest chess engine available for desktop and mobile platforms.
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Experts suggest that Nikhil might have used any one of these softwares – Stockfish 13, Komodo, or AlphaZero – to beat chess legend Vishwanathan Anand.

The Quint independently verified Stockfish chess engine which suggested all possible variations and displayed the probable next move of the player.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Using such softwares, it becomes extremely easy to win any chess game.</p></div>

Using such softwares, it becomes extremely easy to win any chess game.

(Image: The Quint)

Nikhil’s playing at 98.9 percent efficiency to beat a former World Champion represents a super-human accomplishment.

The Quint also went through the last 30 games of Nikhil on Chess.com, which revealed that he played several games at 0.6 to 10.9 percent efficiency. At least three chess novices wiped him out in anywhere from 4 to 12 moves.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>The Quint checked Kamath's 30 last games.</p></div>

The Quint checked Kamath's 30 last games.

(Photo: The Quint)

Can Humans Beat Computers at Chess?

The answer is no. Former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov was considered the strongest chess player of all time. Kasparov was asked to compete against Deep Blue, a chess computer built by a team of researchers working at IBM.

Deep Blue was able to beat the World Chess Champion Kasparov in a breakthrough for the development of chess engines.

In 2006, Deep Fritz 10 ( a computer chess engine) and Vladimir Kramnik, who was the World Chess Champions back then, lost four games. This match was particularly important because it established the fact that chess computer engines are too strong for humans.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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