AI discoveries in chess

AlphaZero shocked the chess world in 2018.

Now an economics paper is trying to quantify the effect of this new chess knowledge:

[W]e are not aware of any previously documented evidence comparing human performance before and after the introduction of an AI system, showing that humans have learned from AI’s ideas, and that this has pushed the frontier of our understanding.

AlphaZero Ideas

The paper shows that the top-ranked chess player in the world, Magnus Carlsen, meaningfully altered his play and incorporated ideas from AlphaZero on openings, sacrifices, and the early advance of the h-pawn.

Carlsen himself acknowledged the influence:

Question: We are really curious about the influence of AlphaZero in your game.

Answer: Yes, I have been influenced by my hero AlphaZero recently. In essence, I have become a very different player in terms of style than I was a bit earlier and it’s been a great ride.”

Id. at 25 (citing a June 14, 2019 interview in Norway Chess 2019).

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