Will AI Destroy Us?


You’re the guy who knows how to take anyone down a few pegs should the situation require it. You’ve got your thing.


Well, I’m definitely the best welder here, though if George and yourself keep practicing, I’ll be out another job.


NES Tetris World Champs are not that good. I believe the game speed maxes out. They’re better than I am, but the real Tetris champs are playing Grandmaster. TERROR INSTINCT.


I was referring only to whatever form of tetris you most respect. The one where they move so fast they can’t possibly be processing what they’re doing.

Where they behave the way I do sometimes when I’m in the flow of DDR, where my brain isn’t really processing what arrows I’m hitting. I’ve just seen that pattern so many times I know what to do. That is awesome but its definitely distinct from long form chess.


It’s still timed. The timer is just a lot longer.

Also, we pretty-much know that with unlimited time, every high-skill Chess game will be a draw forever…


I mean, 4 hours per player per game. Yeah it’s still technically timed. But I think people like that, during analysis they focus hard on the moves where players take a long time to make their moves.

As to whether or not we know that with unlimited time every high skill chess game is a draw. Fine. So be it. Let us draw forever until someone realizes this is pointless and lets long chess die. I’d be sad if that happened.

An awful lot of chess is played around the world. I imagine there’d be less of that happening if high level chess died.

Not that I have better solutions. I’d be pretty cool just playing long form games until someone wins one. Damned be how long that takes*.

*There’s a limit.


Chess is at the state that most more casual games hit much earlier.

Watch a championship of Puerto Rico or Settlers or the like. Perfect rote strategies, little variation, no decisions to make, and games coming down to the few random elements that remain. They’re fun for more casual players, but broken among those who try.

In games with no Random elements, they break down to either draws, nim, or politics.

Chess has long had a problem with draws. The stalemate and 3-move rules are both bandaids at best. The 50-move rule really makes it clear (especially when they had to add exceptions to that rule for a while).

So they’ve limited the space of the game with a series of fiddly rules to try to keep it alive. These are the same fiddly kinds of rules we hate so much in board games.

To quote wikipedia:

At one time, it was believed that all winnable endgames could be won within fifty moves. However, in the early 20th century, some exceptions were found, including A. A. Troitsky’s (1866-1942) analysis of the two knights endgame as well as the endgame of a rook and bishop versus a rook. The rules of chess were revised several times to admit exceptions to the fifty-move rule for certain specific situations. Early on, the fifty-move rule applied to tournament games but not to match games (Troitzky 2006:197).

During the time periods when the fifty-move rule admitted exceptions, there were a number of revisions. In 1928 FIDE enacted rules that if an endgame theoretically requires more than 50 moves to force checkmate, twice that number of moves were allowed. For instance, in the rook and bishop versus rook endgame, 132 moves were allowed, since it was twice the 66 moves that were thought to be required at that time (FIDE 1944:17–18). (The actual maximum number of moves needed is 59.) (Speelman, Tisdall & Wade 1993:382) In 1952 FIDE revised the law, allowing for 100 moves in such positions but requiring that players agree to an extension for these positions before the first move is made. This was still in effect in 1960. The positions were not specified in the rules, to allow for the possibility of more positions requiring more than 50 moves to be discovered (which is what happened).


So I guess the question becomes, what happens now?

We can look to Puerto Rico or Settlers and the like to see. We just keep playing. Makes sense to me. What I’m trying to say is you can’t say we need to only play speed chess without also saying we need to only play Speed PR & Settlers.


My favorite thing is when someone breaks the “opening book” for Puerto Rico and wins because their opponents don’t know why it’s weak and fumble on the follow-through.

Anyway, it’s a multiplayer game so it breaks toward “politics”. Which is one reason I still find it interesting.


These games have hard stops and in practice don’t actually draw. The time it takes to play the game is constrained by the rules of the game.

They also both have random elements that end up providing the impetus toward endgame missing from Chess.


I only play speed everything. I don’t enforce it with a clock, but if you take too long on your turn I will berate you mercilessly.


As everyone should, but I speak only of world championships and other competitive ranked play.


I’ve only played Netrunner competitively, and there was always a clock. Even in casual tournaments at game stores you would typically have at least one pair of players going to time each round.


How fast was the clock?

60 seconds per player, with each player gaining 1 second per move they make is standard blitz chess rules. Was the netrunner clock that tight? Or were you able to actually consider your moves within it’s confines?

If you could consider your moves, then you were playing long form netrunner.


In Netrunner you had one hour to play two complete games. You could maybe afford to sit and think hard on one or two turns. Otherwise, you had to just keep things moving along at a steady clip.

If you want to discuss exactly how long the clock should be for competitively play of each game, that’s a matter where we have to consider many details. Just for starters, a turn in chess is one move. A turn in Netrunner has many many decisions to make.

60 seconds is pretty long. I think that’s fine for making a single decision.


You misunderstand, I mean 60 seconds for the whole game, per player. Here’s what I think, based on our chats, you want pro chess to look like.

One player starts with 3 minutes as his grand total time for the game, Magnus Carlsen starts with 30 seconds. Whenever either player makes a move (perhaps starting with when they have 10 seconds left) they get a little bit of time back.


I mean, that’s a very nice speed, but maybe too fast. We just need to push the speed of slow chess until someone breaks. If they’re so good we have to crank it up to blitz speed, then so be it. There’s still a lot of room in between I think we can cover first.


This is getting nowhere.

Whatever, fine. Let’s not play actual chess anymore and only play speed chess.


I mean, I still play and enjoy Puerto Rico despite the top tier game being completely locked down.

But I also recognize how utterly pointless top tier Puerto Rico tournaments are.


Do you also call for a fundamental changing of how top tier Puerto Rico tournaments are played?