Checkmate: Grand Master vs. The Crowd

CrowdChess, which we covered last year, has initiated a match against chess Grand Master Gawain Jones, one of the top ranked players in England. CrowdChess members have twelve hours per turn to debate and vote on each potential move, at which point the winning move will be executed.

The game will be worth watching to see how the “wisdom of the crowds” fares against the GM, but I fear that the voting system used is too democratic. In the current setup, each vote is weighted equally, independent of experience or rating. The concept of having a “human super computer” capable of beating any challenger is compelling, but we’ll never see anything like that if the voting pool is watered down by people who are clueless.

Crowdsourced chess matches against well-known figures are nothing new. In 1999, MSN Gaming Zone held “Kasparov versus The World”, a four month long chess match that Kasparov called “the greatest game in the history of chess.” The winner? Kasparov, after 62 moves.