July 2, 2024 at 12:38 pm

How Long It Would Take You To Beat Chess Grand Master Garry Kasparov If You Were Stuck In A Time Loop?

The internet is good for many things, one of which is asking the world random hypothetical questions and having people put way too much thought into them.

This is what someone did on Reddit, and it really got people debating their ability at the game of chess.

The Redditor put forth a hypothetical question:

“An average man gets stuck in a time loop, and the only way to escape is to beat Garry Kasparov at chess. How long until he gets out?”

For those who may not know, Garry Kasparov is a chess Grand Master and widely considered to be one of the best players in the world.

With the added stipulations that Kasparov will not remember the games in each loop and the average man will, there are quite a few strategies that were discussed, some even citing research papers about the odds involved in chess.

Given that the average man in the scenario will never age or go insane, the first option many people consider is to simply brute force a win.

With unlimited tries, it is inevitable that eventually, they would win just by making random moves on each turn. Unfortunately, this may take a while.

A very long while.

According to mathematician Claude Shannon, there are so many potential moves in chess that brute force isn’t likely the best approach. He went on to clarify in a paper:

“A move for White and then one for Black gives about 103 possibilities. A typical game lasts about 40 moves to resignation of one party. This is conservative for our calculation since the machine would calculate out to checkmate, not resignation. However, even at this figure there will be 10120 variations to be calculated from the initial position. A machine operating at the rate of one variation per micro-second would require over 1090 years to calculate the first move!”

Just for clarity, that means you would have to play more games than there are atoms in the universe.

So, that option is out.

Another popular possibility to consider is to attempt to learn from Kasparov’s play. Keep track of how he responds to every move you make, and then use that knowledge against him in future games.

This would still take a long time to complete as Kasparov would adjust his play based on your moves, but it may be a lot faster than the first method.

Perhaps the best solution to this hypothetical is to actually ask Kasparov for advice. The idea is that since Kasparov would know he is playing against an average guy, he wouldn’t mind giving you some tips and tricks.

If you keep asking him what the best move would have been in a given situation, he would likely give you some great advice.

Over time, you could pick up enough tips to become an excellent player yourself. Then, with enough attempts, you could eventually get lucky and get a victory to break the time loop.

The bottom line, however, is that this is not a time loop you would ever want to be in. There are simply no quick solutions.

Chess Grandmasters are a different breed.