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A Grandmaster Who's Using Data to Turn Chess Into a Spectator Sport


But it's difficult to fully appreciate the game without an expert understanding of how it is played at the highest level, and that makes it hard for most people to follow. Maurice Ashley wants to change that.

Ashley, a grandmaster, has with the MIT Media Lab developed a program called DeepView. It uses the algorithmic tools found in advanced chess engines such as IBM's Deep Blue to understand, visualize, and explain the dynamics of a match. The program calculates player position preferences, the odds of various outcomes, and other information chess commentators can use to effectively communicate the drama and excitement to those without a firm grasp of the game.

DeepView was built using an archive of more than 750,000 games from

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