Chess, he says, requires far too much memorization of particular move patterns. Worse, far too many games end in draws or overly drawn-out endgame sequences, especially in high-level play. In the most recent world championship game, 22-year-old Norwegian Magnus Carlsen took the crown from 43-year-old Viswanathan “Vishy” Anand, who had held the title since 2007. The 12-game match ended after game 10, when Carlsen got his seventh draw.
“It was super boring,” Sirlin says of the championship match. “If there was any kind of deviation from what the player had studied and memorized, they would completely shift towards only playing for a draw. There was very little real interaction in the games.”