Why did the ginger cat become the most feared chess player in the world?

Mittens is an evil genius who gives brutal answers to all the users he defeats on Chess.com, his style of play is as exhausting as that of Grandmaster Anatoly Karpov.

The chess world has a formidable new enemy, a ruthless robot disguised as a cute kitten. His name is Mittens, he’s a meme, a chess genius, and proof that cats will rule the internet forever.

Behind the liquid eyes lurks a ruthless AI-driven bot that has been tormenting professional players, grandmasters and champions who could have competed for the world title in recent weeks. Playing against Mittens is in itself like challenging a single computer, except that the cat is especially talented and enjoys humiliating the loser by quoting French cinema, Nietzsche, Oppenheimer.

Mitts recorded the games he played

Mitts joined Chess.com on January 1 and became an obsession that crashed the site. Chess.com is the most popular platform for playing chess online. It even eclipsed the exponential growth of aspiring chess players following the release of The Queen of Chess. In fact, Chess.com had 27.5 million games played in January, 40% more than any other month in the company’s history. American grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura’s YouTube video Mittens The Chess Bot You To Out Chess has already garnered 3.9 million views.

The revival of chess

Chess is experiencing a major revival. Think of the Louis Vuitton ad that immortalized Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi during the game in the brand’s suitcase. During the Sinquefield Cup scandal, Magnus Carlsen accused Hans Niemann of cheating using anal beads. Or when Slovenian NBA superstar Luka Doncic was asked what he thought of Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, he said he was using his phone to play games. But none of this compares to Mittens, as the chess cat wrote in every last game: “I’m inescapable. I am eternal. Meow. Hehehe.”

The Cruelest Chess.com Bot

Chess.com has a number of bots that vary in skill level and style. Some are designed to play poorly and be easily beaten, while others are now capable of defeating Grand Masters. All these are the better sons of Deep Blue, the first calculator to win a chess match against reigning world champion Garry Kasparov. “This bot is psycho,” tweeted broadcaster and international master Levy Rozman after suffering a violent checkmate. The next day he added with a defeated sneer: “The chess world must unite against Mittens. »

How gloves were born

Mittens was born from the perverse dream of Hamilton College student Will Whalen: to hide an invincible robot behind the delicate eyes of a kitten. But Mittens’ true transformation into an evil genius comes when Chess.com’s Sean Becker and his team turn the bot into an evil cat that gives terrible answers to anyone it beats. “Meow. Look at the long cliff. Hehehehe”, Mittens quotes the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. His approach to the game is also ruthless, using exhausting tactics. It’s based on Grandmaster Anatoly Karpov’s philosophy of “why kill now when you can torture them” as detailed positional battles.

New fashions on the chess board

There is also a new wave of interest in previously obscure chess variants. For example, Chess960, called Fischer Random, named after its inventor Bobby Fischer. A version of the game where all pieces except pawns are arranged randomly in the back row. This has now become a baptism of fire for the chess elite. A new way to increase visibility further stimulated by a random configuration that shaves off every preset opening.

Or, for example, Fog of War, where players have a limited view of their opponents’ pieces, Bughouse Chess, which is played on two boards with captured pieces moving from one surface to another, or Three Checks, where you simply checkmate the opponent’s king three times. Now there are also robot cats. Not just mittens, but Mr. Grumpers and Catspurrov.

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