Training with AI: Evidence from chess computers

Fabian Gaessler, Henning Piezunka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We suggest that AI can help decision-makers learn; specifically, that it can help them learn strategic interactions by serving as artificial training partners and thus help them to overcome a bottleneck of scarce human training partners. We present evidence from chess computers, the first widespread incarnation of AI. Leveraging the staggered diffusion of chess computers, we find that they did indeed help chess players improve by serving as a substitute for scarce human training partners. We also illustrate that chess computers were not a perfect substitute, as players training with them were not exposed to and thus did not learn to exploit idiosyncratic (“human”) mistakes. We discuss implications for research on learning, on AI in management and strategy, and on competitive advantage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2724-2750
Number of pages27
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • artificial intelligence
  • chess
  • difference-in-differences
  • learning
  • strategic interaction


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