Arthur Chu Is Not Ruining Jeopardy

He's making the game more fun to watch: Sujay Kumar

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 24, 2014 12:52 PM CST | Updated Feb 24, 2014 1:58 PM CST

(Newser) – Arthur Chu's unorthodox Jeopardy! methods and four-game winning streak—which was put on pause earlier this month for a tournament—have gained him quite a few detractors, who dramatically claim he's ruining the game. Among other things, when choosing a clue, Chu hops around the board in search of Daily Doubles rather than methodically working his way through a particular category as most players do. It's a form of game theory known as the "Forrest Bounce," but "he’s not actually the unapologetic bad boy and rebel who’s using 'game theory' to dominate," writes Sujay Kumar for the Daily Beast. "Instead the answer, not phrased in the form of a question, is that he’s just probably smarter than you are."

He interrupts Alex Trebek and has no time for the banter viewers are used to, instead quickly calling for the next clue so as to throw his fellow contestants "off their game and into an anxiety-laden death-spiral." And that makes the show much more fun to watch, Kumar writes. "Playing the way that’s universally accepted really just increases the probability that luck and buzzer speed will reward a random winner." Chu isn't interested in showing the type of charisma onscreen that might win him fans—he's too focused on winning, which makes him the rare "Jeopardy! champion worth writing about." Will his streak continue? Find out when he returns to the show tonight. Click for Kumar's full column.

  (YouTube)
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An overview of Arthur Chu's methods.   (YouTube)
Arthur Chu explains his strategy.   (YouTube)

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