As much as people fear losing their jobs to machines that can do them better, Chess has seen the exact opposite take shape. There have been extremely strong chess bots since Kasparov's time, and more recently, the supremacy of chess engines has only been reinforced by neural network engines like AlphaZero.
Yet, people seem to have just accepted the fact that the skill gap between engines and human players is insurmountably vast, and chess has, in the face of human obsolescence, continued to grow even more popular. More people play the game, and more importantly, people continue to compete. Moreover, prize pools have only gone up as chess becomes an attractive eSport with some matches easily attracting tens of thousands of viewers.
My question is: how? How has human competition endured when even the best players perform at a level that's barely child's play for any run-of-the-mill engine? Now that we have "accepted" that we are worse, why do we still want to see who's better?
Chess isn't the only example of this happening either - spelling bees, certain eSports, and even weightlifting competitions are all fields where machines can do the task better, faster, and more reliably. What does this pattern tells us about how human society as a whole will adapt to increasingly powerful machines as they arrive?