Subject Filter

A scientist's take on the Game of Kings
| Chess Puzzles | Book Reviews | | Annotated Games | Opening Analysis | Science | First Time Here?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Square One: An Introduction

Chess is everything: art, science, and sport.  -  Anatoly Karpov

For me, chess is at the same time a game, a sport, a science and an art. And perhaps even more than that,. There is someting hard to explain to those who do not know the game well. One must first learn to play it correctly in order to savor its richness.  -  Bent Larsen

Chess is a unique cognitive nexus, a place where art and science come together in the human mind and are refined and improved by experience.  -  Garry Kasparov

Welcome to Science on the Squares, a blog about Chess and Science, and everything in between.

I've heard on occasion the cliche "Write what you know". In some ways, it is through this phrase I arrive at this blog. I am an avid chess player (although not particularly strong, only USCF 1666 at time of writing), and I am also currently drawing my doctoral studies in molecular biology to a close. Thus, I am in position to comment on both worlds. As the quotes above (grabbed from suggests, these worlds may intersect in some ways.

As a chess player, and as a blogger, I owe a lot to a friend and mentor from my days at Rutgers Unvieristy, Michael Goeller. He maintains an excellent blog, the Kenilworthian, and has written many equally excellent articles for the Kenilworth Chess Club website (not to mention his Urusov gambit webpage). I particularly admire his attacking play, his writing style and his penchant for opening analysis. I hope here to emulate some of his success, improving on my earlier chess blog attempt (Camenares on Chess).

Through this blog, I'd like to showcase my own writing, as well as my views on chess. But I'd like to go farther. Nearly 10 years working in a research setting has given me a perspective on how science, in particular life science, is conducted. In particular, some of the parallels between studying chess and academic biochemistry research are striking.

While I can speak with some authority on both subjects, and voice my opinions on many others, I can not claim to be an expert in either realm (at least not in chess). There are sure to be many chess players who are better equipped to evaluate a position than I, and there are going to be some niche areas of science in which I can not provide unassailable commentary. Still, I hope that I can provide a fresh perspective on both topics, and stimulate discussion. In addition, I'd like to think that chess players of similar strength will be able to benefit from my posts here, as well as learn about the chess scene on Long Island (NY).

So, to kick off this inaugural post, I had decided to append this introductory sketch with a short game I recently played at the Bayshore Chess Club (which will certainly be featured in future posts). It is a repost from my older chess blog. 

However, due to renovations on this blog, I have removed the game from this post. I will repost it in a separate article on the Bayshore Chess Club.

For more information on the game, including very insightful analysis by my opponent, please see the original post at, or contact me for the previous version of this post.

1 comment:

  1. Hi

    Liked your article I found at chess news. Would be interesting to conduct a similar analysis from the black side to see if the activity maps show intersection. Perhaps it would help players focus on a particular 4x4 squared section of the board before taking attention to others sections.
    Maybe this would represent the nucleus or mitochondria of the cell we call the chess board.

    Another idea would be to compare the games of say Tal and Capablanca.
    Tactical vs Strategy (if the number of games in PGN is enough).

    Live in Red Bank NJ and worked 30 years off of River Road near Rutgers.