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A scientist's take on the Game of Kings
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Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Scientific Approach to Chess

For a blog about Chess and Science, you might expect more articles about the intersection between the two. Indeed, I have occasionally written here about research articles that have involved chess (such as studying the physiology of players during a game, the Einstellung effect), even including my own efforts in exploring mutual information in chess. Usually, chess is used as a vehicle in science to study physiology, memory, or decision making in general. However, I think it is worth exploring a truly scientific approach to Chess.

In its essence, Science is about gaining useful knowledge in a systematic way to solve problems. Chess players engage in a similar activity all the time, if even subconsciously, studying games and reading literature to build a model of the game in their mind that can be applied to making decisions at the board. Likewise, scientific knowledge about the natural world has informed incredible advances in technology for a wide range of industries.

Below I suggest different ways in which the scientific method can be applied to different aspects of chess. I encourage any interested readers to take up the challenge of performing chess research, following the principles featured in the rest of the article. I intend on making this blog a vehicle for such research, and welcome submissions of original research to this blog (or at least posts that link to your analysis). Perhaps Science on the Squares can become the first real scientific journal of chessology (or chessonomics?)

Do you think that such a method will prove useful and yield insights? Is it too slow and laborious? Have you made any discoveries in Chessology? Please share your thoughts and comments below, or contact me directly.