How do Chess-Players Think?

These are extracts from Simon Webb's superb series of articles for Barry Wood's old CHESS magazine. Simon showed a panel of players a position and recorded their spoken thoughts for ten minutes. The articles are well worth digging out: obviously there is much more in the articles than I can present here, but it will give you a flavour of the sorts of issues that can arise. The joy of this technique, of course, is that you can repeat the exercise with the same or different positions in your own club.

 The positions are presented twice, one without commentary

Knight's Tour

Gunno Toernberg tells me he has been working on a computer approach to the problem: you can see his endeavours at: http://w1.859.telia.com/~u85905224/knight/eknight.htm where you can have ago on his Java board.
Comments on: Martin Loebbing and Ingo Wegener, The Number of Knight's
Tours Equals 33,439,123,484,294 --- Counting with Binary Decision

Comment by the authors, May 15, 1996:

The number of knight's tours given in the paper is incorrect, since

Semi-Random Baseline Chess

Semi-Random Baseline Chess

(wild style 1 on Free Internet Chess Servers)

  White and Black play with piece arrangement, where each side's pieces are shuffled separately at random subject to two constraints:

  (1) because castling is such a big part of the game and adds so much more to planning ("I'll provoke a2-a3 so they won't castle queen's-side") the possibility of castling on either side should be preserved. After that, the pieces are randomly shuffled, subject to
(2) there being bishops of either colour square.

Is there luck in chess?

From The Master Game, Book 2, Jeremy James and William Hartston (1981). London: BBC.
'Chess,' said the Dutch grandmaster, Jan Hein Donner, 'is as much a game of chance as blackjack; or tossing cards into a top hat.' There was a pained silence, then a polite babel of disagreement: it was a game of the utmost skill; a conflict between disciplined minds in which victory would inexorably go to the more perceptive, the more analytical player; a duel of the intellect in which luck played no part. Donner

A chess glossary

"The meaning is the use" - WITTGENSTEIN

More than most of these pages, this represents work in progress, and particularly your corrections, additions, and examples in PGN are invited!

 I don't think it needs a search facility: it's not very long and you can use the one in your browser.

What makes a difference?

"There is really only one mistake in chess - underestimating your opponent"


I found this session hard to prepare, and might try again! I have tried to find mistakes that are typical of a certain level of player - that is, mistakes of a characteristic kind, that better players no longer (or only rarely) make.

  The hope is that these are the sorts of error most easily avoided. This document is subject to two caveats:

Shakespeare Annotates

Shakespeare annotates a chess game Pinched wholemeal (as opposed to piecemeal) from Irving Chernev.
"In a book called Chesslets, by Dr. J. Schumer, all the games are annotated by quotations from various writers.


  Here is one of the games, with comments by Shakespeare:"

-- CHERNEV, Wonders and curiosities of chess

(27) Atkins - Saunders [E90]

  Stratford-Upon-Avon, 1925




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