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the science of mind and behavior, classified as social, behavioral, or cognitive science. Psychologists explore such concepts as perception, cognition, attention, emotion, phenomenology, motivation, brain functioning, personality, behavior and interpersonal relationships, and employ empirical methods to infer causal and correlational relationships between dependent and independent variables [1].
Microcosm diagram of the mind [2]

Chess Psychology

In this section, we will take a look at chess psychology and discuss its relationship with chess programming. Chess is a mathematical game. The functioning of the human mind can be said to operate mechanically, electrochemically, mathematically. So already we see two distinct features emerging here: 1. the human (and human kind) and 2. a game of chess (and all of chess in general). Psychology is concerned with the relationship between a person and his/her environment. This means understanding the way the person works and also understanding the what challenges and resources the environment offers the individual. It seems that chess programming is concerned with creating tools that would help a person to make the best use of his/her environment. Here emerges a third feature for discussion: 3. chess programming.

Admittedly I am not a chess programmer and my chess results to date have been average, but I do have my moments. And writing this article should help me firm up certain ideas that are generated while reading over the literature on chess psychology and also hopefully this article will generate some new ideas and show new resources for chess players and chess programmers.

It is important to know that there is a body of literature on the subject of chess psychology, some of which is in book form, the rest of which has been in the from of articles in scholarly journals. One book on the subject is The Psychology of Chess by W.R. Hartston and P.C. Wason (1984). In looking for a motivation for chess playing, the two authors have questioned and in many ways rejected the contributions to the literature by Grandmaster Reuben Fine, who wrote his Psychology of the Chess Player in 1967 from a Freudian perspective where the motivations for playing chess included, father murder among other things. I am happy that this set of ideas proposed by Fine has been for the most part rejected because it is simply unable to look at chess players on a case by case basis and generate findings from there. Instead it takes an idea and sees how chess players either do or do not match up to the idea. OK, so all chess players may not be Oedipal, mother-lusting, father-hating sadists, but what then does motivate the player to continue his or her return to the game? The answer would have to be some motivating forces within the mind of the individual and some motivational forces in the environment where the player lives and breathes.

Spatial monopoly is an idea that could offer insights. In the environment, the individual is either a causative agent or is feeling the effects of something that someone else caused. Of course life involves living in and around the causes and effects of all individuals on earth, locally and globally, so wouldn't the most responsible option be to dominate the environment in such a way as to maximize one's chances in that environment? Chess then is a problem solving environment (Perti Saariluoma).

See also

External Links


  1. ^ Psychology from Wikipedia
  2. ^ Robert Fludd, Utriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris […] historia, tomus II (1619), tractatus I, sectio I, liber X, De triplici animae in corpore visione

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