Chess is one of the oldest board games of mankind and still enjoys great popularity around the world. What makes the game of chess so appealing? It is not easy to give a short and concise answer to this question. A few quotes from world-famous personalities give an idea, why chess fascinates people from different nationalities or cultural backgrounds:
"Could we look into the head of a Chess player, we should see there a whole world of feelings, images, ideas, emotion and passion."
Alfred Binet, French psychologist
[Si nous pouvions voir dans le cerveau d'un joueur d'échecs, nous y verrions tout un monde de sentiments, d'images, d'idées, d'émotion et de passion.
Alfred Binet, psychologue français]
"Chess is the fastest game in the world, because in every second you have to organise thousands of thoughts."
Albert Einstein, German physicist and Nobel Prize winner
[Schach ist das schnellste Spiel der Welt, weil man in jeder Sekunde Tausende von Gedanken ordnen muss."
Albert Einstein, deutscher Physiker und Nobelpreisträger]
"On the chessboard, lies and hypocrisy do not survive long. The creative combination lays bare the presumption of a lie; the merciless fact, culminating in the checkmate, contradicts the hypocrite."
Emanuel Lasker, German World Chess Champion and mathematician
[Auf dem Schachbrett der Meister gilt Lüge und Heuchelei nicht lange. Sie werden vom Wetterstrahl der schöpferischen Kombination getroffen, irgendwann einmal, und können die Tatsache nicht wegdeuteln, wenigstens nicht für lange, und die Sonne der Gerechtigkeit leuchtet hell in den Kämpfen der Schachmeister.
Emanuel Lasker, deutscher Schachweltmeister und Mathematiker]
"I pity anyone who has no knowledge of chess. While it already brings pleasure to a student, it is the source of great delight to a connoisseur."
Leo Tolstoi, Russian writer and officer
[Мне жаль любого, кто не умеет играть в шахматы. Если это уже приносит радость учащемуся, то это приводит знатока к высокому наслаждению.
Лев Толстой, русский писатель и офицер]
"There’s not the mystery in ten murders that there is in one game of chess."
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, British writer and medical doctor
Chess and Science
In recent decades, the game of chess has become the focus of scientists from various disciplines. A widely known research area is the effect of chess on the development of intelligence and on learning behaviours in children. Many countries expect chess at school to improve children's academic performance.
The development of computers and artificial intelligence is closely linked to chess. Because chess is not a gambling and all information is available at all times, with unlimited computing power the best move can always be found despite the complexity of the game of chess. In this context, science is striving to reduce the selection of possible moves to a minimum in order to shorten computing processes similar to those of the chess player and make them more efficient. Physicians and psychologists are interested in how chess players absorb and process information. Recently, promising research results have become available in which chess has proven its success in the therapy of people with various impairments.
Every year thousands and thousands of research papers are published. There are different databases according to the specialities, in which papers can be searched specifically. The database published here contains research papers related to chess, preferably from the late 1990s onwards. In many cases the link leads to the research paper as a freely available PDF file. The scientific library "Chess" is updated from time to time. You are welcome to inform me about publications of research papers related to chess - contact.
General overview of research papers about and with chess can be found in Scientific library - Chess.
Research on chess in education, school and kindergarten can be found in School library - Chess.
Research work on chess in therapy and medicine can be found in Library - Chess in medicine.