Chess at ICM2010

Apparently there’s an event planned later this month at ICM where Chess World Champion Viswanathan Anand will simultaneously take on a bunch of mathematicians (among which some big names like Alexei Borodin and Kannan Soundararajan).

It should be quite interesting!   Both math and chess at high level require the same two main ingredients: analytical thinking, and regular practice.   Yet these two activities seem very far apart from each other (at least to me, a really poor chess player): chessplayers memorize absolutely tons of scenarios to always try and make the optimal move, whereas mathematicians rely on imagination fairly often without always going for the slickest proof or trick (for instance the great tricki project, as an analogue of a chessplayer’s dictionnary of moves, is very new and as yet underdevelopped).


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