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  1. #1
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    Tying chess and math together ... how do they cross/interlink?

    Most good chess players I know are good at math (with one exception), but I had a conversation with a correspondence player recently about the subject, and we're looking for any good books that comprehensively cover how chess is related to math. Searches of google uncover a kid's math game, Yamie Chess... which seems to have put chess with a school math curriculum (algebra, geometry etc) to helps kids struggling in math, but on a more serious/college level, is there anything aimed at adults that does the same?

  2. #2
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Maybe not exactly what you are looking for but Across the Board by John J Watkins has a reasonably mathematical coverage of chessboard problems - particularly of the tour and domination variety - and also covers different board sizes, dimensions, geometries and topologies.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

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    Very interesting, thank you I will check out the Watkins book though the MAA review on Amazon does use the word "recreational math" -- is the Watkins text just full of variations on knight tours?

    I was more looking for a more of a syllabus, the way that the Yamie Chess guide details relations to math in their curriculum for kids on their teacher's site: https://www.yamiechess.com/teachers-guide#acronym

    Suspecting now that it may be purely cognitive in the way that the mathematician and the chess player's mind relate, rather than hard evidence that one could actually make an adult math course out of chess.

    Thanks for your help Rincewind in any case, and love the Bertrand Russell signature

  4. #4
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsIndian View Post
    Very interesting, thank you I will check out the Watkins book though the MAA review on Amazon does use the word "recreational math" -- is the Watkins text just full of variations on knight tours?

    I was more looking for a more of a syllabus, the way that the Yamie Chess guide details relations to math in their curriculum for kids on their teacher's site: https://www.yamiechess.com/teachers-guide#acronym

    Suspecting now that it may be purely cognitive in the way that the mathematician and the chess player's mind relate, rather than hard evidence that one could actually make an adult math course out of chess.

    Thanks for your help Rincewind in any case, and love the Bertrand Russell signature
    I don't know much about YAMIE chess but it sounds like they teach chess and mathematics at the same time. I can see how you could do that with introductory material like primary level algebra and geometry but by the time you get to college level maths then that is not so obvious how that might work. What sort of PDE do you need to solve to play chess? Elliptic, parabolic or hyperbolic?

    So anyway, if you are after some interesting maths with a chess angle then Watkins book could be useful. It is not all tours but it is pretty much all chess puzzles and often on non-standard boards so reading it will not add any points to your chess rating. But it might help your maths rating...
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    I don't know much about YAMIE chess but it sounds like they teach chess and mathematics at the same time. I can see how you could do that with introductory material like primary level algebra and geometry but by the time you get to college level maths then that is not so obvious how that might work. What sort of PDE do you need to solve to play chess? Elliptic, parabolic or hyperbolic?
    Hyperbolic, apparently.

    This is not a book, but it might be close to what was requested: The Mathematics of Games and Puzzles: From Cards to Sudoku.

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    Thanks very much for the direction, appreciated

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsIndian View Post
    Most good chess players I know are good at math (with one exception), but I had a conversation with a correspondence player recently about the subject, and we're looking for any good books that comprehensively cover how chess is related to math. Searches of google uncover a kid's math game, Yamie Chess... which seems to have put chess with a school math curriculum (algebra, geometry etc) to helps kids struggling in math, but on a more serious/college level, is there anything aimed at adults that does the same?
    Chess and Math definitely have a correlation but there are a lot of amazing chess players who were not that big on Math. Chess is about 'smarts'. Not necessarily 'number' smarts. Thats why i love chess. You have to be 'smart' to play it. Not a degree hoarder.
    Last edited by checkmatemate; 11-06-2017 at 08:13 AM.

  8. #8
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    Another anecdotal correlation I've noticed is chess and music - quite a few talented chessplayers in my experience have also been talented musicians, especially juniors.
    IA Craig Hall

    www.chess.org.nz - Canterbury Chess Club
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  9. #9
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    Mathematics is literally everywhere, but in chess, I think it is even more significant. Often when teaching kids it's used alongside chess and math, and vice versa to develop logical and mathematical thinking alike. I quite like the exercises and riddles of solving positions with math, there are quite a few books on that, mostly older releases though.
    Currently playing on http://lichess.org and trying out 1.d4 thanks to my fave youtuber via Chessable

  10. #10
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    Chess and maths can be linked in unexpected ways:
    On Saturday night, someone played the 2,147,483,647th game on the Chess.com iOS app—and the app stopped working for people with 32-bit Apple devices, also known as those made prior to mid-2013. This sudden stoppage occurred because the 32-bit devices essentially weren’t able to process that high of a number. Who knew so many people played chess online?
    Last edited by Patrick Byrom; 16-06-2017 at 10:08 AM.

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