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Don't scientists play chess?

  1. Nov 16, 2014 #1
    From time to time I'll see someone on PF trying to set up some sort of system where members can play chess with one another, but the effort always seems to evaporate quickly. Personally, I go in phases, sometimes I'll go months on end without playing a single game, then I'll get the bug and play pretty consistently. I've got the bug right now and would enjoy playing a game with some members of the PF community. Is there a preferred site that we go to to play? I've been tearing it up on Chess.com recently and just got my rating to over 700.

    Anyway, I don't know if you can arrange a meetup on there with someone specific, but I image you can, they have a "friends" feature. If anyone wants to play a quick game and you see me online, just inbox me and we'll see if we can put it together.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 16, 2014 #2
    I think many do and we had a primitive system here but had to abandon it due to security worries. It would be neat if chess.com had an API we could tap into. We could then create our own leader boards.
  4. Nov 19, 2014 #3
    This would be very cool!

    I'm not great at chess, but I do enjoy it.
  5. Nov 20, 2014 #4
    yes you are right scientists not playing chess.
  6. Nov 20, 2014 #5
    Chess requires a lot of concentration and thinking, something that scientists do a lot in their work , maybe they get very tired after work and hence they don't play chess.
  7. Nov 20, 2014 #6
    So that's why I've never been good at chess! :D
  8. Nov 20, 2014 #7
    Yes , most people are too busy in their work and can't spend their spare time playing chess, which demands so much brain activity that they feel even more tired .
  9. Nov 20, 2014 #8
    Well, maybe if you play an untimed game. I'm not planning on sitting around and playing a two hour game with anyone. I typically play the ten minute timed games, so you're in and out in 20 min at the most, sometimes half that. That's why I said "quick" game in my original post. For me that makes the game fun rather than tedious, and many of the better players on the site play timed games even less than 10 minutes. I think chess helps my scientific work, it's like weight training for the mind and relaxing for me.
  10. Nov 22, 2014 #9


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    I don't play because I can't understand the game. :oops:
  11. Nov 22, 2014 #10


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    Have you looked at lichess.org? It's open-source, so perhaps you could do something like that?
  12. Nov 22, 2014 #11
    I don't know about you but when I play chess , if I don't have the time to think at least 3 to 4 moves ahead before every move I don't feel good playing it , sometimes 10 mins might be enough till the middle game after that I will have think really fast or run out of time.I usually play 15 min (with increments) or 30 min games.
  13. Nov 26, 2014 #12


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    I don't mind chess but can find it quite dull. A game like Civ V on the other hand, there's a strategy game I can easily blow off steam with.
  14. Nov 26, 2014 #13
    I find it quite odd that there's not more people on here that play or even like chess. I wouldn't have figured that. I don't find it dull at all. For instance, I'm been on chess.com tonight for the past couple hours and just won 7 straight matches. Well, 3 tonight and 4 from last night. But the night before that I lost 4 and only won 1. So it's unpredictable and I go into every match not knowing what's going to happen and every match is different and challenging. If you play the same set of guys every day down at the beach tables as I used to do when I lived in Hawaii, yeah, it can get boring because you basically know everyone's core strategies. But you avoid that these days with the online playing. You never know what you're going to get.

    I'm sure there's fancier online competitive games out there, but for me chess still brings it. If you want to come on and find me for a game, my handle on there is DiracSea2000 :D
  15. Nov 26, 2014 #14


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    Out of interest why is that? Are the majority of people you play against mathematicians, scientists or engineers? As far as I've experienced there's no real disparity between chess players and profession.

    Congratulations :) It's not the predictability, or lack thereof, I find dull. It's the fact that chess is ultimately a small set of icons that you push from one place to another. I like my games to have more flavour; some sort of story, immersion and mechanics that allow you to play and win in very different ways. That's true whether I play board games or computer games or anything really. Tastes differ of course.

    EDIT: That's not to say I can't enjoy chess. I have fun with the odd game, just prefer other types of games.
  16. Nov 26, 2014 #15
    I just do puzzles and stuff. Its been ages since I have sat through an entire game.
  17. Nov 26, 2014 #16
    I don't know, when I was in high school I hung out with the science crowd and we all played chess. We'd carry the portable boards around in our backpacks and play quick 5-10 minutes games before (or during) class, lunch, etc. Plus, didn't IBM build deep blue to beat Kasparov because this was supposed to be the big contest between human intelligence and artificial intelligence? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Blue_versus_Garry_Kasparov

    Whatever the case, again as I said I'm sure there's more interesting online games out there. I avoid all of them like the plague because I seem to get addicted to everything I touch and I fear wasting large amounts of even more time fooling around online. Here's a good example, I bought a Samsung laptop about a year and a half ago that was loaded (still is) will bloatware, one program of which was "Plants vs. Zombies." I cleverly avoided playing the "free demo" for about 6 months but then one night said, ok, let me check this out, it's free and its here. Needless to say, I burned about 100 hours of precious existence over the next several weeks on that. And I'm starting to do that again with online chess, so I need to be careful :confused:
  18. Nov 26, 2014 #17


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    Then I really don't suggest getting Civ V. According to steam I've put in 154 hours into that game. Every single one of them worth it.
  19. Nov 26, 2014 #18
    See, this is how it starts. Lol. Message to self..Don't google Civ V. Too late!! :eek:
  20. Nov 26, 2014 #19
    Chess is in-between science and sport ,even though it has just 64 squares and 32 pieces ,there is so much math stuff involved in it ,which I think is the reason why the OP assumed that scientists mathematicians should be naturally interested in it.

    One of my favourite chess quotes
    "Chess is in it's essence a game ,in it's form an art ,in it's execution a science."

    It is not just some stupid board and stupid pieces moving around , it is about anticipating your opponent's moves , setting traps , sacrificing pieces , thinking several moves ahead, I don't see how see how anyone can call it dull. It can be exhausting but not dull.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014
  21. Nov 26, 2014 #20
    If I want to beat someone(those who act too smart when they aren't ) badly at something , chess is the best thing for me to beat them with ,I get immense satisfaction after that.This doesn't mean ,I go about challenging everyone i don't like but if I get a chance i will crush them i.e chess is great for personal challenges.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014
  22. Nov 26, 2014 #21
    The number of legal positions in chess is estimated to be between 1043and 1047 (a provable upper bound, with a game-tree complexity of approximately 10123 The game-tree complexity of chess was first calculated by Claude Shannon as 10120 a number known as the Shannon number.Typically an average position has thirty to forty possible moves, but there may be as few as zero (in the case of checkmate or stalemate) or as many as 218.
    Allis also estimated the game-tree complexity to be at least 10123, "based on an average branching factor of 35 and an average game length of 80". As a comparison, the number of atoms in the observable universe to which it is often compared, is estimated to be between 4×1079 and 1081.
    (source wiki...)
    All this in 64 squares!!
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014
  23. Nov 27, 2014 #22


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    In high school back in the 60's I was captain of the chess club. Later I went on to play in regional tournaments and hung out at the Last Exit on Brooklyn in Seattle's University District, playing chess with students and street people. Eventually I came up against Yasser Seirawan, a future grandmaster, national champion and candidate for the world championship. I won 2 out of three games with him when he was 12. Woo-hoo!

    In chess there is no excuse for losing other than that you are not smart enough. Naturally, I later took up backgammon, a thoroughly sociable game where you can always blame your losses on luck. :rolleyes:

    These days I still play occasionally against the computer, but I also play AOE II for Mac. Above all, I find classical fencing a very enjoyable social activity which balances mental and emotional challenge with the physical struggle to fight aging.

    I have known several people who played a brilliant game of chess but were otherwise almost completely unable to cope with normal life. There have been world champions who were accomplished mathematicians, musicians or diplomats. But there have also been some who have had distinctly antisocial traits.
  24. Nov 27, 2014 #23
    I mostly play through end game phases where there are less pieces to consider so it hurts my head less :D I don't like the openings, too much going on, where as the end game is quite specific in principles such as king activity, accurate pawn maneuvers, knight vs bishop strategies instead of every single piece on the board minus a few pawns here and there, which is just really confusing :<
    I do play some games, but I am horrible in the openings, I try to avoid any potential traps that I have remembered and then attempt to trade down as quickly as possible to get into my comfort zone.
  25. Nov 27, 2014 #24
    I have to agree, the openings are always a little unnerving. However, it does set the tone for the remainder of the game, you can often tell the type of game you're going to have within the first few moves, e.g., aggressive or conservative player, etc. Also, as you mentioned, Iately I've found myself trying to clear the board out early by sacrificing knights and bishops early in the game. I feel more confident playing a grudge match with a couple castles and a few pawns on an open board.
  26. Dec 8, 2014 #25
    How many of you are in the PF group in Chess.com ?
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