The game of chess is played all over the world and has been played since the sixth century AD. People from all over the world have various opinions on what the game of chess actually is to them. Chess requires strategy, planning, patience, and the development of different styles and techniques to win versus a challenging opponent.

Due to all of these factors and rules that make up the game of chess, it can be seen as a sport, and officially it is seen as a sport by the International Olympic Committee. However, we can also think of chess as something else. Due to all of the strategies, formulas, and other elements that exist in the game of chess there are many people who see chess as a science.

While chess is not exactly a science like a biology or chemistry, it certainly uses many elements of science. There is a science to the game as mathematics, techniques, and problem solving, play a huge factor in mastering the game. If you are a chess player or just beginning, figuring out how chess is science can really improve your game leaps and bounds. So, as a player how can you view chess as a science and how can it help you? Let's talk about how right now.

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Applying the Scientific Method to the Game of Chess

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Using scientific methods chess players can improve their game. Source: Pexels

First of all, let's state that chess in and of itself is not a science, chess produces no new information, it doesn't evolve, etc. However, there is a study of chess through different methodologies and theories. As a player and student of chess, you can apply the scientific method to the game to improve your level and become an all-around better player.

Using the scientific method you will use your prior knowledge of chess, which is everything you know and experienced playing it, and use it to create a testable hypothesis. The point of creating this hypothesis is to test it out then to increase your knowledge in some aspects of the game of chess. This hypothesis shouldn´t be used so rigidly.

Testing and testing your ideas again and again during chess matches will help you to keep improving your knowledge of chess. This is a scientific approach that works in any part of the scientific world and even daily life.

You think of an idea or hypothesis and try it out, again and again, if it works you can be satisfied with your research. You should also try and form other hypothesis as well, scientists in a lab have this approach. Perhaps one of your hypotheses is successful, however, another one could end up with even better results.

If you've tested out your hypothesis and it did not give you positive results then you can go about it scientifically and improve your results. If you feel your hypothesis didn't work out for you while playing chess you can do a few different things.

  • Review what you did when you were trying out your new strategy. Did you test out your hypothesis well enough?
  • Look again really well at your hypothesis. Was your hypothesis not thought out enough? Or maybe it was too thought out and it was a view of the game that was too broad.
  • If the first two points are met then you really need to look at some underlying concepts of chess. You really need to experiment to have success and to have success using the scientific method regarding chess.

Using Informatics in the Game of Chess

Just as in scientific fields as biology you can use the science and mathematics of statistics to create ideas and conclusions based on your games and experiments in chess. Many chess players often look at statistics to improve their game. Going off of how successful a move has been in the past whether it's their own experience or the experience of others can be a huge help.

Using a statistical approach we can see which moves are more popular and more successful. Also, it can be useful to know when exactly to use what move. Just like in scientific experiments then you can know what moves to do and you can compare your results with your past games as well as with other players.

You can also begin to look really deeply at some moves and ideas of chess when you begin to look at the statistics. You can ask and examine a couple of things such as:

  • Which spots on the board are used more often?
  • Which first moves end up leading to more success in games?
  • At what moment during the game should my piece be in a certain spot?

Using statistics you can see which moves and positions are more or less successful as well as how and when.

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Analyzing the Position of Pieces on a Board.

Man analyzing chess moves
Analyzing past performances is a really good way of increasing your chances of winning. Source: Pexels

Noting where your pieces are positioned on a board is another study of chess that can lead to better future results. Analyzing specific moves, plans, and predictions can help you to evaluate the success of positioning your pieces during a chess match. It can also help in analyzing your opponent.

Formulating an analysis based on the analysis positions is an excellent way to improve your game. It will help you dramatically to compare results and then try out new strategies and hypotheses. You should also practice or experiment so that you isolate a particular variable in your hypothesis.

Psychological Approach to the Game of Chess

Statistics and how to form a hypothesis are really important when analyzing chess as a science, but you also must consider studying chess and chess players from a psychological point of view. During tournaments, for those competitive chess players out there, you can study how and when a player will pull off a particular move thanks to psychological analysis.

The analysis of the psychological state of a player can be really important if you want to find an advantage against an opponent or to make adjustments to your own game. Psychological analysis can help you understand how an opponent arrives at the decisions that they make.

Psychology is considered by most as a science, and using psychology and psychological analysis can give you a huge advantage over opponents. If or when you are a chess player in a tournament against players that have also competed in prior tournaments you can study their past moves and why they did those moves.

Is There a Science to The Game of Chess?

Chess can be considered a sport as well as an art or science. After examining some of the different ways we can use information, statistics, and analytics to help improve our understanding of the game of chess we can say there is a science to this game.

We can't say chess is a science like a biology or geology however a lot of science is used when we play chess. Strategies and theories are a huge part of the game, chess masters use a lot of different strategies and research including psychological research as mentioned earlier, to improve on their errors and make sure they keep improving.

Chess for Beginners

Young man playing chess
It's never too soon or late to get started playing chess. Source: Pexels

When you start out learning the game and its rules it will be important to learn about how to use the pieces and rules. If you are a beginner to the game of chess and not ready to compete in tournaments that's totally fine. You won't need to worry about analyzing opponents just yet. The most important things you will need to learn are:

  • Rules of Chess
  • Pieces
  • Beginner's strategies

When you start out you'll be able to learn a few different moves and then be able to analyze your progress and the mistakes that you make. In that sense even if you are a beginner you will be able to use scientific ideas and processes to make yourself a better player.

The most important thing to do to become a better chess player of course is to practice as much as you possibly can. If it is your goal to compete in tournaments then it will be important to practice a lot.

Using Superprof you can find a personal chess tutor to help you with your game and can give you tips on how to become a better chess player. If you aren't a beginner and need someone to practice with you can use Superprof to find a tutor to practice with as well.

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Chris