Computing the Aesthetics of Chess

Azlan Iqbal

Aesthetics in chess is a concept competent players are quite familiar with. For many, it is one of the main reasons they play. Much of the research with regard to chess however, has been towards making machines play better and to understand how humans think. This article explores the principles of chess aesthetics and proposes a computational model based on those principles. An experiment was carried out comparing composed chess problems to over-the-board games. The results suggest that the model can discern between the beauty in chess problems where aesthetics is more prominent and over-the-board games where it is not. Implementation of the model into a computer program could therefore lead to the automatic detection of aesthetic mating combinations in chess that will be of interest to humans, particularly chess players and problem composers.

Subjects: 1.8 Game Playing; 19.1 Perception

Submitted: May 11, 2006

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