Kindred’s Special: Chess–The Mind Game–Thinking Fast and Slow

Daniel Kahneman is a professor of psychology at Princeton and the 2002 Nobel Laureate in Economics for his work dealing with the art of decision-making. For chess players the world over, he has championed another masterpiece of literary writing called, Thinking, Fast and Slow, a major work by the author in 2011.  It is a compilation of discoveries over many decades— 499 pages.  This psychology book could well become a bible for chess enthusiasts because it brilliantly explains what a host of strong chess players have long known, consciously or subconsciously.  It is the chess book of the decade without being a chess book at all. To put it simply as possible, the brain has two different thought processes. One deals with the automatic thought patterns that come from fast, frequent, emotional ideas that is referred to in chess terms as intuition and sight recognition or patterns dealing mostly with immediate or short-term strategic plans The second thought process is slow, methodical logic requiring concentrated study in calculation arising from a position that usually emerges as an interesting brain exercise challenge.

I recall what simple advice had been given me by my brother, a brilliant chemist, scientist, and correspondent player as I read this review by GM Jacob Aagaard in NIC/3-15, “Always recheck your decision and try looking to see if you can find something better before committing.”  I coined it like this: “Chess is a war game where, on the 64 squares, takes place a battle of minds on which the outcome is seen and determined by the accumulation of ideas presented in picture form and taking place on the 64 squares through the mental battle of the combatants–a game of war without bloodshed.”   :The real worth of chess is the lessons learned from exercises in planning, calculations, judgment, creating strategy and tactics, time management and mostly building intuitive skills and good character by making wise decisions,

If you are interested in psychology, and anticipate finding value in its study, the book is highly recommended.  You can find it probably on Amazon.


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