Chess Thinking

March 7th, 2010 § 1


At the opening of Stockholm art venue Bonniers Konsthall’s Projections show, I sat in and listened to an artist talk with Dutch video artist Guido van der Werve. He’s quite brilliant by the way, even though it’s impossible to find decent evidence of it on-line. Both solemn Romanticism and sly humour at the same time, and with a healthy Chopin obsession, too.

Anyway, as he was talking about his latest film, in which he and chess Grandmaster Leonid Yudasin play a chessboard reworked into a piano, he mentioned this: the game of chess is too complicated for a Grandmaster to learn all strategies and possible outcomes with his logical, rational mind. Instead, what they do is that they train their aesthetic sensibility, they look for what feels and looks “right” to them. This part of the brain copes with those complex and quite mathematical chess problems much better than the rational part, in the Grandmasters’ experience. Rather interesting, wouldn’t you say?

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