Festini/Liccione: Chess Psychology
Chess Psychology is still rather an undeveloped
field of research; that is, if we dont count the
numerous books about so-called "psychological play,
which nearly always give no more than a compendium of
"How to cheat in chess using psychological
tricks. To date there has been no really serious and
fundamental work since de Groot and Krogius. So, the
recent book by the two Italian Psychology professors,
Festini and Liccione, has been given a warm welcome.
Could it be the new, up-to date psychological treatise
of the game?
Unfortunately, it is not! However there
are some interesting subjects discussed, such as:
- the relation
between man and woman in chess (dealt with in a very
- the symbolic and affective
aspects of the game and the pieces
- the cognitive capability
demanded by the game
- the relation between men
On the other hand, apart from the computer
theme, these are all well known problems. Might they
yield new solutions? Can they offer some new insights?
Even if they could, they would be of little value because
of the very poor statistical background which doesnt
allow any generalization – no grounds for the two
scientists to attempt this. 140 experimental subjects
provide too superficial a foundation upon which to build
any theoretical analysis. Its all in vain; a scientific
waste, even if in parts it is very interesting.