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Summaries &
SK König Plauen
Mehr Philosophie:
17. April 2002

Festini/Liccione: Chess Psychology
(Psicologia degli scacchi)

Chess Psychology is still rather an undeveloped field of research; that is, if we don’t 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 Italian way)
     - the symbolic and affective aspects of the game and the pieces
     - the cognitive capability demanded by the game
     - the relation between men and computers

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 doesn’t 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. It’s all in vain; a scientific waste, even if in parts it is very interesting.


Copyright © 2002 by Christian Hörr