Thursday, 14 July 2011

Thought and Choice in Chess

Adriaan de Groot's seminal work on chess thinking, "Thought and Choice in Chess" is now available as a free eBook. I found it on Google books, by doing my semi regular search for books with 'chess' as the subject. Normally this simply throws up a number of books from the 1840's which heavily plagiarise each other, but as in this case, you occasionally find a gem.
What I did not realise about this book, until I read the introduction, was that this was de Groot's first book, and was in fact his doctoral thesis. He certainly put a huge amount of work into it, as it clocks in at a heavy 450 pages.
So you don't have to go searching for it, like I did, here is the direct link to it. I'll probably try and read some of it over the next couple of months, but I'm pretty sure I won't make it all the way through.


Anonymous said...

Yes a seminal book !

Pete (Ireland) said...

I agree: a most important book, well worth reading. I think that some of the psychological theorizing can be skipped, and is now out-dated; but that is not my field, and I may be wrong. I also think I read somewhere that some of the analysis of the test positions has been shown to be wrong by modern computers, which would suggest that even top grandmasters from the late 30s weren't quite as good as de Groot thought they were. I'd be interested if anybody has more information on that.

Anonymous said...

the analysis of the top players may be flawed, indeed like some of the Kotov 'Think Like...' analysis. Ultimately it doesn't matter to be of value in a human v human context. The GM/IM thought process is far superior to what club players do - it is more (unconsciously) systematic. - PP

Denis Jessop said...

It's a pity about Google. They don't produce their e-books in Kindle format and their PDF versions are designed for large screens though you can read them on a Kindle with a magnifying glass and you can read any Kindle-friendly e-book on a computer using the free Kindle app. One good source of free e-books is The Gutenberg Project while there are a lot of chess books at this site