Gobet Fernand


Considerable research has been carried out on chess in the last seventy years. While classic research has centred on perception, memory, and decision making, contemporary research has focused on deliberate practice, individual differences, and education. Contrasting with classical research, which has mainly used experiments and computer modelling, more recent research has tended to use questionnaires, interviews, and analysis of computer databases as source of information. This article reviews these recent research trends, focusing on what has been learnt from chess research with respect to deliberate practice, intelligence, and transfer of skill. It also discusses ageing and risk taking between civilizations as examples of computer database analyses. Results clearly indicate that deliberate practice is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for achieving high levels of expertise. Other factors are important, some of which are innate. One of them is intelligence. Data show that chess players on average are more intelligent than individuals who do not play chess, and that chess skill positively correlates with intelligence. These results are unlikely to be explained by the hypothesis that chess leads to an increase of intelligence, as the results of experiments using chess instruction to bring about far-transfer effects are inconsistent. In addition, experiment designs used in chess instruction research are typically insufficient to allow strong conclusions about causality. Research using chess databases have led to interesting results, but its generalisability is likely to be limited. The article ends with recommendations for future research.


Chess; Database; Intelligence; Practice; Talent.

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Direitos autorais 2021 Gobet Fernand

Revista Mundi Engenharia, Tecnologia e Gestão ISSN 2525-4782

Qualis: B4 - Interdisciplinar, B5 - Geografia, B5 - Administração Pública e de Empresas, Ciências Contábeis e Turismo, B5 - Comunicação e Informação, B5 - Engenharias III