List of mathematicians who studied chess

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Chess and mathematics have been pursued intellectually for centuries by many researchers and scientists, especially mathematicians. Naturally, the logic and symmetry in chess appeal to mathematicians. The following mathematicians either played or studied chess in their life:

Euler, Legendre, de Moivre, and Vandermonde studied the knight's tour.
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
e8 white queen
b7 white queen
d6 white queen
g5 white queen
c4 white queen
h3 white queen
f2 white queen
a1 white queen
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Ball, Gauss, and Glaisher studied the n-queens problem.
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black knight
c8 black rook
d8 black bishop
b7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
b6 black pawn
b5 white rook
h5 white king
a3 black pawn
e3 black pawn
g3 white pawn
h3 white knight
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
e2 white rook
a1 white knight
h1 black king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Many mathematicians became chess composers. Here's a chess problem called 'Excelsior' by Loyd.
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
h8 white king
a6 black king
c6 white pawn
h5 black pawn
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Some mathematicians composed endgame studies. One of the most famous studies of all time is by Réti.

Many researchers who had some interest in chess did not have formal training in mathematics. However, they either contributed to mathematics or used mathematics in their profession. They were philosophers, physicists, chemists, engineers, etc. Here is a partial list:

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
f8 black bishop
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
a6 black pawn
c6 black knight
b5 white bishop
e5 black pawn
e4 white pawn
f3 white knight
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
d2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
h1 white rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Einstein and Oppenheimer played the Ruy Lopez, Morphy Defence 3...a6

See also[edit]

  • José Capablanca (November 19, 1888 – March 8, 1942) attended engineering school
  • Che Guevara (June 14, 1928 – October 9, 1967) medical doctor
  • Gata Kamsky (b. June 2, 1974) attended medical school

External links[edit]