Chess Calculus

Dec 9, 2011, 11:17 PM |

I think that there may be a chess calculus that exists, which when applied, might discover the single, best move for any position.  Now I don't know that this would ruin our beautiful pastime, or somehow improve it, but just the same I believe that the chess calculus exists.

To make this claim, the word "exists" as I'm using it, needs to be defined a bit.  One person might define "exists" in the mathematical sense that it is known and can be proven.  I'm not a mathematician by even some remote use of the word, but even my moderate amount of exposure to math brings to mind how mathematicians use the word "exists" in their proofs.  For example, they might state something like "There exists a concept such that..etc. etc. etc."  I always had a terrible time with proofs, I'm going to stop by saying (it seems to me) that mathematicians like to use "exists" when they are going to follow up with an argument that proves, beyond a doubt (if you can follow their argument) that the thing exists.

That's not the "exists" that I'm using when I state "I believe there exists a chess calculus...."  The way that I arrive at this conclusion was by thinking about the beauty of calculus and the problem that it solved:

Imagine an area bound by a curved line, defined by a function and bound by a line or two.  Before calculus was invented, you could approximate the area's size by making a rectangle that nearly fit inside the region.  This worked because it was understood that Area = Height x Width.  This single rectagle was a very crude estimate, but it could be improved on by making many smaller rectangles to more nearly cover the curved region, and adding up the areas of the smaller rectangles.

If the exact area was desired, you were out of luck because unless you could make an infinate number of infinately small rectangles, your final summation of all the tiny areas you were able to create were just a little bit wrong.

Then along came Newton (or Leibniz or someone else?) to discover calclulus, and suddenly the exact area can be revealed in one simple swoop.

That's where I started thinking:  "Might we chess players currently be in the same place as the early matheticians were, in their struggle to learn the areas under curves?"  And,  "Might there exist some, as yet undiscovered, chess-calculus which would have the capability to reveal the single, infinately accurate move for any given chess position?"

Of course I don't know, but I believe there is.  I don't think that there is a reason for it to be discovered--as it seems to me that many mathematical advances are influenced by relatively large forces, such as Governement.  Trigonometry, for example, seems to have been developed as a tool to calculate property ownership, so taxes could be properly assessed.

As long as our game of chess is tax-free, I don't see it happening, but I do believe that the chess-calculus exists out there in the nether.