Showing all posts tagged: chess

Illustrations from Stamma on the Game of Chess 1818 edition

22 July 2022
Illustration from Stamma on the Game of Chess, 1818 edition

Wednesday 20 July may have been Miles Franklin day in Australia — being the occasion the winner of the annual prestige literary award is announced — but it was also International Chess Day. Also known as World Chess Day, 20 July marks the day International Chess Federation was established in 1924, although International Chess Day didn’t come into being until 1966.

In honour of the beloved checkered board game, the University Of Wisconsin Milwaukee Special Collections have posted images from the 1818 edition of Stamma on the Game of Chess, which contained numerous illustrations of game openings and critical situations. Much of the text was written by Philipp Stamma, and edited by William Lewis, who were eighteenth century chess masters.

Illustration from Stamma on the Game of Chess, 1818 edition

Although I play from time to time, I’m not the biggest chess aficionado you’d ever meet, but I was intrigued to learn game pieces were often coloured red and black, rather than the white, or ivory, and black pieces I’m more familiar with. There’s an interesting, though brief, discussion about red chess pieces here.

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Working from home is bad for your chess moves, and complicated work tasks

9 December 2021

Reports of a “new” study analysing the performance of chess players who were participating in tournaments, online from home, during the pandemic, and the subsequent impact on their game, were crossing the wires yesterday. I’m not sure such a study is exactly new though, I found reports about similar research dating back to at least a year ago when I went to find out more.

Regardless, it seems the home office may not be the best place for carrying out certain mentally demanding tasks, a finding made after looking at the quality of some chess players moves which apparently were not to up to the usual standard, while they were playing from home:

According to Dr Dainis Zegners: “Chess is, in many ways, is similar to the work of the knowledge society’s office workplaces: the game is strategic, analytical and takes place under time pressure. Cognitive skills used in chess are also used for complicated tasks and strategic decision making such as drafting a legal contract, preparing a tender document or managerial decisions – the kind of tasks that require clear and precise thinking.

The approach some organisations are taking in having employees present in the workplace a few days a week may then be sensible. Come into the office when something taxing needs doing, and then stay home the rest of the time. As long as we don’t have to spend five full days in the office.

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