Idea density in chess and programming

26 Oct 2019 19:20 | Geplaatst door Marcel |

Ideas are a dime a dozen they say, and I can agree with that. Ideas can be cheap and easy, the execution is what matters. An idea can sound great in theory, but in practice it can turn out to be quite different.
Not every idea that gets thought of or spoken out loud will be executed. Most will remain not executed, and for some that might be better.

In chess most ideas can be executed. During a game you can think of hundreds of ideas. Inside the game itself you can execute some, and afterwards in the analysis all of them can be executed on the board, looked at and spoken about. You can talk them over with your opponent; what did you think here, how did you like this move, how would you respond, how do you see this position. You can also talk about the game with other people, be they clubmates or teammates. Positions are easy to put on the board, and the pieces are easy to make moves with and see a new position.
I would assume, the stronger of a chessplayer you are, the more ideas you can think of, make better decisions which ideas are the best, execute them on the board, and from the new position start again with that process. For stronger chessplayers this might cost less mental energy. I am only a clubplayer at a level of about 1500 ELO, and often in my games I see small series of weaker moves, where apparently I am not sharp enough.

I have wondered for some time about chess rating and people who program. I have the anecdotal experience that most people who play chess and are also programmer/developer, are more at clublevel, not master or grandmaster. Just today I thought of something that you could call idea density. In programming you can have maybe a hundred ideas on a day, but you can only execute maybe one, a few, but not often more than a handfull. I can imagine for a strong chessplayer, like around 2000 ELO and above, this can become a bit boring. They might enjoy seeing more ideas come to fruition, and choose a different kind of job that brings them more of what they enjoy and what they are good at.