Attention to Detail [CF Article]

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People have done research for chess piece location memory. They put chess pieces on a board and let expert chess players and non-players look at the position briefly and try to remember what went where. For positions that are similar to real chess positions, the chess players perform much better. They have a big advantage and memory and attention to detail. But if the chess pieces are in random places on the board that look unrealistic for a chess game, then the expert chess players only remember about the same amount as other people. (I got this information from a chess expert talking about it in a chess video. I’m going by memory. The non-players might have been poor players who are familiar with the pieces. I don’t know who said it in which video, and I have not found or fact checked the original research.) Even great chess players, who devote their life to the game, struggle to remember exact details of chess pieces on a chess board when they aren’t given much time and the locations don’t fit patterns they’re used to. Memory is hard without either a bunch of time and effort or else some triggers, pattern recognition or other aids.

I think the research on chess you’re referring to was described in the book “Thought and Choice in Chess” by Adriaan de Groot. The experiments are described starting on p. 87 and they involved chess players with different levels of skill.

Is what I said OK or problematic when compared to the book? Besides it being experts and weak players.

What you said is okay compared to the book. The book includes a lot of discussion of thinking about chess not just memory of chess positions. The description of the memory results is in Section 61 on pp. 321-335.