Thursday, May 17, 2007

Baseball and Chess

Last fall during the MLB playoffs, it seemed that every report filed on a game had some reference to chess in it.

I ran across a Mariners site today that delves into pattern recognition in baseball stats and chess.

This post says,

Human masters — chess, or baseball — are better than AI programs because they know which factor in a position matters.In chess, all strong players are aware of the dozen or so important factors that are in play in a given position. The player who wins, is the player who knows which is the most important factor.

It is not knowledge that makes the difference between two experts. It is judgment.

The post continues,

It is not data-gathering that separates the boys from the men in 2005. It is the use of good judgment to sift the important data from the noise!
Chessmasters know that this good judgment is rooted in pattern recognition — knowing about similar cases in the past, and knowing in which ways the present case differs from those similar cases.
This latest post refers back to the post mentioned above.

Unfortunately, in chess you have to take this massive amount of data and experience (pattern recognition) and jam it into your head somehow (The Circles). You can't just retrieve the data (via computer database) during a game. In this regard, chess and baseball are not alike. But once you do mange to upload the data into your head, you can then begin focusing on which positions matter most (which I think is the point of the author over at the Mariners blog).

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