Chess visualized

Chess visualized

I undertook two experiments on a sport that I play quite often: Chess. The first was on a long bus ride from College Park, MD, to Ann Arbor, MI. A friend and I went on nerd overdrive and played an entire game of chess using a white board and a dry erase marker. Experiment result: Success.

Chess 2

The other was to track the flow of the game as visually as possible and see what the result would be. As you can see, the points with asterisks represent the King pieces. All the lines drawn connect the two asterisks, with the curve as a rough function of the average of all pieces’s movements on the board. As you can see from this chart, much of the movement of the game took place on one of the flanks only (from white’s point of view, the right flank).

It will be quite interesting if online chess suites like http://www.chess.com can come up with a much more well though-out version of this visualization tool. I can think of many improvements on this basic skeleton alone. For instance, if there can be a way to track which line represents exactly which move, in a chronological order, then such a visualization plot will perhaps be more meaningful. Experiment result: Work in progress.

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