Academic theses on the subject of chess

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JustinHorton
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Academic theses on the subject of chess

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:39 pm

Tim Harding, PhD, History, Trinity College Dublin, 2009. "Battle at long range: correspondence chess in Britain and Ireland, 1824-1914, a social and cultural history."

Self, MA, Information and Library Management, University of Northumbria at Newcastle, 2001. "Moving too fast? Information overload and the study of opening theory by chess players."

There must have been many others (all of them better than mine, I imagine).
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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Stewart Reuben
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Re: Academic theses on the subject of chess

Post by Stewart Reuben » Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:59 pm

Lare last week I came to an agreement with ThinkersPublishing to write a History of the Laws of Chess, in assocation with Alex McFarlane and Shaun Press. I didn't want to work with the publisher, McFarland, because they would have wanted too rigorous a book, no doubt full of footnotes which I loathe.

Of course Arpad Elo did his first work on chess ratings to try to analyse loss in ability of high level chessplayers as they age.

There is a book on pattern recognition using chess positions.

Demis Hassabis, of course, used chess as a way to get computers to be self-improving. He then moved onto Go.

I don't know of any list of academic theses where chess plays an important role.

James Pratt
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Re: Academic theses on the subject of chess

Post by James Pratt » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:10 pm

Surely Bernard Cafferty's got his published in CHESS about 55 years ago? I think they (BH Wood, I suppose) lost heart and cut it short.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Academic theses on the subject of chess

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:46 am

That sounds like what I was looking for, any idea of the details, e.g. title, institition etc?
"Do you play chess?"
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Rob Ensor
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Re: Academic theses on the subject of chess

Post by Rob Ensor » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:36 am

My MA (De Montfort, 2016) dissertation was '"The champion club of the Midland counties": a social study of the Nottingham Chess Club, 1829 - c.1904'.

Others that I know of are John Sharples' PhD thesis (Lancaster), 'Minds, machines and monsters: a cultural history of chess', which became a book published a year or so ago, and 'Storming fortresses: a political history of chess in the Soviet Union, 1917-1948', by Michael Hudson, University of California.

Tim Harding
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Re: Academic theses on the subject of chess

Post by Tim Harding » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:53 am

The earliest doctoral thesis on chess history of which I am aware:
Kiernan, Bernard P., ‘A History Of International Master Chess: 1851-1914: A Study In Modern Institutional History’ (Ph.D. thesis, The American University 1957).

One of the first things I had to do at the start of my research was to buy a copy.

There have been quite a lot of masters and doctoral theses on chess-related topics, but a lot are in computing, psychology etc. I think.

Surely there are at least two indexes to theses, British and others, where you can search for "chess" though you may have to go to the British Library or a university library to do it?

A few years ago I tried to get this one on inter-library loan:
Keele PhD thesis "Chess in the Cold War" by Timothy Stevens (2005).

This was refused for copyright reasons; I was told I would have to go to Keele to read it. SInce it was not relevant to my topic, I didn't go.

I suspect that the problem, and the reason why Dr Stevens's thesis has maybe even now not been published as a monograph, is that in 2007 a book appeared by a rival author, Daniel Johnson, "White King and Red Queen: how the cold war was fought on the chessboard".

Does anyone know more about this?
Tim Harding
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Author of 'British Chess Literature to 1914', Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography', and 'Eminent Victorian Chess Players'
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JustinHorton
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Re: Academic theses on the subject of chess

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:59 am

Tim Harding wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:53 am
Surely there are at least two indexes to theses, British and others, where you can search for "chess" though you may have to go to the British Library or a university library to do it?
I should think there must be, since I'm sure I remember using one when doing my own research eighteen years ago.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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John McKenna
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Re: Academic theses on the subject of chess

Post by John McKenna » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:15 pm

Edward G.Harrison's -

4 Jul 2018 · Abstract. Chess, the first truly universal sport, experienced unique national tensions, as the regularity of international master chess and the presence of foreign professionals in England brought matters ...

Thesis (Masters) Date: 2018

http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/12703/

Also, see (about) Tigran Petrosian's -

https://chess.stackexchange.com/questio ... ssertation
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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Re: Academic theses on the subject of chess

Post by Tim Harding » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:29 pm

The link from John McKenna's post mentions:

Tigran Vartani Petrosjan: Chess Logic. Skakhus-forlaget, 1968. Translated from the Russian into English by Carl Andersen. (See the catalogue entry at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek.)

I have copy 90 (of 250) of this. It is 39 pages and says it is the "personal summary by the author of a dissertation contending for the degree of Master of Philosophical Science." It says the full thesis is 261 pages and that the full thesis may be studied at the university.

I am open to offers to purchase it.
Tim Harding
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Author of 'British Chess Literature to 1914', Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography', and 'Eminent Victorian Chess Players'
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Alistair Campbell
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Re: Academic theses on the subject of chess

Post by Alistair Campbell » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:55 pm

As previously mentioned in the Obituaries thread, Danny Kopec's PhD thesis is here

HLang
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Re: Academic theses on the subject of chess

Post by HLang » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:06 am


John Townsend
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Re: Academic theses on the subject of chess

Post by John Townsend » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:23 am

Rob Ensor said:
My MA (De Montfort, 2016) dissertation was '"The champion club of the Midland counties": a social study of the Nottingham Chess Club, 1829 - c.1904'.
Does anyone know how we can read this, please?

Rob Ensor
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Re: Academic theses on the subject of chess

Post by Rob Ensor » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:11 pm

Hi John, PM me your email address and I'll send you a pdf of it.

John Townsend
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Re: Academic theses on the subject of chess

Post by John Townsend » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:33 pm

Rob,

Very kind indeed. I've just sent you my e-mail address.

Best regards,

John

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