How relevant are chess composition conventions?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Composition conventions are guidelines used by human composers in composing chess problems. They are particularly significant in composition tournaments. Examples include, not having any 'check' in the first move of the solution and not 'dressing up' the board with unnecessary pieces. Conventions are often associated or even directly conflated with the overall aesthetics or beauty of a composition. Using an existing experimentally-validated computational aesthetics model for three-move mate problems, we analyzed sets of computer-generated compositions adhering to at least 2, 3 and 4 comparable conventions to test if simply conforming to more conventions had a positive effect on their aesthetics, as is generally believed by human composers. We found slight but statistically significant evidence that it does, but only to a point. We also analyzed human judge scores of 145 three-move mate problems composed by humans to see if they had any positive correlation with the computational aesthetic scores of those problems. We found that they did not. These seemingly conflicting findings suggest two main things. First, the right amount of adherence to composition conventions in a composition has a positive effect on its perceived aesthetics. Second, human judges either do not look at the same conventions related to aesthetics in the model used or emphasize others that have less to do with beauty as perceived by the majority of players, even though they may mistakenly consider their judgements 'beautiful' in the traditional, non-esoteric sense. Human judges may also be relying significantly on personal tastes as we found no correlation between their individual scores either.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputer Games - Workshop on Computer Games, CGW 2013 Held in Conjunction with the 23rd International Conference on Artificial Intelligence, IJCAI 2013, Revised Selected Papers
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Pages122-131
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9783319054278
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2014
EventWorkshop on Computer Games, CGW 2013 held in Conjunction with the 23rd International Conference on Artificial Intelligence, IJCAI 2013 - Beijing, China
Duration: 03 Aug 201305 Aug 2013

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
Volume408
ISSN (Print)1865-0929

Other

OtherWorkshop on Computer Games, CGW 2013 held in Conjunction with the 23rd International Conference on Artificial Intelligence, IJCAI 2013
CountryChina
CityBeijing
Period03/08/1305/08/13

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Mathematics(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'How relevant are chess composition conventions?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Iqbal, A. (2014). How relevant are chess composition conventions? In Computer Games - Workshop on Computer Games, CGW 2013 Held in Conjunction with the 23rd International Conference on Artificial Intelligence, IJCAI 2013, Revised Selected Papers (pp. 122-131). (Communications in Computer and Information Science; Vol. 408). Springer Verlag. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-05428-5_9