Economics and chess session at the SEA

Session 16M, Economics and Chess


“Thinking Outside the Game Tree: Game Preparation at Chess World Championship”
Doru Cojoc, Columbia University

“Do Rational Agents Make Rational Decisions? Evidence from Chess Data”
Alexander Matros, University of South Carolina
Irina Murtazashvili, Drexel University

“Human and Computer Preference Divergences at Chess”
Kenneth Regan, University at Buffalo
Tamal Tanu Biswas, University at Buffalo
Jason Zhou, SUNYIT

The link to the program is here.  Here is Cojoc’s earlier paper on mixed strategies in chess.

Carlsen played an imperfect match, by the way, especially in the second half, but won on the grounds of age and stamina.  For the next cycle, I see Grischuk as the most likely challenger, as Aronian tends to choke at key moments and Caruana does not yet have a good enough positional understanding of the middle game and end game.  Carlsen will hold the title still for some while to come.

The pointer is from Daniel Klein, here is his earlier paper on why don’t government officials seem like villains (pdf).


You overlook the fact that Carlsen is simply a stronger player especially post-opening than anyone in the world. It's not just age and stamina. And Caruana will probably be the next challenger.

Carlsen's weakness is that he seems to need ideal conditions to perform well. He mentioned how once he could not play well because he saw his opponent having a drink the night before [I don't have the citation], or how having a heavy burger would harm his play [no citation here either]. Also, he does not seem to recover well from a loss. So if he losses against Caruana early in the Match, it could all be over.

We want to see a Carlsen-Caruana match because it is likely to be the strongest match in history. What would the odds be? 60:40?

"Caruana does not yet have a good enough positional understanding of the middle game and end game"

Tyler Cowen seems rather confident of his ability to critique players who are much stronger than he is. I am a titled player who has followed Caruana's games and has not noticed these alleged weaknesses. Caruana is young and ranked 2nd in the world, so obviously he is a contender.

@Beliavsky - but you are no master, albeit you troll like a GM. TC has won the New Jersey State championship when he was young, when players like GM Pal Benko played. So we must defer to his expertise.

@Ray Lopez

I am a master -- you don't know what "titled player" means.

Alex Beliavsky?

Another celebrity reader!

My moniker was chosen in honor of grandmaster Alexander Beliavsky, but no, I am not him.

I was not convinced by the paper, albeit it was provocative. It simply read to me as: "Players that are really good, that don't drop out of chess, and play professionally, are proficient in the opening and don't play the same opening every time, unlike less skilled players.". Pace Bobby Fischer (who almost always opened 1.e4, though ironically against the 1972 Spassky championship match he did vary with 1.d4 which did surprise his opponent).

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