An article was published today in Chessbase about the doctoral thesis of Dr Mohammed Azlan Mohamed Iqbal, who is 31 years old and works in Malaysia.
The doctoral thesis [A discrete computational aesthetics model for a zero-sum perfect information game] examines the question if the beauty of the chess combinations is measurable by computers.
To people, some moves seem to be much prettier than others. Some combinations seem to be marvelous, while others seem indifferent. The computers play the chess game at the level of Grand Master and make combinations of all kinds, without giving weight or preference to beautiful moves. Could we teach the machines to “count” the esthetic beauty of their moves?
The researcher has studied, using special software for measuring esthetics [CHESTHETICA], many games and particularly three-mover problems, while at the same time, using specific questionnaires, has gathered the opinions of many persons whether some positions and combinations and solutions seemed to be beautiful.
By comparing the measuring-software results and the opinion-questionnaire results, an impressive conclusion arose, that the esthetics (at least for the limited researched area) is measurable!
Dr Mohammed Azlan Mohamed Iqbal hopes that his pioneering work and the software he developed could help the Judges in contests of chess compositions, or the persons giving Beauty prizes to chess games.