The Complexity of The Game of Chess
Chess is one of the most complex board games. Its pieces are simple, yet playing it requires a lot of thinking.
Chess’s simplicity in the outside and complexity in the inside is, I think, the unique feature of the game.
So, how complex is the game of chess? Maybe some of you will think that chess is not complex at all. You think that chess is just a game in which you move the pieces into the desired positions. That’s correct. Once you know how all the chess pieces move, you can actually play chess already. But, that’s the outside view of the game. You move the pieces into the places of the board. The complexity of the game of chess is located in how the human mind works while playing it. It’s the mind that thinks after all. It’s not in the chess board itself. It’s how you play the game that makes it complex.
A chess player thinks. The range of his or her thinking is the measure of the complexity. The game’s complexity depends, therefore, on the level of thinking. So, if you’re thinking on only one or two moves per turn, then you’re giving less complexity to the game. Yet, if you’re thinking three or more moves per turn, then that’s more complex. Yes, only three moves in the mind can make the game complex. Why? It’s because you’ll be already thinking of many possibilities in your next move. Suppose you think of moving the Queen, then the Bishop, and then the Rook, because you think that will destroy the center pawns of the opponent. Yet, when you move the Queen, the opponent answered with a block to your plan. In this case, you need to think again in three or more moves. You need, moreover, to think in terms of how your opponent might respond to your move. This is how the game of chess works with pro and experienced players. While you can think of one or two moves in that situation, you are exposing yourself to easy defeat, especially if your opponent is a pro.
Therefore, the complexity of the game of chess depends on how the mind of both players think. You can even experience its complexity by playing more than an hour thinking three or more moves per turn (you’ll get a headache).