de Groot, A. & Gobet, F. (1996). Perception and memory in chess. Heuristics of the professional eye. Assen: Van Gorcum.

(ISBN 90 232 2949 5)


This study consists of two main parts, followed by a brief discussion between the two authors. De Groot first explains a few basic issues in memory experimentation; he argues that recall experiments with complex chess positions had better be considered primarily as experiments in problem solving. He then reports on, and re-analyses findings of a broad experimental study, thus far unpublished in English, made in collaboration with his former student Rickend W. Jongman in the late sixties. This work is of special interest by his use of original experimental procedures and analytic tools, such as position guessing experiments, achievement measured as amount of information transferred (Chs. 2 and 3), and qualitative analysis of retrospective protocols (Ch. 4).

In the second part of the book, Gobet discusses recent results in chess research within cognitive psychology (Ch.5). Chapter 6 and 7 are devoted to analyses on eye movement data as parallel data, including the congruence between eye fixations, retrospective protocols and the number and location of pieces correctly replaced. Finally (Ch. 8), a computer model of chess memory and perception is presented, which integrates in a unified model several earlier proposals as well as some of Jongman's recommendations of incorporating problem solving routines in simulation programs of chess memory. The program offers a good fit to the empirical data described in the earlier chapters of the book. In the conclusion, the two authors discuss their different theoretical views and delineate zones of agreement .



Chapter 1 Heuristics in chess perception; an introduction to the problem

Chapter 2 The information contents of a position

Chapter 3 Experiments in chess perception; replication and analysis

Chapter 4 Chessplayers' professionnal eye

Chapter 5 Perception and Memory in chess: recent developpements

Chapter 6 Eye movement data: technique and results

Chapter 7 Eye movement data and retrospective protocols

Chapter 8 Learning, perception and memory in chess: model and simulations

Conclusion A discussion: Two authors, two different views?