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ThinkMind // International Journal On Advances in Intelligent Systems, volume 7, numbers 3 and 4, 2014 // View article intsys_v7_n34_2014_28


Assessing the Difficulty of Chess Tactical Problems

Authors:
Dayana Hristova
Matej Guid
Ivan Bratko

Keywords: Task Difficulty; Assessing Problem Difficulty; Eye Tracking; Problem Solving; Chess Tactical Problems; Chess

Abstract:
We investigate experts’ ability to assess the difficulty of a mental task for a human. The final aim is to find formalized measures of difficulty that could be used in automated assessment of the difficulty of a task. In experiments with tactical chess problems, the experts’ estimations of difficulty are compared to the statistic-based difficulty ratings on the Chess Tempo website. In an eye tracking experiment, the subjects’ solutions to chess problems and the moves that they considered are analyzed. Performance data (time and accuracy) are used as indicatorsof subjectively perceived difficulty. We also aim to identify the attributes of tactical positions that affect the difficulty of the problem. Understanding the connection between players’ estimation of difficulty and the properties of the search trees of variations considered is essential, but not sufficient, for modeling the difficulty of tactical problems. Our findings include that (a) assessing difficulty is also very difficult for human experts, and (b) algorithms designed to estimate difficulty should interpret the complexity of a game tree in the light of knowledge-based patterns that human players are able to detect in a chess problem.

Pages: 728 to 738

Copyright: Copyright (c) to authors, 2014. Used with permission.

Publication date: December 30, 2014

Published in: journal

ISSN: 1942-2679

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