chapter  1
6 Pages

The Eye of the Master

ByFernand Gobet

Anybody who has seen chess masters playing bullet chess or simultaneous exhibitions, where they play against 30 or 40 opponents at the same time, would have been struck by their amazing ability to play good moves very quickly. Adriaan de Groot's main interest concerned the processes that allow chess players to choose a move. In a first experiment, he gave chess players a board position unknown to them and asked them to select what they thought was the best move. In a second experiment, de Groot directly tested the hypothesis. These two experiments back up the hypothesis that experts use anticipatory schemas in their perception: rather than recalling a scene the way they saw it, experts tend to recall it the way it normally unfolds in the near future. A natural way to study skill differences in perception is to record eye movements. Just like some of the old experiments, the eye-movement experiments used verbal protocols.