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Friday, April 13, 2012

Great New Research: Move Chess Pieces Just by Thinking

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

Here is an amazing article about a brain and chess study.

In Berlin they have a unique way of playing chess. The player sits motionless and, as if by magic, his pieces move around the board. His brainwaves are being harnessed so he can play just by thinking about the next move. The secret is in the headgear developed by researchers from Berlin’s Institute of Technology.

Researcher Michael Tangermann explained: “What we are seeing here is a brain-computer interface. It is a connection between the computer and the brain and it reads the intention of the player about the chess move he wants to make. It then converts it into a move. The player just needs to imagine which pawn he wants to move and where, then the computer recognises that and makes the move. So, the person can play without using his hands.”

Several electrodes measure brain activity in key areas and detect which piece the player intends to move. As soon as the player puts on the special cap, a system calibrates the software to recognise his or her specific traits - in this case it works on chess.

The brain-computer interface is not just for fun and games though. It could have serious medical applications, helping patients with severe motor neuron damage, for instance, to communicate with the outside world. Great that chess is a conduit to that!

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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