Chapter

Son of Sorrow

Robert Desjarlais

in Counterplay

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267398
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948204 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520267398.003.0005
Son of Sorrow

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The Modern Benoni, which today is the most common version of all the Benoni setups, yields sharp, dynamic games. This cognitive process, which chess players regularly engage in, is as intriguing as it is difficult. The ability to concoct an imagined reality is a signal feature of the human mind. Humans can conjure up imagined scenarios at a moment's notice, in a form of control that philosopher Edward Casey, in his book Imagining, calls “self-inducement.” Chess players cultivate such imaginative-cognitive faculties. In chess, it's easy to initiate, guide, and terminate the imagining of specific sequences of chess moves. The hard part lies in “guiding” the sequences well. To play chess successfully, you can't steer your imaginings in any random direction; what you conceptualize has to tie into the concrete situation on the board.

Keywords: Modern Benoni; cognitive process; imagined reality; human mind; control; Edward Casey; chess; sequences

Chapter.  10310 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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