June 25, 2017

Every day many tough and brilliant games are played at the World Team Championships in Khanty-Mansiysk. Although the players look seemingly calm, their quiet battles are sometimes as tense as a football match. You just need to have a closer look.

Samuel Shankland (USA)

For a long time scientists all over the world have been trying to find out how professional chess players are able to instantaneously calculate the best moves. The riddle of “a chess mind” was solved by the Japanese scientists of the RIKEN Brain Science Institute. Using nuclear magnetic resonance imaging the researchers have studied the active parts of a brain.

The biggest activity was found in parts responsible for visualization of images and episodic memory. Thus, professional chess players are constantly perfecting ties between these two regions. In addition to logic, chess players have one more instrument – a well-developed intuition that helps to make quick decisions about the next best move.

Ian Nepomniachtchi (RUS)

This process looks different depending on a chess player. The main expression of brain activity is the so-called “evaluation gestures”, that are widely used by chess professionals, sometimes even subconsciously. In our gallery we have gathered the most thoughtful and perplexed looks of the participants of the World Team Championships 2017. Now we just need to find out whose thinking was the most fruitful.