FOM: Mathematical statements about chess

Moshe' Machover moshe.machover at
Fri Jan 23 08:47:11 EST 1998

Reuben Hersh says now:

> My characterization of math does not exclude chess. Thank you for pointing
> out this oversight.

Hersh was right first time. While chess is not maths, statements about
chess can well be mathematical statements. They are statements belonging to
game theory, a branch of maths.

Zermelo's theorem about chess (probably the first theorem in game theory,
before the name `game theory' had been invented) is undoubtedly a
mathematical  result.

By backsliding from this recognition and offering to amend his
characterzaition of maths so as to exclusde statements about chess, Hersh
is in mortal danger of transforming his original mistaken position into an
incoherent one.

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