[FOM] Doron Zeilberger's opinion #57

Alasdair Urquhart urquhart at cs.toronto.edu
Mon Nov 10 09:24:24 EST 2003

I'd like to put in a few words in defence
of G.H. Hardy, a wonderful mathematician
and a fine person, whose "A Mathematician's
Apology" Doron Zeilberger criticizes in his
Opinion #57.  

Hardy did not say that "chess is trivial."
What he did say was that chess problems of 
the kind "White to move and mate in 3"
are trivial.  On the whole, this seems correct,
since such problems are easily solved by 
exhaustive search.  

Hardy goes on to say that chess problems are
unimportant, but that the best mathematics is
serious in the sense of connecting together 
significant mathematical ideas.  In general,
I don't find too much to quarrel with in his
opinions, and I believe most mathematicians
would agree with him.

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