[FOM] Doron Zeilberger's opinion #57

Thomas Forster T.Forster at dpmms.cam.ac.uk
Mon Nov 10 14:14:02 EST 2003

My father used to quote Hardy as saying that Chess problems are the hymn 
tunes of mathematics.  Not sure where he got this from,
now what Hardy could have meant by it...

On Mon, 10 Nov
2003, Alasdair Urquhart wrote:

> 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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