This question involves not only those provided by the link, but also those "chess-themed" mathematics and computer science problems which are not included in the link. Who has published the most peer-reviewed articles on this topic amongst mathematicians and scientists?

I know, for example, Euler at least looked at the Knight's tour problem, and I believe Gauss even published a paper in the field! Granted, those problems weren't that important at the time, I'm certain, but for me, it's fun to look at. I count 11 from that list from Dr Christine Mynhardt, and she's currently Emeritus from the University of South Africa!

However, that certainly doesn't count them all, because not all "chess-themed" problems are related to the n-queen's problem. If that is what this site intended, I know not only mine aren't there, but also one of Dr Doug Chatham's. It also seems others were missing.


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    $\begingroup$ I can't give a well-ordering telling us who published most, but a famous mathematican of which I discovered (per accident, in the library) that he published quite a bit on chess was Ernst Zermelo. $\endgroup$
    – Nikolaj-K
    Commented Dec 25, 2014 at 2:07
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    $\begingroup$ There are many famous ones, including Zermelo. The historical significance about Zermelo is he was the first to produce a formal game theory paper. If I'm not mistaken, Zermelo didn't produce anymore chess-related papers besides this very, very important paper. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 26, 2014 at 5:50
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    $\begingroup$ Emanuel Lasker (the world chess champion) was a mathematician but i'm not sure if he wrote any problem book or article! $\endgroup$
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 5:33
  • $\begingroup$ His papers are in the field of algebra I'm rather certain. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 16:03
  • $\begingroup$ The answer is a research paper of chess program. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 22:25

2 Answers 2


Machgielis (Max) Euwe (1901-1981) was a Dutch mathematician. His teachers were Roland Weitzenböck and L.E.J. Brouwer. The latter was his friend and Euwe held his funeral oration. Euwe was a teacher of mathematics himself. He has published many (if not most) pieces of chess literature, among them "Mengentheoretische Betrachtungen über das Schachspiel" (set-theoretic reflections about the game of chess). Euwe was the fifth world champion (1935 he defeated Alexander Aljechin) and president of the FIDE (world chess unione) just in the difficult time when Bobby Fisher, author of the best sold chess book ever, encountered Boris Spassky.

Max Euwe authored among others the following books:

Max Euwe: Feldherrnkunst im Schach: eine Studie über die Entwicklung des Schachdenkens vom Jahre 1600 bis heute. Joachim Beyer Verlag, Eltmann 3. Auflage 2015

Max Euwe: Schach von A-Z - Vollständige Anleitung zum Schachspiel. Joachim Beyer Verlag, Eltmann 8. Auflage 2012

Max Euwe: Theorie der Schacheröffnungen. 12 Bände. Siegfried Engelhardt Verlag, Berlin-Frohnau, 1957

Max Euwe, Walter Meiden: Meister gegen Amateur. Joachim Beyer Verlag, Eltmann 8. Auflage 2012

Max Euwe, Walter Meiden: Amateur wird Meister. Joachim Beyer Verlag, Eltmann 8. Auflage 2012

Max Euwe, Walter Meiden: Meister gegen Meister. Joachim Beyer Verlag, Eltmann 4. Auflage 2011

Max Euwe: Positions- und Kombinationsspiel. Joachim Beyer Verlag, Eltmann 6. Auflage 2010

Max Euwe: Urteil und Plan im Schach. 3. Aufl. de Gruyter, Berlin, 1968

Max Euwe: Endspieltheorie und -praxis. Joachim Beyer Verlag, Eltmann 2. Auflage 2014

(References from German Wikipedia)

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    $\begingroup$ Were these all peer-reviewed? I know his application of the Thue-Morse sequence certainly was peer-reviewed, but I think that was the only one technically related to mathematics in this way. I could be wrong though. I noticed many of them came years after his death. $\endgroup$ Commented May 20, 2017 at 19:29
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    $\begingroup$ As I know from my own experience as author and reviewer, in Germany mathematics books of renowned publishers are peer reviewed, at least the first edition if the authors are new. I think that was also the case with the first chess books of Max Euwe although the later books may have been published without peer review. Do we know whether Zermelo's article or Lasker's books have been peer reviewed? And if so, to what intensity? ("After his dead": There was no first edition after his dead. Only later editions have remained in print after his dead,) $\endgroup$
    – Franz Kurz
    Commented May 20, 2017 at 20:59
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    $\begingroup$ These are all chess books, save for the paper using the Thue-Morse sequence that shows, from an intuitionistic viewpoint, the possibility of indefinite play from the rules of that time. Any others from Euwe? Now, I don't mean to belittle extremely dedicated, and talented, chess players, but besides the citation below, Euwe had no peer-reviewed publication that fits the criteria. The rest are helpful chess instruction, but not related to math. Euwe, M. (1929). "Mengentheoretische Betrachtungen über das Schachspiel". Proc. Konin. Akad. Wetenschappen. 32 (5). Amsterdam. pp. 633–642.. $\endgroup$ Commented May 20, 2017 at 22:23
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    $\begingroup$ Zermelo published a paper on the game that was indeed peer-reviewed. Lasker had peer-reviewed mathematical papers in algebra that had nothing what so ever to do with chess. Lasker's other works weren't mathematical in nature, but some were literature about mathematics. $\endgroup$ Commented May 20, 2017 at 22:30
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    $\begingroup$ @PaulBurchett: Peer review did not become common in scientific publishing until after the second world war. $\endgroup$
    – Dan Fox
    Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 12:12

Perhaps not the record-holder, but a contender:

Prof. Noam Elkies is a mathematician at Harvard University and has written or co-written some chess papers:

Noam Elkies. On numbers and endgames: Combinatorial game theory in chess endgames. arXiv:math/9905198 [math.CO] "Games of No Choice" (Proceedings of July 1994 MSRI conference on combinatorial games), MSRI Publ. #29 (1996) via CUP, pp.135-150.

Noam Elkies. Higher Nimbers in pawn endgames on large chessboards. More Games of No Chance (R.J.Nowakowski, ed.; MSRI Publ. #42, 2002 via CUP, pp.61-78.

Noam Elkies and Richard Stanley. The mathematical knight. Math. Intelligencer 25 #1 (2003), pp.22-34.


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