Problem solving with retrograde analysis

They always say that you win at chess by being a few moves ahead of your opponent. In this video, chess grandmaster Maurice Ashley talks about some of the strategies chess players use to do that, specifically,

  • Chunking – taking a group of positions and seeing what possibilities are there, the divide and conquer method
  • Pattern recognition – looking for patterns you recognize
  • Stepping-stone method – freeze frame the position and try to guess the next possible moves
  • Retrograde analysis – work backwards. From where you want to go, try to see where you would have had to be to get there, or as he puts it, from the end game, look backwards.

These are all useful strategies in chess because they help you to eliminate the moves that will have a low possibility of success so you can concentrate on higher percentage strategies. The one Ashely likes is retrograde analysis, figuring out where you have to be in the last step before where you want to be. He gives a lot of examples of how to use this strategy to solve problems, but his best advice is to apply this to your life when you’re young so that you end up where you want to be when you’re old.

Working backward to solve problems – Maurice Ashley

This entry was posted in Learning how to Learn, Teaching Thinking - Metacognition, Problem Solving. Bookmark the permalink.

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