Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type


Primary Advisor

Professor Cody Tessler


This paper analyzes chess through the lens of mathematics. Chess is a complex yet easy to understand game. Can mathematics be used to perfect a player’s skills? The work of Ernst Zermelo shows that one player should be able to force a win or force a draw. The work of Shannon and Hardy demonstrates the complexities of the game. Combinatorics, probability, and some chess puzzles are used to better understand the game. A computer program is used to test a hypothesis regarding chess strategy. Through the use of this program, we see that it is detrimental to be the first player to lose the queen. Ultimately, it is shown that mathematics exists inherently in chess. Therefore math can be used to improve, but not perfect, chess skills.