Chess Piece Journeys

Steve Tung has taken data from over two million chess games to create visualizations of each pieces movement.  The results are really gorgeous!  It’s fascinating to see which moves and sequences are most common, although I confess nothing really leapt out at me as especially surprising, besides just how far the kings can move.

White King's Movements, by Steve Tung

White King’s Movements, by Steve Tung

I certainly don’t expect to see them so far from home.  Each line represents 500 games, rounded up, so the king gets to the back rank far more frequently than I’d expect.  Then again, with two million games, perhaps it’d be more surprising if it didn’t reach there sometimes…

The visualizations are not only cool, but I really like the ethereal look of the movements.  They almost look like vines crawling across the board.  The knights’ movements are my favorites, I think, just because of their unique paths.

White Knight's Movements, by Steve Tung

White Knight’s Movements, by Steve Tung

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