Be the player, not the played: Advice for novice learners

What chess really teaches us about the path to mastery

Play is so often shunned in formal learning environments. The standard maths curriculum, for instance, is like a purgatory for student-novices; before they are given the chance to do mathematics proper, they have to consume a years-long diet of facts and procedures. ‘Play’ is the bit that comes after (if at all), once these supposed prerequisites are embedded.