A-Musing with Chess and the Eight Queens Math Puzzle: Looking for Connections Between Problem-Solving, Technology, Creativity, and Affect in Mathematics Education

Part of the Research in Mathematics Education book series (RME)


Mathematical recreations have continued, since antiquity, to attract not only amateurs who find numerous opportunities to enjoy solving challenging problems but also renowned mathematicians. Using examples of chessboard puzzles and, in particular, the Eight Queens problem, I analyse, from historical, as well as modern perspectives, how technology, creativity, and affect ignite and shape a collective interest in solving mathematical problems. While looking at ingenious methods of searching for solutions of the puzzle and its variations and generalizations developed by mathematicians and, more recently, computer scientists, the chapter explores the educational value of chess puzzles for learners of all ages, starting with elementary school, to instil a culture of mathematical investigation, foster curiosity and perseverance and creative thinking, and, in relation to affect, help to make mathematics learning an intriguing and enjoyable venture.


Chessboard puzzles Mathematical recreations Interest-based activities Investigative problem-solving approach 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université de MonctonMonctonCanada

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