Managing Uncertainty - Inspirations from the Game of Chess

16 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2009 Last revised: 2 May 2010

See all articles by Nicolas Gisiger

Nicolas Gisiger

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: March 7, 2009


The rise of the multi-option society has brought a tremendous abundance of choice. Generally valid action principles fail to simplify the task of optimal behaviour in such an environment. We find that meaningful action principles can be drawn from the game of chess which shares some characteristics with the multi-option society. Several important principles are reformulated for the purpose of better decision-making. In such a world, a virtuous person is not the one whose targets are too concrete, thereby binding him on a way without divergences. Taking an advantage is the one who can endure uncertainty, sustain flexibility, and seize an opportunity. Finally, we conclude that these principles might provide powerful action theories for the explanation of sociological phenomena arising in complex environments.

Keywords: Multi-Option Society, Decision-Making, Decision, Complexity, Chess, Decision Principles, Action Principles, Gisiger, Nicolas Gisiger

JEL Classification: D70, D80, D81, M10

Suggested Citation

Gisiger, Nicolas, Managing Uncertainty - Inspirations from the Game of Chess (March 7, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

Nicolas Gisiger (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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