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Chess is a little different because if you "you put all of that out of your mind and play the game" you'll probably get chewed up some chess discoverers/researchers/obsessives who have found every little secret nook and cranny in the openings that cannot be ignored.

Arguably the best player ever was Bobby Fischer. Nut case he very well may be now, but there is a list of reasons why he is a legend.
He was the most talented "over the board" tactician but, he was also the most "booked up". He had studied more than his competitors, and remembered everything. Including every variation ( thousands) in MCO (Modern Chess Openings). But end game where the book is gone, it's about pure calculation and cleverness. Fischer was unbeatable. He was probably the best because he had the best both worlds.

A difference between jazz and chess is that in chess there is a much harder line drawn between right/wrong in chess.

But the general point is good. An infinite(?) world within finite boundaries and rules that requires both knowledge and improvisation.
 

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Agent27 said:
The whole point of the essay is to not get so caught up in playing predetermined licks and phrases that you lose sight of what's going on around you and what's happening in the moment. His arguement is that in chess, if you get caught up in playing out a particular opening or other scenario, you can totally miss what your opponent is doing. You're missing half the game. Similarly, in jazz you can miss what the rhythym section is doing. They could be feeding you cool ideas and you could be totally oblivious because you're off in your own little world. Might as well play with nothing but Aebersolds if that's all you're going to do. I know I improvise better when I let everything go and just play in the moment and can actually interact with other musicians.

It's the exact same thing as the old impov proverb that dates back to Bird: Practice, learn everything you can, then forget it and just play. If you've really studied it, it will show up in your playing without you saying "Oh, I'm going to start my solo the same way Trane did, then I'm going to play this lick here and then quote Ornithology over here, and play a diminshed-whole tone over this chord, and do a tritone sub over this ii-V-I."
Why not a little of both. Using conscious calculated thought combined with spontaneous inspiration. I don't think they are mutually exclusive.
Whole is greater than sum of parts. It would be interesting to see brain scans of different players while improvising vs reading.
Or classical vs jazz to see what differences or similarities there are. Good musicianship has lots of components. Everyone has there blend of strengths and relative weaknesses.
Thinking vs feeling? Feeling the music is not an emotional is this usage I "think". It's some other kind of thinking. Merging, blending recombining and inventing ideas. Partly conscious, partly not.
 
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