There is an infamous chess game between Einstein and Oppenheimer that has zero evidence of having happened (and that appears every time I try to look something about it and now even the comments of this question are about that). Much has been said about Einstein and his relation to chess, but what about Oppenheimer? Do we have any evidence that he ever played chess? This information does not appear in biographies like American Prometheus.

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    FWIW, I'd find it hard to believe the statement that he never played. I don't know a lot of people today who have never played it. However, getting any further information is proving quite difficult due to the apocryphal story of the Einstein match washing out any other search results.
    – T.E.D.
    Nov 24, 2023 at 19:13
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    For person proficient in math and science to not play chess would be extremely unusual. Nov 27, 2023 at 21:11
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    It's remarkably easy to find other physicists who crossed paths with him and were avid chess players for example pubs.aip.org/physicstoday/article/56/12/87/632224 and pubs.aip.org/physicstoday/article/61/11/72/413157/…. So far I see no evidence that Oppenheimer played with any of them.
    – Brian Z
    Nov 28, 2023 at 0:29
  • Thanks to the answer from Anonymous I now see the Wikipedia article about the game. It does have a lot of relevant references but nothing directly about the general plausibly that Oppenheimer played.
    – Brian Z
    Dec 10, 2023 at 3:52
  • It's difficult to find reputable evidence that Oppenheimer played chess or that he played a game with Einstein. There are websites claiming such a game occurred. Scientific American, states: "Oppenheimer was a chess grand master in a game of checkers. He was looking to checkmate the other guy's king by trapping his queen, maneuvering around his bishops and sidestepping his knights, ..." ...
    – Fred
    Dec 14, 2023 at 8:44


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