Scientists have tried for years to find clues in the brains of chess masters, to explain their superiority at the game.

Neuroscientist Ognjen Amidzic found that when masters learn a new position, such as an opening innovation, it goes into their long-term memory.

When amateurs try to do this the position gets stuck in their short-term memory. “Amateurs are overwriting things they’ve already learned,” Amidzic said in Psychology Today in 2005.

Last week, a new study, using magnetic resonance imaging, was reported from Merim Bilalic of University of Tubingen.

When eight novices examined a chess position, they just used the left side of their brains, the one that’s strong in logic and analysis. But eight masters who were tested also used the right side, the one associated with intuition.

When they were given a Non-chess task, to identify geometrical shapes, the masters relied on the same left side as the novices, according to New Scientist magazine.