You may take a look at a functional language, Haskell or Ocaml for example (because of Pattern Analysis).
For statistics there's R, but I don't have experience with it.
As for Array and Vector Operations, don't all languages provide this?
As for Chess I would recommend to take a look at Common Lisp, because of it's history in AI there are most likely some packages for you, see this link http://www.iqool.de/cc.html
For Common Lisp I would recommend to read the newsgroup comp.lang.lisp
BTW: Lisp is not slow!