Interesting Bobby Fischer article

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Fguy64
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Re: Interesting Bobby Fischer article

Post by Fguy64 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:53 pm

Interesting article. Nothing much was new, but it was interesting to read about Nemenyi's intellect. It makes one wonder how much of Fischer's success at chess could be attributed to good genes as opposed to hard work.

shiv
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Re: Interesting Bobby Fischer article

Post by shiv » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:36 pm

I think success at top level chess is still say 90-95%+ hard work and the rest due to genius. Fischer did work very hard at chess, typical chess day was 12 hours of work for him based on what I read.

I feel that he worked so hard at chess, his general knowledge and competence in most other domains was limited. That also might explain his controversial world views and insanity to a certain extent.

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Re: Interesting Bobby Fischer article

Post by Fguy64 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:29 pm

shiv wrote:I think success at top level chess is still say 90-95%+ hard work and the rest due to genius. Fischer did work very hard at chess, typical chess day was 12 hours of work for him based on what I read.

I feel that he worked so hard at chess, his general knowledge and competence in most other domains was limited. That also might explain his controversial world views and insanity to a certain extent.
I think I am 90-95% in agreement with you. Still, there are a lot of people who work very hard, but a rare few that reach the stature of a Fischer. Which leads me to suggest that maybe genius (high IQ) played a greater role than usual in his case. Anyways, it's interesting, but I just speculate,.

regards.

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Re: Interesting Bobby Fischer article

Post by Stephen Ham » Tue Dec 15, 2009 2:20 am

Fguy64 wrote:
shiv wrote:I think success at top level chess is still say 90-95%+ hard work and the rest due to genius. Fischer did work very hard at chess, typical chess day was 12 hours of work for him based on what I read.

I feel that he worked so hard at chess, his general knowledge and competence in most other domains was limited. That also might explain his controversial world views and insanity to a certain extent.
I think I am 90-95% in agreement with you. Still, there are a lot of people who work very hard, but a rare few that reach the stature of a Fischer. Which leads me to suggest that maybe genius (high IQ) played a greater role than usual in his case. Anyways, it's interesting, but I just speculate,.

regards.
Hello Fred,

I'll speculate too. My speculation is that "high IQ" is not necessary to be a chess GM. If that were the case, then chess GMs would be disproportionately classified as "geniuses" and this would be documented. After all, several tests have been performed on GMs by respected psychologists. But the "high IQ" correlation remains undocumented.

Instead, I suspect that chess players have a specific type of IQ that's extremely good at pattern recognition, abstract reasoning, and visualization. I also think that GMs have unique memory skills for chess, well beyond the norm.

Clearly, other factors exist too, such as a competitive drive ("killer instinct"). I also thing that a strong ego, at least a strong chess ego, is vital too. I see that in my experiences with OTB GMs. It's this strong ego and competitive drive that make the difference between merely having talent and actualizing that talent.

All the best,
Steve

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M ANSARI
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Re: Interesting Bobby Fischer article

Post by M ANSARI » Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:12 am

You probably don't need a high IQ to become a GM, and anyone with general intelligence that is willing to spend incredible amount of time can get there. But to reach the very highest echelons I think you need a little extra. Also there is no doubt that genes help, for example people who are able to manipulate shapes in their head, or have abilities to memorize in different ways have a big advantage. I would not rate these genetic skills as intelligence but more as a genetic mutation that helps you play chess. Chess seems to interest people that tend to have better intelligence than average but that is probably due to the fact that it requires some general intelligence to be able to play chess. But what is intelligence really? And using chess as acknowledgement that someone is a genius is flawed. The facts are beyond doubt, there are tons of chess players that I consider completely stupid.

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Rolf
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Re: Interesting Bobby Fischer article

Post by Rolf » Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:37 am

Stephen Ham wrote: My speculation is that "high IQ" is not necessary to be a chess GM. If that were the case, then chess GMs would be disproportionately classified as "geniuses" and this would be documented. After all, several tests have been performed on GMs by respected psychologists. But the "high IQ" correlation remains undocumented.
What happened here is that highIQ definition is wrong. High is already 125, but that isnt what we call genius. I can indirectly make some proof for the generally high intelligence of GM. Just look at the language skills of our GM. They just learn English if necessary in a couple of weeks or months. You Hifan is a good example Midsummer allegedly she didnt speak English at all, now she spoke fluently without too strong accent. But when asked if she also planned to learn Russian she denied because of the very difficulties.Which is a bit ironical and meant polite.

Chinese pilots often show a terribly weak English, although they all had run through longer tests. Explanation is that not all of the many sophisticated lingual patterns have been trained. Please make your own google. I do also strongly doubt that Hou is now absolutely fluent in English outside the social environment of chess, because what she learned is part of her presentation in public. I doubt that she can do small talk about art exhibitions or baseball. But if needed she would train this too.

I think this already proves that the extraordinary memory also helps for languages. It's also wrong that memory if it exists is limited or specialized for chess. Extraordinary means eidetic and that can be used everywhere.

Let's not begin the old debate why we dont know that much about it if it really existed. We had this in the de Groot thread. Chessplayers normally wont open their secrets to strangers. Or (my own explanation) to experts who then make expertises for their own countrymen (like deGroot for Euwe).

High IQ alone doesnt guarantee success, perhaps this is the reason why we think some people are not intelligent but they are. Because of the dangers of a false perception on IQ and the testing it's not bad to mention that IQ is what IQ tests measure, but such numbers are not really existing. Same goes for Elo numbers. All relative to the test designs.
-Popper and Lakatos are good but I'm stuck on Leibowitz

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Re: Interesting Bobby Fischer article

Post by shiv » Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:16 pm

In principle, I agree with both M Ansari and Stephen Ham. However, wanted to point out some differences.

Becoming a GM is not just a matter of free time and general intelligence. As Stephen notes, you need specific abilities. Desire, ambition, ability to study chess for 10-12 hours a day for a whole year (one GM actually told me this!), ability to acknowledge defeats and maintain motivation, ability to resist peer pressure, not accepting anything with proof even if stated by premier authorities in chess, high level of confidence (noted by Stephen as well), desire to find new ideas etc. Though I have to add that along with confidence, I also see a lot of humility in GMs, they are typically quite self critical and try hard to discover their mistakes. On top of all this is the ability to concentrate on chess for several hours. Normal people might get bored or distracted easily.

To reach the top echelons requires more of either "intelligence" or the above skills. Also, if you look at some of the skills I noted above, they often intersect with components of intelligence.

Becoming a regular GM can be done by someone with reasonable intelligence and a lot of time provided he gets the right training and has a few of the above abilities.

shiv
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Re: Interesting Bobby Fischer article

Post by shiv » Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:22 pm

Rolf wrote: What happened here is that highIQ definition is wrong. High is already 125, but that isnt what we call genius. I can indirectly make some proof for the generally high intelligence of GM. Just look at the language skills of our GM. They just learn English if necessary in a couple of weeks or months. You Hifan is a good example Midsummer allegedly she didnt speak English at all, now she spoke fluently without too strong accent. But when asked if she also planned to learn Russian she denied because of the very difficulties.Which is a bit ironical and meant polite.
..

High IQ alone doesnt guarantee success, perhaps this is the reason why we think some people are not intelligent but they are. Because of the dangers of a false perception on IQ and the testing it's not bad to mention that IQ is what IQ tests measure, but such numbers are not really existing. Same goes for Elo numbers. All relative to the test designs.
Valid point. I heard before that if you have a college education and a good GPA, your IQ is already likely to be around 120 or so. Grandmasters are likely already around this IQ range or higher. However, if one has say a college degree and a reasonable GPA (or equivalent experiences in life), he/she too can become a GM with a lot of time and training provided there are not any significant issues with the person.

Agree that high IQ alone does not guarantee success, as one needs to apply the IQ. A rich man is not successful unless he buys something!

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Rolf
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Re: Interesting Bobby Fischer article

Post by Rolf » Wed Dec 16, 2009 7:10 pm

To begin with your last point. In Germany at the beginning of the now so famous Bundesliga private sponsors led the clubs. One of the most successful was Solingen. They had players like Spassky, Hübner, Kavalek. Years before the single League we had 4 divisions west, north east and south. And then the final play offs. In the 70s corr Wch GM O'Kelly, aristocrat from Belgium, played for Solingen and gave extra GM lectures to the sponsor, but believe me, that wasnt leading to any master title. Why doesnt that function?

Because in chess you cant become sort of theretical, learned GM after a certain age of life. So that your idea is wrong that someone with college etc "could" become GM, he cannot. It's too late. Because chess is mainly about playing. And eidetics.
I forgot to mention that the sponsor WAS a high IQ guy who as adult had learned to play the violine. What is the difference between good play in violine and chess? <g>

To just mention the rest of the story, I dont know if you can actually buy them, but O'Kelly had published the lectures (it's mainly high class positions to solve) in How to play like a GM and How to become a GM. I can warmly recommand that because it's so unorthodox to combine positions in a lecture that are sacs, endings, draws, mate and other tactical stuff. For pure amateurs very difficult. And IF you solve it you FEEL like a master. But you know the difference between reality and such a feeling. ;)

(BTW eidetics. It's like the lecturing O'Kelly for goal GM, some athletes with memory extremes pretend that they could teach you how to change your inborn memory into eidetic genius. Dont believe it!!)
-Popper and Lakatos are good but I'm stuck on Leibowitz

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