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I think a lot of confusion is added by working in absolutes. One does not have talent or have no talent, everyone has different degrees of it in different areas. It isn't either hard work or talent, it is a bit of everything. You are not doomed to be horrible or great, almost everyone falls in medium.
Yes, I agree. I would add that certain kinds of talent might not be immediately visible, e.g., this person doesn't become master at age 12
This black or white thing is really what I have been arguing against I guess, not the concept of talent in its purest form. You can't just watch how a kid plays his first few games and go "Bam, there's your next world champion," or "He'll never make it." It's just too simplistic.
We can talk about all the prodigies in the world, but if we take someone like GM Yasser Seirawan instead, who presumably learned the game as an adult, a rare association for a grandmaster, we have to come up with some less typical explanations. Perhaps his kind of talent couldn't be fostered so well as a kid, for whatever reason. Kind of like why I didn't start off so exceptionally.
It's not that complicated. No matter how talented you are if you sit on your butt and do nothing that talent goes unused. If you put yourself in an environment where it can thrive then woop dee doo you're awesome.
I'm sure there would be many more great players out there if chess outlets were easier to access, but to due to either a lack of or over-abundance of information people really don't know where to go for real improvement anyway. I sure don't.
If talent/aptitude doesn't exist, companies sure are wasting a lot of money to give prospective employees screening tests to see if they have talent for certain types of jobs.
I think the argument about whether or not talent in chess exists is proof in itself. If people have different thought patterns and different ideas, proved by the fact that people are arguing about it, how can one person's thought processes not be more suited to chess than another's? How can anyone say that people all think differently about everything except chess moves?
I've actually read that, although "talent tests" are popular, and people like to think they can spot a talent, they're actually very superficial and misleading. It doesn't mean talent doesn't exist; it's just that those things can't necessarily predict success.
Well again, I'm not arguing if there is talent; I'm arguing if it is something so simple that it can just be spotted, like some magical power. I agree that one person's thought processes can be better suited to the game than others. And I guess that's talent. But at the same time, it's not like having a magical power that only the best have access to, and sometimes that's what it sounds like when people talk about Fischer or Capablanca.
The way I think of it, they just had a mind that could think in terms of abstract ideas particularly proficiently, and that worked well with chess.
I've actually read that, although "talent tests" are popular, and people like to think they can spot a talent, they're actually very superficial and misleading.
Talent tests sounds as silly as IQ tests. It is just too complicated and diverse of a thing to be assigned a hard numerical value.
I suppose is same as having sixth sense some peoples just have it and we can't seem to able to see it.
I don't think it can be just spotted, but I think that it can be recognized over a long term. I think we sort of agree on most things.
However, talent can not be gained. Talent and skill are two different things. Since you agree that talent exists, all other things being equal, at what point does having a more efficient natural chess brain mean nothing? If that point exsists than it must not have been reached yet in chess since there is something that has always separated the elite from the rest.
Are you saying that people who dominate their peers are dominating for a reason other than being born with a more efficent thinking process for chess?
If all of the elite are putting in their work, which they must be to be among the elite, and all have access to the same tools and knowledge, than it must boil down to natural ability.
"Are you saying that people who dominate their peers are dominating for a reason other than being born with a more efficent thinking process for chess?"
I think that's quite possible, actually. Early signs can be superficial -- maybe someone who is doing really well will hit a plateau because of his style of playing, and his lack of maturity to balance his play -- you never know when someone will hit this plateau. People probably thought Josh Waitzkin would become the new Fischer, being an incredible player as a junior... he was "only" an international master. But even he admits he hit a certain plateau where he knew he had to play a bit more positionally to play at the very top, and he didn't do that because it took away his love for chess. And that's a fine decision. But it shows looks can deceive. You have to be thinking about the long run, so just because things look promising doesn't mean you can go all the way. As you said, there are a lot of reasons why you might be doing well in chess -- maybe it complements your thinking in a certain way. But that mojo could wear off when a player faces more mature competition.
Why do so many chess prodigies have chess playing parents? Morphy, Capablanca, Reshevsky, Carlsen and countless others.
Why do so few adults who take up the game reach master level? Is there a timer on their store of talent? Does it evaporate if they don't tap into it by a certain age? Is it not more logical to think that adults just don't have the same time available to devote to chess?
I'm beginning to think that woodshover enjoys being a fish and rather than work to improve chooses to convince himself that he just wasn't born to play chess. Pathetic!
I have closely observed a different kind of talent over the years: sales talent. No matter how much training you have, you will not be successful without certain traits. Some of the traits are: the ability to read people, to respond to them in a way that gives them the warm and fuzzy, the ability to always look for and present the benefit of a transaction to both parties.
Training can develop talent, but if it isn't there to start with, the person will not be successful.
If talent exists in one area, it exists in others.
Do all of them?And, why do so few chess-playing parents have chess-prodigy children?
Social awkwardness keeps them from reproducing?
I personally always wanted to be as different from my parents as possible. No way I'd take up anything they were interested in.
I'm not asking for real, I'm just suggesting that Arctor's question cuts both ways. His brand of fundamentalism on this issue is bizarre to me, particularly considering the quality of the other person who espouses a similar belief...
Because there's no chess gene?
I tried to teach my nephew to play chess, but gave up because I was bored. Can I conclude that he has no chess "talent"?
Any brand of fundamentalism is bizarre to me.
I don't know why you continue to draw useless anologies. What exactly does that statement prove?
It's an answer to your question " why do so few chess-playing parents have chess-prodigy children?"
Some people don't want to learn, some people don't want to teach. Some people don't want to work hard, some people do
Again with the blanket disavowals; I just don't know where you get your certainty from. And such a haughty certitude, too; "some people don't want to work hard." You really don't believe people can work hard at something and fail? And since I know you'll bring up the "correct study" paradigm, can't you accept that some people just have an aptitude for the necessary kind of study that others don't?
I don't think anybody is really taking such a ludicruous position as "becoming a GM is solely down to talent." But let's face it; many kids play music, but not all of them are Mozart; many kids play football, but not all of them are Maradona; many kids run, but not all are Usain Bolt. And many kids play chess, but not all of them are Capablanca. It's a valid deduction that something has to be added to hard work; for now, all we have is a nebulous concept like talent.
I think it is clear that some (very few) people actually have outstanding chess talent. By very few, I mean something like "one in a million". What makes is difficult to prove is that (at least I think that) talent is only _potential_, not something that is necessarily evident in itself, in the beginning. I doubt anybody could play chess perfectly right after learning the rules, even with people with enormous talent. Even the likes of Paul Morphy, who was one of the most famous chess prodigies, had to play for years to became what he was; to unleash his potential in full. By the way, he was known as an extremely fast player, who claimed to find the best move naturally, and not even always knowing why they were the best ones. If that is not natural chess talent, I sure don't know what is. I guess having chess talent just enables you to progress more rapidly and farther than the rest of 99.99% population. Probably one of the reasons why people think there is no chess talent is the fact, that the huge majority of chess players are just normal people who have to struggle to improve in chess strength even to strong club player level, let alone to mastery.
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