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I have seen results from three IQ tests I have taken in my life. Two were as teenagers, and the most recent was about 5 years ago, at age 45. I have scored well on all of them. (Enough to put me in the top half of one percent of people who have taken the test.) I have similar results on the GRE, SAT, and ACT back in the day. I did well in school (as in High Honors from a top engineering college). I routinely know the answers to about 90% of the questions on Jeopardy.
I suck at Chess. Oh, sure, I can beat most people in the general population, but among people I play against in tournaments, I almost never win against anyone old enough to shave. I'm hoping to someday have a 4th digit in my USCF rating, but so far, that has eluded me, and I have practiced it a fair amount, especially if you count online blitz here at Chess.com, and Tactics Trainer.
Until I took up Chess, I had never met an intellectual challenge that had bested me. I don't know what it is about Chess, but I'm just not good at it.
Well, IQ tests focus on what I think of as "abstract intelligence" -- logic, algebra, precision (perhaps even fastidiousness). I'm good at that stuff (and that's because I focus on that stuff because I like it), but another thing people consider smart, engineering, I'm really bad at because I'm just plain bad with my hands! So I would be just as bad at building something as anybody! Personally, I think abstract intelligence is actually invaluable in chess; however, I also believe that it does not let you play chess well immediately; you will only play chess with lots, and lots, of discipline. You cannot play good chess unless you have a huge database of (well understood!) patterns.
It is what it is. People who do well with IQ tests have certain abstract skills that are strong, but of course, it can't be a true authority on intelligence because intelligence has so many different shades. With that said, this fact shouldn't be an excuse to claim yourself smarter than, let's say, Einstein because you could do certain worldly things better than he could. In other words, it would be merely a piece of evidence of your intelligence; not proof of it!
From what I have observed, high IQ correlates well with tactical thinking in chess, but not necessarily with strategic thinking. So if you have high IQ and are not doing so well in chess, work more on the strategic aspects of the game.
Tactical thinkers to me are kind of like those people who could memorize 8 million pointless numbers.
Strategical thinkers to me are like philosophers. When I compare pluses and minuses, I look at it as two conflicting philosophies: White's philosophy could be that his pressure on black's pawns ties him down. Black's philosophy could be that those pawns gain space and take away important squares from the enemy. To me, chess strategy is like logic combined with dreamy philosophy. It's quite abstract, because you can only make approximations of what your strategy will amount to.
The fact that you claim to know "a hell of a lot" about chess tells me all I need to know. And I'm not misconstruing what you say - you claim that anyone with proper training and work can become a GM, which is utter and absolute BS. The last sentence of my post was a somewhat flip remark that isn't consistent with what I was saying, I admit that - it was expressing annoyance at the fact that people apply labels to things and understate the talent required to earn something that they'll never even attempt to obtain.
oh yes because I used the phrase "a hell of a lot" and not something pretentious and pseudo-sophisticated means I'm obviously just a know-nothing peasant right?
suck it crumpet eater.
bro im just trollin. its quite amusing to see how people really got into my comment. I seriously don't care... really... wat is a gm anyways? general motors? I can eventually buy a gm car if a work hard so I see ur point. by the way its suckthis not suck it... dude ur grammar sucks. the word "it" has too much ambiguity and if u do not kno wat "this" is then... i really would like to help but its a bad word. however, i guess ur ratings suggests that people with low iq can get a high rating.
Whats a crumpet eater? wats so bad about eating a griddle cake? iono... i just think u got some issues. Its like me calling u a sushi eater... 0_0 omgsh sorry thats really insulting... didnt realize it.. golly im pretty dumb but maybe one day i can become a transformer and become a gm car...
this response to what I wrote is complete nonsense.
the whole "it" vs "this" thing he goes on about? are you kidding me?
he seems to not be able to tell when someone is being facetious...
"crumpet eater" was intended to point to how sometimes people of high economic and social class dismiss anyone who doesn't speak, dress, act how they do as not having anything relevant to say. like how the person criticized me for using the phrase "hell of a", as if anyone who uses such a "crude" wording obviously doesn't know what they are talking about and has nothing of importance to say. it's a prejudice many people have and I was pointing to it in a facetious manner was all.
but for the most part, I have no idea what the person is talking about and I don't think anything he wrote makes any sense at all or even begins to respond to anything I wrote concerning chess. in any way. I guess that is what "trollin" means? just writing some nonsense to hopefully provoke some kind of reaction?
Well I just can't let this one go by: " the average person could become a GM ". If a person were to study the games played by GMs, IMs and FMs from top tournaments such as the ones featured in magazines like Chess Life one would see the reality of the situation. I would say that the average person would be Very Very Very lucky to achieve the level of a FM never mind a IM or a GM. I mean lets get real here, these titles have to be earned and if it truly were all that easy we would be overrun by FMs, IMs and GMs lol.
yeah, lets get real. what exactly do you have to do to obtain the "official" title of GM or IM? yeah that's right you have to travel to tournaments in far off places. what does that mean? time and money. enough reality for you or should I continue?
I stand by my claim that if time and money were not a factor and someone who possessed intelligence, but isn't necessarily a genuis, wanted to become a GM, did all the training, work, etc , they could do it.
"we would be overun by GMs, FMs, IMs. lol." yeah you would be if everyone cared about chess that much and time and money wasn't a factor.
most people could become a GM under the right circumstances and conditions with time and money not being a factor. what most people wouldn't be able to do would be obtain top 100-500 in the world status (the exact numbers can be argued about), those people are people with, I think, incredible spatial/visualization intelligence, whatever that is, everything that goes on in a chess game must necessarily be filtered through a person's spatial/visualization analytical abilties. this is one type of intelligence. there are many.
that's exactly what he is saying. same thing in different, very pretty I might add, words.
I think it might be more correct to say if you happen to be better than some extremely intelligent physicist at chess, you might just have stronger spatial/visual analytical abilities and/or a more intense lust for sports, competition, blood etc. personally, I think the latter makes all the difference far more often than the former. I don't think chess can be used (especially not internet blitz chess between chess enthusiasts) as an equivalent to a verifiable iq test or something along those lines. I think that people who think this way are just flat wrong about it; chess doesn't mean what they think it means (to say nothing of the significance of internet blitz and bullet between chess enthusiasts, which I think can readily be seen for what it is, a video game)
(another cultural prejudice here by the way, as if physics and math are the ONLY things which denote very high intelligence, nothing else. please god do not let anyone misunderstand me to be saying that physicists and mathematicians do not possess high intelligence of some kind, not what I am saying at all)
Meadmaker: Until I took up Chess, I had never met an intellectual challenge that had bested me. I don't know what it is about Chess, but I'm just not good at it.
From what you've said, it would appear that your analytical skills are optimum.
Could it be that you are lacking in cunning?
I'll bet you've already considered this but maybe not lately. I've known guys who could operate a slide rule (as could I...now I've dated myself) with aplomb but are lacking in the Machiavellian...the plotting and planning...that is also an important chess skill.
P.S.: Or perhaps a shortcoming with spatial visualization? Pattern recognition? Poor memory? If OTB...angst or intimidation (I've played against "twitchers") or sight/sound/smell matters that interefere with concentration (even Bobby had a problem there)?
I could go on...but that's enough.
some great respones here! ok, i'll come clean to the fact i've never finished a chess book i'd start. my son does study reguarly. i play exclusively somewhere else. bottom line is that i'm lazy when it comes to chess and just like to play bullet and blitz. truth is, i tell myself that laziness is the main reason i'm so bad. that if i really tried, i could get much better. but i'm starting to feel now that i'm so old that my chess progress would be very limited no matter how much i studied. i mean why try and "remove all doubt" kind of thing :)
I know that your issue really is something to do with mental discipline, training, focus, time, money etc.
I'm not sure what you expected. did you expect to automatically, with little to no training or practice, be able to play like kasparov or something? I seroiusly don't think it works like this, though many people assume that it does.
I think chess is similar to martial arts in more ways than people realize. now, bear with me, just because someone is perfectly fit, very strong, large muscles etc, does this automatically mean they are going to be able to fight like bruce lee? I don't really think so.
I'm telling you, people don't want to hear this, but it's the truth. you have to put the work in, no matter how highly you scored on standardized tests iq tests etc.
find an IM or GM that attends a highly selective college and ask them if they think they would be able to completely destroy all of their colleagues in a game of chess. I bet the answer would be yes. doesn't that say it all really? that there is something else going on? if there wasn't that would mean their colleagues would have an equal chance to defeat them, being that they all attend the same highly selective college, all have around the same scores on standardized tests etc. from personal experience, I myself found that within a given population of students attending the same highly selective college, chess ability varies immensely from one student to the next. what does that say?
take the top 1000 professional chess players in the world and have them take various standardized and iq tests, and then re-rank them on the basis of these tests. why do I have a feeling carlson might not be at the top, maybe 50 or 100, even 200, that the re-ranked list would be drastically different.
this is truth here. in order to play chess at the best of your ability, you really do have to be stable mentally, you can't, say, be having nervous breakdown.
what he refers to as "cunning" is also important in chess, although I think what he is talking about is just a lust for sports, competition, battle, blood, war etc. if you don't naturally have this lust, it can be incredibly difficult to progress beyond a certain level I feel, much more challenging than it would be for someone who does.
Well, what I was suggesting is that some people excel at analytical thinking...as in science. A different kind of thinking...call it an art...is creative.
Well those past dozen posts sure did SUCK.
P.S. That old horse about IQ and TALENT and (everybody) making GM has been beaten to death SO MANY, MANY TIMES in these forums. Check out the old threads for some history lessons.
Chess players are such a (loving) and eccentric group. Myself included.
Time for the OP to buy at least one more chess book to empirically test our well thought out (and well fought out) theories about how to improve at chess.
well, not everyone has read those threads. and what "sucked" about the posts? what they didn't have some "funny" picture and were actually talking about chess and the subject at hand? sorry. I thought I was on a chess thread concerning the relationship of iq to chess. my mistake.
But, also, a lust for winning, as you've just pointed out...is also a factor. I know that when I play OTB, losing is not an option.
Oh, sure, I do lose (not often, though...I wish I knew better players). But I feel as if I'm in a fight to the death. Some may disagree with you and me, but I do believe this "kill or be killed" sense plays a key role, too. In fact, without that sense in live play...I wouldn't be so keen on playing chess.
I'll bet I'm not alone when I say that when I play OTB, somehow I morph into an aggressive competitor that is almost shocking to my normal self. Yeah...it must just be me.
yes that is exactly what I stated. a lust for sports, competition, some people have this naturally, they just love to fight and battle with people, get's them off. others? yeah not so much. they just don't/are unable to take it that seriously, it doesn't "rev-up" their juices so to speak, doesn't "do it" for them. and I bet they would have a hard time taking it seriously even if they tried. some people just really really suck at all things sports. this doesn't necessarily mean they aren't highly intelligent. their intelligence just "doesn't work that way" for lack of better words.
people seem to often forget that there is a large sportive element to chess, even though it's one of its obvious defining characteristics. different people's predispositions to sports, battle, competition will make a difference.
I don't think many people would disagree with this point either...I think most people who play chess would be like " well duh, it's chess!".
I am not going to pretend I am qualifed to comment on your "morphing". I suppose people have their reasons. just make sure whoever your opponent is knows exactly what you know, has the same information, or his search level won't be as deep and stubborn, obviously.
I've heard similar things stated by entertainers. that they "morph" into a different personality when they are on stage. missy elliot has stated this many times, that the persona you see on stage is actually the polar opposite of who she is in day to day life.
Every 400 rating points in USCF is a qualitative leap in chess performance.
IMO, anyone can make USCF 1600 with a little sweat and a touch of O.C.D. And they can do it in 1-2 years, at most. Otherwise consider taking up bridge instead.
But breaking USCF 2000 or 2200 is a different matter all together.
USCF 1800 presently represents the top 10 percent of active tournament players. 2000 is the top 7 percent. And every rating point above 2000 comes with great effort.
Don't kid yourself. Just because the Polgar sister did it is no argument that EVERYONE can somehow become a titled player. Just ain't gonna happen.
Everyone above USCF 1800 is very good with the Black pieces and very good in the endgame. It's a qualitative leap, every 400 points. The average person will only make the leap once or (perhaps) twice. After that, all bets are off whether they can go any higher.
Expert Class (2000-2199) is a more typical endpoint for the average "chess fanatic." Class A would satisfy most people.
If you can play chess at a reasonable strength level (say Class A), and at a reasonable speed (say G/15 through G/60), what's not to like?
I agree that most chess "fanatics" usually don't progress any farther than expert/master level. but is this because they can't or because they simply don't have the time and money? I think it is the latter for just about everyone.
most people don't exist in luxurious bubbles completely isolated from the chaos of the world, if they did, time and money wasn't a factor and chess was that important to them, there would be a lot more GMs, FMs and IMs running around. I think most everyone can acheive either strong IM or weak GM if money/time aren't factors and they have the proper training, discipline and focus. I think expert/master only appears to be the "cap" for most everyone because most everyone doesn't have the time/money/resources/passion to go any further, not because they can't.
... just make sure whoever your opponent is knows exactly what you know, has the same information, or his search level won't be as deep and stubborn, obviously.
Here I would disagree with you. But, then, it sounds like you are talking about internet chess play where is easy to get such info.
I don't think this is true. I do believe everyone can become a titled player if time/money aren't factors and they have the passion, discipline, and proper training and guidance. what everyone can't do, is get within the top 500-1000 in the world (numbers can be argued here of course), that's the real difference, those people I think really do have extraordinary spatial/visual analysis capabilities, for lack of better words, that most people don't have.
bringing up the polgar sisters here is a little off. because what you have there, I think, is a confluence of people who possess incredible spatial/visual anaylsis intelligence and underwent extensive training from a young age. judit polgar wouldn't be within the top 50 in the world if she didn't, but if most people underwent the training she had and were determined to become an IM or GM, they would be able to do it, they wouldn't crack the top 500-1000 in the world.
so I think what is written here is a little misleading and doesn't properly take into account the time/money factors.
Here I would disagree with you. But, then, it sounds like you are talking about internet chess play.
In OTB chess, when we agree to sit down and play chess all we need to know about each other is that one of us is going to kill the other's king. (Now, I am not talking about playing against my wife or grandchild. There I spot them however many points they seem to need).
To better explain. I am not some silly-wiilly kind of guy who then goes apeshit during chess play. No...no...I am accomplished, goal-oriented, assertive, etc. in life. So, this morphing isn't like the Green Giant sort of extreme.
When I sit down to play...it is war, survival of the fittest...even if it is just a "play war". But the adrenaline starts to flow. My mind clears of everything else but the game at hand. Then we fight...a fair fight.
If I lose, I accept it like a man. I shake your hand. I thank you for the game. And, I vow to myself that I will get better. And, I really, really would like to have another go at it with you at a later date.
There is always hope. But hope is not a plan. Yet, if I impliment a plan, work very assiduously to achieve it then, if/when we meet again, we will see how our mettle holds up during a new battle.
See? Life is good.
I suspect you know what I mean. Personally, when I play against the computer...winning or losing becomes almost meaningless, by comparison. I do it, though, for training.
Playing against someone on the internet is something else. So far, it doesn't appeal to me.
Maybe it's because when I play, I want raw meat...not just meat-scented cardboard.
I think you completely misunderstand me. it was a hypothetical, of course. if the result of some game meant a certain something and one person knew what that something was and the other didn't have a real clear idea about anything, then the one who didn't know shit about anything wouldn't have the same motivation, their search level wouldn't be nearly as deep and stubborn as the other person who knew what the result of the game would mean. I don't think this can be argued and is rather obvious.
of course, in normal, real life, real world chess tournaments, both competitors voluntarily sign up to play, both know exactly what is at stake. nothing is a surprise, they know who they are playing beforehand, shit, they even look up the person's repetoire in databases and prepare for them. it's not like one chess player sends a bunch of goons to kidnap another, throws him in a van takes him somewhere and forces him to play on the spot with no preparation or anything, not knowing who the hell his opponent is, why he is being forced to do this etc etc.
essential basic things like who what where why and when aren't surprises in real life real world sporting competitions. makes sense right?
Until I took up Chess, I had never met an intellectual challenge that had bested me.
It isn't an "intellectual challenge," it's a game challenge. People constantly seem prone to equating chess with raw intelligence. It's not--it's a game, and takes a lot of practice and study to learn.
in regards to most everything else you wrote here. I really don't have a clear idea how it relates to what was being discussed and doesn't really make much sense to me at all.
yeah this would be the case in a real world, real chess tournament type situation where both competitors know the who what where when and why. this is rarely the case for internet chess, of course, as you usually have no idea with whom you are playing and obviously didn't prepare for the person (unless you are some kind of scary creepy psycho chess stalker who becomes obssessive concerning how a certain person plays and then you go back, prepare something for the person and show up in disguise, changing your name/avatar or both)
however, hypothetically, as has been previously discussed, if one player doesn't know all the stakes, then he won't be as motivated, his search level won't be as deep and stubborn as the other person who has a real clear idea of whats going on, has all pertinent information, and is highly motivated. such a disparity in respective information/motivation levels would be anything but fair, highly unfair in fact. ( what would be even more unfair would be to mess with your opponent for weeks on end with advanced technology, sending them death threats, mobbing them etc, more generally, inducing a nervous breakdown, completely shattering their mind before the game, that would be a little unfair, just a little, nothing big or anything)
information is power. secret information is power squared.
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