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. . .and also make Lazlo's accomplishment appear greater. . .
you cannot be great at something unless you have at least some talent. every Great military strategist had talent. every great football (American and European) has tallent. Every great chess player has talent. without it they wouldn't be great. you can calculate every move. but to instinctively know which moves you should focus on takes not only a knowledge of principles but talent and instinct for the game.
Check out the YouTube video where Alexandra Kosteniuk beats Judit (not Judith) Polgar in blitz. Very, very pretty endgame - and not just because A. Kosteniuk is one of the players!
Hard work can defeat talent.
Even if we play chess for more than twice the years Kasparov played, it's simply impossible to par him. Talent means a thousand years of toils of skill learning, King Amshu Verma said. Both A Kos~ and J Pol~ are talented. Blitz doesnt show the true strenght, not even in the engines!
The "Polgar sisters have no talent" is a quote from their father. Which makes it really good internet bait for the sanctimonious who think that this is dissing the Polgar sisters...
I've never read the actual interview where this is supposed to have been said, but it is often claimed that Kasparov said that the Polgar sisters were just like "trained dogs", and that Nigel Short after this referred to Judit Polgar as "Lassie".
Morphy was a player who "got it" during his time. However today he would have major problems dealing with the Sicilian, The French Defense, Caro Khan, Kings Indian, and I could name many more openings.
Even given time to study these openings--he very likely would be out of his element.
After being here via time machine for one year--his playing strength would be approximately 2373.
I once read that Judit Polgar has an IQ of 170 (or was it 180?). Even if she has "no talent", she has some capacity to excel in this boardgame where others cannot.
In an age where chess has lost its romance to a large degree, and moved more towards a memorization-table, hyper-modern style, we should be mindful of Paul's seemingly eidetic memory. This would seem to bode well for him for two reasons.
1. He would have the capacity to be on par with the great students and masters playing today.
2. He would be able to couple this leveling of the playing field with his creative ability to move a game away from book moves to get the true mettle of his opponent.
And as someone who believed that match play was the only way to really measure a player's strength, he would have the benefit of "learning" how his opponent held up once moved out of their comfort lines.
He was a master at this. Figuring out his opponent's weaknesses and exploiting them. Once out in open water, he would likely manipulate the games to his advantage.
Of course this is a theoretical transposition of second hand knowledge of the hero from New Orleans, but it stands to reason that he would find a way to make his opponents play "his" game, even in this modern age.
But to someone else's point (Sarah Beth's?), he most probably would not have been interested in the sport in today's culture. He endulged as a recreation that fit into his mildly aristocratic society. He'd be too busy figuring out how to cure cancer or something.
The very best chess players in the world all seem to have social a/o emotional issues.
Autism and execeptional chess skill seem to go hand in glove.
This arguement really can never come to any serious conclusion.
I can related it to another competitive area that I know a bit about as well. Look at more physical sports where the changes are more visible.
How would boxers of old fair against more modern champions? There are fighters that were dominate in their time but you can just look at them and see that there have been major changes in training. ALL physical sports have increased in tempo. Athletes have increased in strength and technique which has in turn increased the tempo and strength of any game. Talent has always been a factor of any activity and this is not something that can be taught (sorry Polgars) but this is only a minor factor that can seperate the very top players while most players can be trained to achieve a very high standard of any sport.
With modern techniques and training morphy would have been a great player but its impossible to compare groups since talent is just another variable and the differences would have resulted in a very small differences among top players.
I will say that one key factor that I think might not have him in the top is his emotional stablity issues. Fischer had them too but overcame them long enough to reach the peak level but could not maintain the control for long term.
Did you just say that the Polgar sister have no talent?
Yeah that's pretty ludicrous, especially considering that all became titled players, and Judit became GM at 15.
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