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The difference between GM and others


  • 2 years ago · Quote · #1

    Shadow_47

    Not so long ago, I read that the number of Ph.D. recipients at a big university, in one year, exceeded the number of those earning the Grandmaster title in the entire history, what brings the idea that it is harder to get a GM title than to get a Ph.D., however we just can’t say that the analogy here is appropriate.

     There are also other factors involved in the process of obtaining a Ph.D.

    Maybe in Chess the individual has more control over his personal results. Over long periods of time, the G.M. develops a precise language that he is able to use in different set of complicated situations. Grandmasters not only have a deep understanding in chess, but they also know when, and when not to use the set of keys that they have acquired over the years, to unlock or lock difficult chess play.

     We sometimes bother ourselves with how many moves ahead we should be able to plan during play, but I think it’s not about that, but more about the dynamic relationship in a given situation, what I mean by that is the active play, where all the attention is, the active pieces, the ones which greatly influence the position. The pieces that play a key role for the outcome of the game, the ones that hold the whole dynamic structure of the attack or defense in a given position. Which means that in a higher level of play we sometimes must bend rules that get in the way of the truth of the position, this is to me the power of Chess, the real essence.

    In my last tournament, I played a game in which my pawns were scattered and isolated and still managed to carry on and win the battle but only because the dynamic relationship was on the other side of the chessboard, because the dynamic relationship wasn’t, in this case, depending on my scattered and isolated pawn structure.

    I am far from being a GM, but I think I have a strong feeling about the dynamic relationship and in my humble opinion this is more important than the number of moves you can plan ahead.

    This is just a glimpse of the top level games and players, I am not a Grandmaster, but I had the opportunity to play and see some of them, and, I might be wrong, but to me this sounds much more likely to be the difference between GM and others players.

    What is YOUR opinion ?    Are there any other differences ?

                                 …And as always, in the Chess spirit, have a nice game!

                                                                                                                 Shadow_47  

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #2

    Fear_ItseIf

    -kenpo- wrote:

    ummmm. the reason why there would be many more phds than gms awarded during any given span of time is that many many many more people pursue phds than play and train in chess professionally. this having to do with the fact that the former is typically a degree more financially lucrative and secure than the latter.

    This, also its simpler to get a phd, after all you go through courses much of the way getting told what to do.

    Many people study chess for a lifetime and still have no idea what theyre doing due to misguided efforts

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #3

    chemtiger05

    Having earned a Ph.D, in chemistry, let me assure you, no one tells you what to do if you earn one.  If you finish it because you have the talent to conduct original research and solve problems, not because you can pass course work.

  • 17 months ago · Quote · #4

    geoffalford

    Yet another interesting blog!

  • 17 months ago · Quote · #5

    Tao999

    chemtiger05 wrote:

    Having earned a Ph.D, in chemistry, let me assure you, no one tells you what to do if you earn one.  If you finish it because you have the talent to conduct original research and solve problems, not because you can pass course work.

    I think it is similar in the hard sciences, to get a Ph. D in physics for example apparently requires moving the field forward in some significant and recognizable manner, not just understanding current concepts and theories.

  • 17 months ago · Quote · #6

    Tao999

    I'm guessing the comment that

    "I read that the number of Ph.D. recipients at a big university, in one year, exceeded the number of those earning the Grandmaster title in the entire history"

    is mistaken due to the diffuculties and time required to get a Ph. D from a legitimate university, maybe it was the total number in the history of the university?

  • 17 months ago · Quote · #7

    Slovenly

    Lumping together PhD's in that way is a lot like lumping together all the people who have earned the highest possible title in chess, go, draughts, Risk, darts, bowling, golf, and about a hundred other recreational activities.  You might just as easily say there have been fewer PhD's earned in the history of Arthurian Legend Studies than there are practicing GM's in chess right now.

    Makes just about as much sense.  Narrowing the scope of one variable artificially, comparing it to an artificially widened second variable, then declaring the first more precious because of its rarity.

    This is just rhetorical shenanigans being used to trump up an argument the writer wants to make.

    Chemtiger's PhD in Chem has about as much in common with my degree as my degree has in common with chess mastery.

  • 17 months ago · Quote · #8

    Irontiger

    OK, what about :

    -The number of GM at a given time has never exceeded 1200 (source wiki).

    -the number of shark attacks worlwide is around 100 per year. Assuming a 20% fatality rate (source again wiki), and a life expectancy of 20 years for the survivors (which means they were around 50 when they were attacked, not exactly the typical surfer profile), that makes an average 16 years of dwelling around after being bitten by a shark, hence around 1600 shark-survivors kicking around at any time.

     

    So, the number of GMs is inferior to the number of shark survivors. Makes it rare, I guess.

  • 17 months ago · Quote · #9

    Slovenly

    Irontiger wrote:

    OK, what about :

    -The number of GM at a given time has never exceeded 1200 (source wiki).

    -the number of shark attacks worlwide is around 100 per year. Assuming a 20% fatality rate (source again wiki), and a life expectancy of 20 years for the survivors (which means they were around 50 when they were attacked, not exactly the typical surfer profile), that makes an average 16 years of dwelling around after being bitten by a shark, hence around 1600 shark-survivors kicking around at any time.

     

    So, the number of GMs is inferior to the number of shark survivors. Makes it rare, I guess.

    Would be fascinating if it turned out there were like a 50% overlap between groups, and we were left to conclude GM-hood made it exponentially more likely you'd become a victim of a shark attack.

  • 17 months ago · Quote · #10

    Irontiger

    Slovenly wrote:
    Irontiger wrote:

    OK, what about :

    -The number of GM at a given time has never exceeded 1200 (source wiki).

    -the number of shark attacks worlwide is around 100 per year. Assuming a 20% fatality rate (source again wiki), and a life expectancy of 20 years for the survivors (which means they were around 50 when they were attacked, not exactly the typical surfer profile), that makes an average 16 years of dwelling around after being bitten by a shark, hence around 1600 shark-survivors kicking around at any time.

     

    So, the number of GMs is inferior to the number of shark survivors. Makes it rare, I guess.

    Would be fascinating if it turned out there were like a 50% overlap between groups, and we were left to conclude GM-hood made it exponentially more likely you'd become a victim of a shark attack.

    Already a one-person overlap would create a huge correlation, being given how small the groups are.

    For example : if your daughter has a nobel prize in physics, it makes you very likely to be polish. (due to one outlier)

    Being a chess world champion is also highly correlated with asking political asylum to Iceland (guess who I am thinking of...).

  • 17 months ago · Quote · #11

    Shadow_47

    "What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know, it's what we know for sure that just ain't so." Mark Twain

    I am far from the conviction of being right and I agree with your disagreement but this is not a fighting arena. It's like if you buy a painting and you start blaming the artist for not choosing the right landscape or colors, if you don't like the painting don't buy it. This is just a point of view.

  • 17 months ago · Quote · #12

    Shadow_47

    Slovenly wrote:

    Lumping together PhD's in that way is a lot like lumping together all the people who have earned the highest possible title in chess, go, draughts, Risk, darts, bowling, golf, and about a hundred other recreational activities.  You might just as easily say there have been fewer PhD's earned in the history of Arthurian Legend Studies than there are practicing GM's in chess right now.

    Makes just about as much sense.  Narrowing the scope of one variable artificially, comparing it to an artificially widened second variable, then declaring the first more precious because of its rarity.

    This is just rhetorical shenanigans being used to trump up an argument the writer wants to make.

    Chemtiger's PhD in Chem has about as much in common with my degree as my degree has in common with chess mastery.

    Thank You for your comment, I have to admit there is something to it!

  • 17 months ago · Quote · #13

    Shadow_47

    Tao999 wrote:

    I'm guessing the comment that

    "I read that the number of Ph.D. recipients at a big university, in one year, exceeded the number of those earning the Grandmaster title in the entire history"

    is mistaken due to the diffuculties and time required to get a Ph. D from a legitimate university, maybe it was the total number in the history of the university?

    Thanks for writing in Tao :), actually the study was conducted at M.I.T. only, that big university is M.I.T.

  • 17 months ago · Quote · #14

    beardogjones

    You will find that the quality of PhDs varies from university to

    university and field to field.   

  • 17 months ago · Quote · #15

    billyblatt

    Interesting topic. 

    The thing about earning a Phd, is that I suppose you do about 6hrs of schoolwork daily for at least 12 yrs and then if you have mastered the 'basics', then you are accepted for undergrad study. If you do well then you can apply for postgrad work. It seems there is a definite structure to getting at least the prepratory work for a Phd.

    I wonder what would happen if the same system was applied with chess. That is you studied 6 hrs daily for 12 yrs, then another 3-4 yrs as an 'undergrad'. How this much of study would affect your rating? Would there be an equal number of Phd and grandmasters assuming we have the same number of starting students?

  • 17 months ago · Quote · #16

    Estragon

    Yasser Seirawan once commented on the actual topic (nothing about the quality of Ph.D.s, which is quite another subject) in his annotations of a GM game.  Black had wrested a significant advantage from the opening, and at one point he had the possibility to sacrifice his Ng4 on e3, gaining two pawns and an attack for it.

    Seirawan noted the possibility, and explained it was one clear mark of the difference between experts and GMs.  He said most strong experts could calculate the variations as well as most GMs, and neither could say for sure how the complicated line would turn out.

    BUT, he maintained, the difference was the GM instinctively recognized the sac was not clear, but a simple retreat maintained the advantage, so he would not waste a minute calculating the complications.

  • 17 months ago · Quote · #17

    Magnetic_Attitude

    LionheartGriffin wrote:

    Simple synopsis for this thread:  Anyone can get a PhD.  It may take a lot of hard work... but absolutely no talent, whatsoever.  Just hard work.  Becoming a GM on the other hand... that requires hard work as well, but also a TREMENDOUS amount of talent. 

     

    Not true at all. You think anyone can earn a PhD in something like Astrophysics? Mathematics? Do you have any idea about the level of knowledge experts in physical sciences and engineering currently are working with? Or what it takes to earn a PhD in certain fields?

    Not talent required, just hard work? That's ridiculous. I mean the whole comparison of "becoming a chess gm" and "getting a PhD" is nonsensical in the first place. Complete nonsense.

  • 17 months ago · Quote · #18

    Shadow_47

    billyblatt wrote:

    Interesting topic. 

    The thing about earning a Phd, is that I suppose you do about 6hrs of schoolwork daily for at least 12 yrs and then if you have mastered the 'basics', then you are accepted for undergrad study. If you do well then you can apply for postgrad work. It seems there is a definite structure to getting at least the prepratory work for a Phd.

    I wonder what would happen if the same system was applied with chess. That is you studied 6 hrs daily for 12 yrs, then another 3-4 yrs as an 'undergrad'. How this much of study would affect your rating? Would there be an equal number of Phd and grandmasters assuming we have the same number of starting students?

    Thank You this reminds me of Einstein's quote: "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

  • 17 months ago · Quote · #19

    Shadow_47

    Estragon wrote:

    Yasser Seirawan once commented on the actual topic (nothing about the quality of Ph.D.s, which is quite another subject) in his annotations of a GM game.  Black had wrested a significant advantage from the opening, and at one point he had the possibility to sacrifice his Ng4 on e3, gaining two pawns and an attack for it.

    Seirawan noted the possibility, and explained it was one clear mark of the difference between experts and GMs.  He said most strong experts could calculate the variations as well as most GMs, and neither could say for sure how the complicated line would turn out.

    BUT, he maintained, the difference was the GM instinctively recognized the sac was not clear, but a simple retreat maintained the advantage, so he would not waste a minute calculating the complications.

    Very Original I didn't know that, thanks for sharing!

  • 17 months ago · Quote · #20

    Shadow_47

    Magnetic_Attitude wrote:
    LionheartGriffin wrote:

    Simple synopsis for this thread:  Anyone can get a PhD.  It may take a lot of hard work... but absolutely no talent, whatsoever.  Just hard work.  Becoming a GM on the other hand... that requires hard work as well, but also a TREMENDOUS amount of talent. 

     

    Not true at all. You think anyone can earn a PhD in something like Astrophysics? Mathematics? Do you have any idea about the level of knowledge experts in physical sciences and engineering currently are working with? Or what it takes to earn a PhD in certain fields?

    Not talent required, just hard work? That's ridiculous. I mean the whole comparison of "becoming a chess gm" and "getting a PhD" is nonsensical in the first place. Complete nonsense.

    Imagination is a difficult thing. 


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