Get good to really appreciate greatnessin others.

Himmler2339
Nov 4, 2007, 12:00 AM |
5 | Chess Players

One of the greatbenefits of being a grandmaster is that it allows me to really appreciate how hard it is to be good at anything. The field may vary: sports, entertainment, law, medicine, farming, pottery. Whatever the endeavor, the top performers are those willing to invest in the hard work, dedication, sacrifies, and long hours of study and practice that separate them form the rest. When I met with Wynton Marsalis, a chess fan,at his apartment near Jazz at Lincoln Center, he made this point clear: " I would not design to play you. I'm nobody. I know what kind of shedding (hard wok) it took for you to get good. I'd feel like I was wasting your time." Coming from conceivably the greatest jazz mind of the last twenty years, this might seem like a strange amount of humility. But it is actually the reverse: It is his enormous self-confidence in my own abilities that allows me to fully understand the true depth of skill required to be a master of craft.The world's best female player, Judit Polgar, opened my eyes to this on another occasion. at the time she had already been an acknowledged chess superstar, having crushed grandmaster after grandmaster with her brand of bruising demolition chess. Her nimble capacity for seeing hidden moves and springing them on unsuspecting opponents had elevated her into the ranks of the world's top twenty players. I was a big fan and had managed to make her acquaintance when I was  an International master.

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