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Do you really need a photographic memory to be a super GM?

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Chirpbird
I’m really bad at chess so of course I’m not asking for me.

But I’m curious if you really need a photographic memory for the top chess levels?
DaTrueSliverwolf
No, most likely not it is best to recognize tactics
premio53
basixTheSwexy wrote:
You have to believe on yourself and that’s all it takes.

Click your heels together three times and say, "I do believe I can be a grandmaster, I do believe I can be a grandmaster, I do believe I can be a grandmaster." That's all it takes.

blueemu

A photographic memory would be very useful, but not make-or-break.

The ability to recognize patterns is probably the game-breaker. And that does require memory, but not photographic memory.

tygxc

No. Reshevsky and Spassky had a poor memory.
Reshevsky could not remember opening lines.
Spassky had to consult his score sheet in post game analysis.
Spassky also forgot a critical opening move Geller had told him for game 6 against Fischer.

magipi
tygxc wrote:

No. Reshevsky and Spassky had a poor memory.
Reshevsky could not remember opening lines.
Spassky had to consult his score sheet in post game analysis.
Spassky also forgot a critical opening move Geller had told him for game 6 against Fischer.

You shouldn't take anecdotes for full face value. Those comments were probably half-jokes, not to be taken too seriously.

play4fun64
magipi wrote:
tygxc wrote:

No. Reshevsky and Spassky had a poor memory.
Reshevsky could not remember opening lines.
Spassky had to consult his score sheet in post game analysis.
Spassky also forgot a critical opening move Geller had told him for game 6 against Fischer.

You shouldn't take anecdotes for full face value. Those comments were probably half-jokes, not to be taken too seriously.

I agree many anecdote about players are fiction. I don't play chess psychology only good moves is one of them. Another is I don't study Opening Theory.

RideZen2

No. You must know tactics & endgame. However, I'm not a super GM. I've got a good memory, not photographic I suspect but I do fine with chess at an expert level. 🙂♟️

play4fun64

Algebraic Notation and FEN makes memorizing chess games and position easier.

tygxc

@9

"Those comments were probably half-jokes, not to be taken too seriously."
++ No joking. Spassky lost this game:
https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1044366 
Geller had told Spassky about the stronger 14...Qb7 as Geller himself asserted after this game:
https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1049648

An eye witness said Spassky needed to consult his score sheet in post game analysis.

Reshevsky could not remember opening lines. That is one reason why he always ended up in time trouble. Several contemporaries asserted that: Bronstein, Fischer...
They gladly exploited his weak memory:
https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1008376

magipi

Everyone mixes up his opening prep occasionally. Nakamura did that is the penultimate round of the Candidates. That doesn't mean that he has "bad memory". As I said, don't take anecdotes at full value.

Using the proper anecdote, everything can be proved or disproved. Oh wait, that is exactly what tygxc is doing. Every time.