Also, even if you learn some strategy that beats Rybka most of the time, that strategy may not even work against me.
Vytron, I used to play chess without using computers, winning lots of games against my friends. Outclassing them most of the times. I then started using Rybka, my style then changed, I started to be some kind of a positional player, I started doing well against the Chessmaster personalities. I remember oneday, I held Rybka up to over 35 moves and the position was still balanced and eventually I lost.
Ever since I used Rybka, and adopted her style of playing. Now I am losing games against my friends :) because of my patience and positional playing. :(
So I agree with your statement completely.
I cannot play blindfold even a single game so I believe that I have no chance to get rating of 2700 but I believe that many 2100 players can achieve 2700 if they decide to train hard and they simply do not do it when one of the reasons is that they believe your opinion.
I'd like to see many examples for 2100 players who decided to train 8 hours per day on chess for some years in order to achieve 2700 including playing every day against the best programs and analyzing their games before deciding that the task is impossible for people who are not very young.
I believe that there are intelligent players who are not very young(30 years old or 40 years old) who can achieve rating of 2700 by that way.
And here we are talking about players who are way beyond 2100 - so why should weaker players be able to achieve what so many much stronger players were not?
People know that they probably cannot live from chess so almost nobody really works hard to improve.
The only way to test ability of players is if some sponsor decides to give money to 30 years old players who have rating of 2100
based on their improvement.
Let say something like
100,000$ for getting 2200 fide rating
300,000$ for getting 2300 fide rating
600,000$ for getting 2400 fide rating
1000,000$ for getting 2500 fide rating
2000,000$ for getting 2600 fide rating
5000,000$ for getting 2700 fide rating
In that case they will really have motivation to do their best so we can test if they can get rating of 2700.
No, that's just wrong, and I had explicitly stated the opposite in my post. I said explicitly that I am talking about players who do want to be professional chess players, who quit their jobs to do nothing else but play chess. Why do you assume that they lack motivation? And really, there are plenty of examples.
I know only about the opposite
talented chess players who quit chess.
See for example kamsky(now he returned back but he left chess for some years)
I know about another example of chess grandmaster who works a doctor and does not live from chess(GM Yona Kosashvili)
He plays in the israeli league but he does not live from chess.
I guess he could get better results in case of not learning to be a doctor of medicine.
So it seems like there is plenty of evidence against your thesis, and absolutely no evidence which supports it.
when older people have a job and other things to do.
I think that the interest in success in chess is not very high so I believe that there are 2100 players who can get 2700 if they start to train at age 30.
They could also get 2750 or 2800 in case of starting to train at younger age so I do not say it is not better to start at younger age.
I only believe that the difference is smaller than what people think.
No one knows if it is possible or not. Maybe an exceptional, special, once in 10 lifetimes human is capable of such a thing.
The point is that there exists or existed plenty of strong masters who don't work (wealthy, on disability, investments working for them, etc.) who tried very hard to achieve not only 2700 status but mere grandmaster status. This statement is correct because I knew a few like this.
These individuals worked and trained many hours a day (after all they didn't have to work). But after several years they never obtained the grandmaster title (or 2700).
But yes they did get stronger but not GM strong.
I believe creativity and ingenuity plays a huge part of a 2700 player.
My opinion is that it is very hard to train the creative areas in the brain after a certain age.
Now my opinion is that it can't be achieved simply because of the definition of the elo rating system.
There can't be many 2700's, for this is mathematically impossible. Also, most of the 2500-2700's that both had a head start in chess training at an early age and now train many hours a day will always have an advantage over those 2100s that just train many hours a day. This is because they had a head start and are using it to stay ahead and keep the 2100's from making it to their level.
> There can't be many 2700's, for this is mathematically impossible.
Check your mathematics, and the workings of the ELO formula. This chart http://www.fide.com/component/handbook/?id=75&view=article is easy to read and shows how Fide calculated differences in ELO based on your winning percentages.
I say check your mathematics, because in the ELO system, there is nothing special about 2700, or 2000, or any fixed number. The calculation will only tell us how much higher you are rated than me, after we've played enough games, but it will never tell us our rating. At some primeaval time, a rating number was given to a man, and when that man played another, a difference in their ratings was established. Then, when anyone plays one of those two, the third person's elo can be established as an offset from the person he played. Extend this process to the present day, and you have the type of scaling that we've inherited from the past, where the number 2700 represents something amazing.
But even there, there is nothing in the mathematics that prevents many, many people from reaching that rating. All you need is a gaggle of up-and-comers who get wins and draws against today's Grandmasters, and all the while these youngsters as well as the established Grandmasters would be playing and defeating 2600-rated oponents like they were snacking on bacon. Mathematically, you'd get your wish (or you'd get the counterexample to your claim): as many people as you like could have elo ratings as high as you like, if we can produce a group of ultra-talented people. That's a big if, and it won't happen because that's not how the human race is wired, on average, but there's nothing in the math of the elo system preventing it.
BTW: I do think that most people of average intelligence (or maybe a bit higher than average since we're talking about chess players) can reach at least Class A with sufficient training. Although, there might be exceptions where some very smart people lack precisely the qualities for chess. Perhaps they are easily distracted (ADD?) and miss simple tactics or hang pieces way too often.
But IM level only possible for 'all but a few'? I don't know - depends on what 'a few' means. There is at least one thing in which Uri is right: There are only very few players who dedicate their life to such a goal.
One other fact that points towards the "hard work" hypothesis is that at least in some fields, e.g. amongst professional soccer players, it has been shown that the birth months of top performers are not equally distributed (or, to put it more precisely, there are significant differences between the distribution of birth months of top soccer players and the general population). The most natural explanation of these findings is that children who are at the old end of their age brackets will tend to outperform their peers in competition, resulting in both increased motivation and them receiving increased support from trainers and parents towards going professional eventually. I could imagine similar effects to be at work also in chess and they would be unrelated entirely to natural talent.
I am also not sure that the rate of learning strictly decreases with age. Indeed, there are many things which young adults seem to learn faster than schoolchildren when they put in comparable amounts of effort; foreign languages are a case in point in my opinion.
With respect to the general "hard work vs. inborn talent" debate, I would like to point out the following two Scientific American articles as worth reading:
Spangenberg has a positive score against Kramnik!!
Can you cite a sufficiently large amount of people who have ever done this? Hovered around some mediocre rating for a few years then devoted their lives to improving the game?
Like Uri, I do feel that people could achieve better results than you think they could if they did this. It just hasn't been tried that much. Not enough to be able to form generalizations about it being impossible.
Okay, I can concede this: It isn't 'impossible'. Maybe there is one in a million or one in a billion who is capable of this. Who knows. But what Uri said sounded more like 'if someone is reasonably talented and devotes his life to chess ...'. These 2700s are all extraordinarily talented and each of them worked extremely hard since his early childhood. Look at an average grandmaster: Most of them were also talented by far above average. Many of them worked just as hard as the elite guys. But they never got that far.
If you know many 2300-2550 players who left their job for chess then I guess that the reason is simply that they do not think correctly and it is not something that they cannot fix by better learning methods.
I wonder how many players try to look at their games and to define thinking rules to prevent their mistake(and of course good thinking rules should prevent many mistake and not one mistake)
Thinking rules mean instructions what questions to ask yourself during a chess game to prevent mistakes.
If you ask what I mean by thinking rules then I can give one example.
I remember that many years ago in some position I did not see
a defence against Qh6 and pawn at f6 with Qg7 mate and there was a defence.
The reason was that I thought only how to protect g7 but there was a way simply by capturing f6 by Qa1+ and Qxf6
A weak player may think only if he can protect g7
A good player may think also if he can capture f6(capturing f6 with the queen also protect g7 but it is not a square that weak players may consider when there is no direct capture there)
The problem of the weak player is wrong thinking.
I think that a good chess book should give many questions that a player should ask himself during his game and many exercises that are not about finding the best move but about which questions to ask.
Maybe there is a good book with that idea but
I do not know and I doubt if many players learned to ask themselves the right questions during a game.
>I believe that there is some approximate limit that any given person can achieve in chess, which depends on many factors: intelligence, visualization skills, memory, concentration, stamina, etc.
Out of curiosity, how do you explain a phenomenon such as the Polgar sisters. Doesn't their success provide an argument that proper training at a young age means more than natural talents and other personal characteristics you describe above. It is, after all, hard to believe they were all born chess geniuses in the same household.
She could learn from her sisters when she was young(something that her sisters could not do).
She said in that interview that she is not something special and most people could get similiar results in case of growing in similiar enviroment.
I do not agree with her(most is certainly too much) but I believe that there are many players who can get 2700 if they train hard enough and simply did not try hard to do it(reasons can be lack of interest or lack of motivation or lack of ability that they can do it).
I cannot say that these people got wrong decision even if we talk only about money because it is possible that they earn more money relative to 2700 players.
while i agree w/ your conjecture in principal, i dont believe in your threshold. let's take a physical challenge: breaking the 4-minute mile. i assert that the average person (defined as whatever u want it to (reasonably) be) does not possess the physical ability to run a sub 4-min mile even if it were a matter of life and death, and even if he trained for as long as he wanted.
a 2700 rating is similar to a 4-min mile. u can spar w/ rybka all the live long day, and try to draw against it. that is, u could train yourself to become a "draw master." but most people simply do not possess the mental ability to achieve 2700 even if it were a matter of life and death.
lower the rating to say, somewhere around 2400-2500, then i'd say it's definitely possible.
As I understood, she was was quite average, far from the IQ 155 derived from her ELO according to the Levitt equation. And as someone mentioned, Kasparov himself was tested as IQ 135 in the eighties.
Cited from http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Lab/7378/iq.htm:
"In 1987-88, the German magazine Der Spiegel went to considerable effort and expense to find out Kasparov's IQ. Under the supervision of an international team of psychologists, Kasparov was given a large battery of tests designed to measure his memory, spatial ability, and abstract reasoning. They measured his IQ as 135 and his memory as one of the very best. "
And Rybka herself would probably not score better on an IQ test than a thermostat, but like Kasparov she has an excellent memory :-)
In other words both Zsuzsa and kasparov could probably get better results in IQ tests in case of studying some knowledge.
A. Rubinstein has learned chess at 16, it is rather late, but it has not stopped him to be in the top 3 at some period of time.
It is clear that when you learn chess earlier you have easier task but it is not impossible to do it later.
The human brain is the secret we are using 20-30% of it so... I think your son is having chances, still.
To be 2700 it is neccssary to have a team of people working for that.
Ranking it is the merit of the effectivness of using the knowledge not the knowledge by itself.
I suppose that many 2500 players have the knowledge of 2700 players but do not have some psychological factors and team support.
The potential is the maximal that a player can get with the best help.
If 2500 players can get level of 2600 with a team that they do not have then it means that their potential is at least 2600.
I say at least because it is also possible that they can even get better than it with some special software to teach them that does not exist today.
2500-2700 diferrence it is an analytical ability only...
I have thought that in practical play person vs person the psychological factors are important. We do have a problem of uneasy partner , partner we never won, colour problem etc.
I was correspondence player with some successes (in pre-computer area). I was not able to do the same in the OTB chess.
The success in CC play was decided by analytical skills. It was such an opinion.
Here (OTB) we have to take the decision at once, we do not have time to calm down when we face unexpected move or change.
I suppose that to be GM it is neccessary to be psychologicaly stable. When partners have similar knowledge the psychology is deciding. It s not only in chess.
How would you explain such a case: player is making 75% playing with equals in rating(+200) and is losing when meeting +200 ?
He should have drawn. It is called as to be used to play with strong players, is it not the psychology ?
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