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robertogreco : chess   13

Bringing Up Genius - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"The Polgárs are now an international clan. All of the daughters have retired from professional play. Their lives still center on the game: Judit and Sofia collaborate on a foundation that fosters chess in schools; Susan has her American empire. Laszlo has invented a new form of chess built around a star-shaped board, and they’ve opened a storefront Polgár museum in Budapest. Laszlo might finally publish his book in English, too, having at last given up hopes of a six-figure advance. He and his wife have begun wintering in Florida, and they’re planning to meet with Ericsson, for the first time, this year.

When they meet, they’ll probably discuss another lingering question: What accounts for the sisters’ differing ratings? How could Judit, seven years Susan’s junior, overtake her sister despite far less practice? All three, of course, practiced more than almost anyone else in the world. There are family theories. Though Sofia was often said to have the most talent, in chess and elsewhere — during one 1989 tournament, in Rome, she went on a legendary run, beating a murderers’ row of Soviet grandmasters — she was never driven enough to focus on one thing, Susan says.

Judit, meanwhile, had a killer instinct.

"Out of the three of us, I was the most fit to the kind of life required to be on the top," Judit says. Losses fueled her determination. "I had this drive in me that I wanted to show it was possible and I can do it."

Judit’s drive or talent could have a genetic basis. But there are other possibilities, Ericsson says. Susan faced more societal obstacles, while Judit, from a young age, had access to top coaches and a master chess player — her sister. Their parents could have improved their teaching methods. Or there could be no reason.

Whatever the source of its success, the Polgár experiment will last only one generation. None of the sisters has raised her children in the same fashion. All the kids attend school. For Sofia, it was important for her two boys to learn chess for its life lessons — making decisions under pressure, avoiding paralysis by analysis. But they didn’t have to be champions. Eventually the boys lost interest. She didn’t push them back into it.

"I also enjoy having a life, you know," Sofia says. "For my parents, this was everything."

Sometimes she wonders what it would mean if their father is right. That the Polgár upbringing would work in any discipline. "In a way, I’m sorry it wasn’t something else," she says. "It would have been better to find a cure for AIDS or cancer rather than just being a chess champion."

The Polgárs were dedicated. The Polgárs were talented. The Polgárs were lucky. Those statements are all true. When it comes to expertise, science can’t yet parse which is more true. Still, we can learn from their story. Boundaries on talent exist, but they manifest with reluctance. Dream big. Train hard. Find limits. And don’t bet your life on success."
laszlopolgár  parenting  education  chess  2015  nature  nurture  genius  practice  prodigies 
november 2015 by robertogreco
"Wittgenstein Plays Chess with Duchamp or How Not to Do Philosophy: Wittgenstein on Mistakes of Surface and Depth" by Steven B. Gerrard
"We should not think of the difficulty or resistance here as a psychological matter, as an individual’s  quirk.  Wittgenstein’s sights were broader, surveying (and diagnosing) his whole culture.  As he wrote in the Foreword to Philosophical Remarks:

"This book is written for such men as are in sympathy with its spirit. This spirit is different from the one which informs the vast stream of European and American civilization in which all of us stand. That spirit expresses itself in an onwards movement, in building ever larger and more complicated structures; the other in striving after clarity and perspicuity in no matter what structure."

In these matters the individual needs neither psychoanalysis nor shock therapy; it is philosophy that is required:  a philosophical striving after clarity and perspicuity, a philosophical straining (and training) to constantly conquer temptation anew and to see the sense visible amidst the nonsense and the nonsense clothed as sense."
philosophy  art  games  chess  marcelduchamp  wittgenstein  clarity  perspicuity  sensemaking  connections  psychoanalysis  shocktherapy  complexity  simplicity  philosophicalremarks  stevengerrard  seeing  seeingtheworld  perception  nonsense  sense  cv 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Playing Duchamp | Login
"Marcel Duchamp is widely recognized for his contribution to conceptual art, but his lifelong obsession was the game of chess, in which he achieved the rank of Master. Working with the records of his chess matches, I have created a computer program to play chess as if it were Marcel Duchamp. I invite all artists, skilled and unskilled at this classic game, to play against a Duchampian ghost."
art  chess  ai  games  marcelduchamp 
march 2011 by robertogreco
The Cognitive Cost Of Expertise | Wired Science | Wired.com
"Now for the bad news: Expertise might also come with a dark side, as all those learned patterns make it harder for us to integrate wholly new knowledge. Consider a recent paper that investigated the mnemonic performance of London taxi drivers. In the world of neuroscience, London cabbies are best known for their demonstration of structural plasticity in the hippocampus, a brain area devoted (in part) to spatial memory. Because the cabbies are required to memorize the entire urban map of London – it’s the most rigorous driving test in the world – their posterior hippocampi swell and expand, leading to permanent changes in the brain. Knowledge shapes matter."
neuroscience  psychology  constraints  jonahlehrer  perception  brain  chess  thinking  science  expertise  memory  plasticity  generalists  specialization  mindchanges  permanence  specialists  mindchanging 
november 2010 by robertogreco
collision detection: Garry Kasparov, cyborg [more: http://snarkmarket.com/2010/5194]
"What I love about Kasparov’s algorithm — “Weak human + machine + better process was superior to a strong computer alone and … superior to a strong human + machine + inferior process” — is that it suggests serious rewards accrue to those who figure out the best way to use thought-enhancing software. (Or rather, those who figure out a way that’s best for them; people always use tools in slightly different, idiosyncratic ways.) The process matters as much as the software itself. How often do you check it? When do you trust the help it’s offering, and when do you ignore it?"
chess  transhumanism  ai  technology  psychology  future  cyborg  gaming  computers  computing  process  garrtkasparov 
february 2010 by robertogreco
The Expert Mind: Scientific American
"A 1999 study of professional soccer players from several countries showed that they were much more likely than the general population to have been born at a time of year that would have dictated their enrollment in youth soccer leagues at ages older than the average. In their early years, these children would have enjoyed a substantial advantage in size and strength when playing soccer with their teammates. Because the larger, more agile children would get more opportunities to handle the ball, they would score more often, and their success at the game would motivate them to become even better."
education  learning  science  psychology  research  work  creativity  mind  knowledge  life  brain  expert  expertise  training  chess  athletics  sports  age 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Kevin Kelly -- The Technium - Another One for the Machine
"Last week...a software program running on borrowed supercomputers...beat a US Go professional...Go has been Turing'd [as well as chess and checkers]. Driving a car has been Turing'd. The list of human cognitive activities that normal humans believe computers can't do is very short; Make art. Create a novel, symphony, movie. Have a conversation. Laugh at a joke. Are there other things people popularly believe computers can't do?"
go  chess  checkers  turing  singularity  future  ai  computing 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Marginal Revolution: What are the best games?
"A simple one variable theory is that the qualities of the games you play reflect the qualities which are missing in your regular life.
games  play  economics  psychology  cv  gaming  gamedesign  chess  personality 
august 2008 by robertogreco
EconLog, The Secret of Good Games, Bryan Caplan: Library of Economics and Liberty [via: http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2008/08/what-are-the-be.html]
"The best games are inter-disciplinary, combining economics and psychology. Games of pure strategic reasoning like chess are dry. Games of pure social interaction are a little silly. But games that bring together strategic reasoning and social interaction are a joy for heart and mind."
games  play  gaming  social  economics  psychology  gamedesign  chess 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Slashdot | Chess for Kids?
"My six year old daughter has recently expressed an interest in chess. We have been playing a few games, but I fear that I'm not the best teacher for such a venerable game. Is there any software that the Slashdot community would recommend for learning the
games  children  chess  play  learning 
january 2006 by robertogreco

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