Friday, December 16, 2011

Fallacies about chess players

One advantage of a chess player is that people assume that you are smarter than the average guy and that you must be intelligent.

I have been around chess for more than half a century and I know that this is not true.

There are all kinds of being smart: mathematical, creative, street-smart, social intelligence, musical etc. The truth is, the average chess player is just the average regular person who happens to like chess. He is smarter but only in chess.

It is true that studies have shown that chess can improve the IQ of a child but only up to a certain age. Beyond that it is mostly genetics. Knowledge inside the game is not transferable outside to other activities.

Also chess requires a very specific set of knowledge and skills, so there is no guarantee that being smart will mean that you are going to become a grandmaster.

You don’t have to be smart in order to be a good chess player. I`ve known expert chess players who are incredibly dumb.
Another fallacy is that chess players are anti-social. This is certainly not true. Throughout my life, I have been associated with mostly chess players and they are a bunch of likable individuals just like the rest who don’t play the game.
The top players, mostly grandmasters, study chess for ten hours and do not have the time to have a normal life and be social. But this is an exception.
Chess is brutal. As Bobby Fisher says you must break a man`s ego in order to win, We are here to trample each other to the ground. There’s only one winner and you are going to do your best to make sure that you are that winner.
Another fallacy is that chess players have superior memory skills. An expert in a given domain of activity, such as medicine, chess, music or golf, is “one, who has acquired special skill in or knowledge about a particular subject through professional training and practical experience”
Experts will therefore, by definition, have a greater body of knowledge about their domain of expertise than other individuals. You have all heard the phenomenal stories of the Grandmaster who can play 30 simultaneous games blindfolded and remember the positions in all of them. But the truth is that chess players do not have superior memorization skills, and it doesn't take superior memory skills to be a great chess player. Chess players are just tremendously familiar with chunks of pieces, known positions, familiar pawn structures, etc.
Another fallacy is that chess players are not athletic. Chess appeals to athletes and non-athletes alike.
It is true that few grandmasters are top athletes, but that is a function of dedication, not ability. That would be like saying that athletes are not intelligent. It's not true, it is just a matter of prioritization.
There is a sport that is getting a lot of adherents and that is chess-boxing.
Sinulog There is going to be a Sinulog chess team tournament on January 7 -8 next year sponsored by the City government and organized by Cepca. The champion will snare P25,000 out of a total prize fund of P75,000.
Format is 4- man team plus alternate and 7 rounds Swiss.Time control is 30 mins plus 5 secs increment.
Submit your lineup by text to Marvin Ruelan 09267352951 or Jun Olis 09232629642. All line-ups will be subject to review to ensure a balanced competition.
Registration is P1,200 (on-site P1,500). Register with Lito Pielago at the Colonnade chess club and submit your fee.
Cepca Xmas party is on December 18 at the Mactan beach resort. Assembly is 9am at the Kawayan Grill in Mabolo at 9am for Cebu residents .For details contact Jojo Muralla,your president ,at 0921 478 6075.,

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