Saturday, August 16, 2014

Chess Talent and Titles

One frequent question comes up in chess and most performance based aveneus. "Can anyone become a master, or is it birth talent?". Not only is it often asked, but it's heavily debated to this day.

To get the obvious out of the way. Possible is a dangerous keyword. It is possible that every top skilled player gets sick long enough for you to meet requirements held by the federation. The odds of that happening makes that argument unrealistic. The real question is "Can anyone develop the skills required to reach a level needed to win a Master title". My answer lies somewhere to a combination of factors and I lean to the answer of "no".

Many top players will often take the stance that talent itself is only one of many barriers, if not requirements. A second issue is nurture. Growing up with the "right" influence makes a significant deal on how you exploit your talents. That is not to say having a chessboard shoved to you at a young age will make much difference. The key is not chess as much as "mastery". Mastery at chess can be developed outside of chess itself at a young age. Learning to solve or at least approach problems analytically at a young age makes a major difference. Sometimes this works out better if you are encouraged and have a cast of motivators throughout your life. Sometimes you learn by beating the odds and making ends meet. It's all about how you exploit your talents in the here and now.

Skill itself can be taught and learned, often by will. So asking if anyone can become a "good", or "knowledgeable" chess player, the answer most definitely is yes. However, not anyone can, by odds, have the perfect set of talents, right training path, motivation to develop skills, and competitive opportunity to thread the needle. That is why masters are defined with the requirements they are.

So where does this leave you? Well, who's to say you are anyone? Who's to say you can't thread the needle. Your situation may seem so off-target that it seems impossible, but who cares really. No one will really if you were talented until it's all said and done and even then... You can't predict the future and it's too late to change the past. Instead, be confident and play the game you love and develop your mastery of the game.

No comments:

Post a Comment