Originally posted by chessisvanity
if taken from birth and trained yes...of course.......starting late? no never....
Really? So if someone was born brain damaged, or sustained a severe brain injury early on in their life they'd still be able to be trained to become as strong as Kasparov?
If you admit that the possibility that these people would be incapable of becoming great chess players, no matter how much training they received, perhaps you will admit the possibility that some, if not most or even virtually all "ordinary" people could be born similarly handicapped when compared to people who achieve greatness, whether in chess or in some other field.
Now, of course, that doesn't mean that dedication, training, education, family life, socio-economic status, and many other factors don't play a role in creating a great player. But I think it's pretty plausible that some people might be born with an edge over others when it comes to having some potential towards becoming a great chess player. Just how much of an edge they may have, or how critical this edge is is difficult to tell... but I admit the possibility that it exists in some people.
Having a good memory, being able to visualize and calculate quickly are certainly abilities that could be trained to some extent in most "normal" people... but people could also be born with either an edge in some of these abilities (like people born with a photographic memory, or synesthasia) or with potential to develop these abilities much further than others.