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  1. 13 Mar '10 09:44
    I'm nineteen and thinking about taking up chess seriously. I've know the rules since I was about seven but rarely played. I'm a quick learner and have a high IQ but I'm afraid I've waited too long. How young do you have to start to become a great player?
  2. 13 Mar '10 09:53
    If you begin after 5 or 6, there is no hope.
  3. 13 Mar '10 11:48
    The most important thing is to have fun, progress will come and you can still be a great player, although don't count on ever playing chess professionally 😉 Hard work can get anybody to about 1800 level (or so I am told), talent will help but you have to work at it.

    If you're only after improvement and forget to enjoy this beautiful game, you might end up quitting when you hit your first plateau.

    Btw, IQ has nothing to do with it. Professional chess player are usually good at learning languages and have a good memory, but the average IQ of all professional chess players is not especially high. The only thing that a high IQ might give you is a longer attention span.

    So no, it's not too late to get good at this game and enjoy it!
  4. 13 Mar '10 13:03
    Hi isthislikecheckers

    Never too old to start playing chess.

    I know plenty of guys who did not take up the game till in their late 20's and
    went on to be good at it. Even knew a 57 year who had never pushed in his life
    join our club and within two years was a good club player.

    Forget being a great player unless you are naturally gifted.
    But there is nothing to stop you from becoming a very good player.

    The pleasure you will get from the game and the friends you will make
    will last a lifetime.

    Today's free advice.

    Try to develop your pieces on central squares. From there they control other
    central squares and 200 years of chess evolution and theory has told us that
    controling the centre, not necessarily occupying the centre, controlling the centre,
    is a good thing.

    Now isthislikecheckers?

    No checkers is far more difficult to play.

    In Chess you can only have a maximum of 9 queens.
    In Checkers it is possible to face 12 Queens.

    Here Checkers v Chess. Who do think will win?

  5. 13 Mar '10 13:23
    It depends on what you mean by a "great player". 2200 is certainly possible if you put in the work but above that you'll find that you dont have the time you need to study because of adult responsibilities. Its tough to get better above master level unless you are a professional and its tough to become a professional unless you can get to master level before you're 18. Kind of a catch 22.

    I could make a long list of guys who became great players and started playing late. Chigorin comes to mind. I myself didnt start playing until my late 20s and got to 1800 in only a couple of years. I dont spend as much time on chess as I used to but I would probably be 2100-2200 right now if I did.

    It just comes down to how much work you are willing to put in. If you want it bad enough I guess anything's possible.
  6. 13 Mar '10 13:43
    Originally posted by Gatusso
    The most important thing is to have fun, progress will come and you can still be a great player, although don't count on ever playing chess professionally 😉 Hard work can get anybody to about 1800 level (or so I am told), talent will help but you have to work at it.

    If you're only after improvement and forget to enjoy this beautiful game, you might end u ...[text shortened]... s a longer attention span.

    So no, it's not too late to get good at this game and enjoy it!
    I'm wondering if something is getting lost in the translation about IQ.

    Saying IQ doesnt help in chess is like saying height doesnt help in basketball. Sure you can be good without it but it sure helps if you do.

    An IQ test will test how fast your brain processes information which means someone with a high IQ will calculate faster.

    It will also test your spatial perception which is the same ability as being able to imagine positions in your head or to be able to rotate or change patterns in your head.

    IQ also helps with memory since people with very high IQs also have near photographic memories.

    The one thing it doesnt help with is attention. Many people with high IQs tend to have very short attention spans because they spend most of their lives bored waiting for eveyone else to catch up to them.

    There's a reason why Fischer was so good. The 180 IQ kind of contributed to that.
  7. 13 Mar '10 14:03
    Originally posted by isthislikecheckers
    I'm nineteen and thinking about taking up chess seriously. I've know the rules since I was about seven but rarely played. I'm a quick learner and have a high IQ but I'm afraid I've waited too long. How young do you have to start to become a great player?
    It's too late for you as long you say it's too late for you.

    "I cannot learn anything, so why bother learning?" Wrong! It's all about an attitude!
  8. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    13 Mar '10 14:14
    Originally posted by savage4731
    I'm wondering if something is getting lost in the translation about IQ.

    Saying IQ doesnt help in chess is like saying height doesnt help in basketball. Sure you can be good without it but it sure helps if you do.

    An IQ test will test how fast your brain processes information which means someone with a high IQ will calculate faster.

    It will also ...[text shortened]... to them.

    There's a reason why Fischer was so good. The 180 IQ kind of contributed to that.
    IQ does NOT test how fast your brain processes information. figuring things out fast and slow are entirely different type of 'intelligence', and neither has been shown to be any better than the other. many scientists do badly in fast thinking, but on the long haul produce extremely deep results. and vice versa.

    memory and photographic memory seems to be of very little advantage at chess. the memory monsters don't rule the top of the chess world, not by a long shot. the only exception I know of is ivanchuk, who, as great as he is, is nothing special compared to the other top dogs.

    chess is a motoric skill. like drawing, playing an instrument or sports. you get better at it by training (ie. repetition) hard and consistently for years. fischer, and everybody else who ever got any good, got there by spending an amazing amount of hours training. there are countless numbers of scientists and chess fans who never got any good, regardless of their undeniable genius. intellect is of just as little use at chess as it is at tennis.

    talent is nothing, work ethics are everything. (and age is all but irrelevant)
  9. Standard member peacedog
    Highlander
    13 Mar '10 14:58
    IQ tests are great for finding out how good you are at IQ tests!
  10. 13 Mar '10 15:29
    Originally posted by isthislikecheckers
    I'm nineteen and thinking about taking up chess seriously. I've know the rules since I was about seven but rarely played. I'm a quick learner and have a high IQ but I'm afraid I've waited too long. How young do you have to start to become a great player?
    I started playing chess (well, I already knew the rules and played a little before) around your age, about four years ago. I got to my level, which is about 1750 OTB with the completely wrong approach to study and I'm still improving steadily and getting winning games against the 2000+ rated player at my club. Of course you can start now and become a great player, most of the reason kids get so go at chess is their amount of free time, if you have free time, sky is the limit! (of course, IMs and grandmasters live in space; a bit above the sky.)

    My advice to you is to watch out, chess can become insanely addictive. I'm not even kidding. Watch out. I went from a full-scholarship soccer player (football depending on where you live) to an 8 hours a day chess addict with a pissed off girlfriend 🙂
  11. 13 Mar '10 16:32
    Originally posted by wormwood
    IQ does NOT test how fast your brain processes information. figuring things out fast and slow are entirely different type of 'intelligence', and neither has been shown to be any better than the other. many scientists do badly in fast thinking, but on the long haul produce extremely deep results. and vice versa.

    memory and photographic memory seems to be ...[text shortened]... at tennis.

    talent is nothing, work ethics are everything. (and age is all but irrelevant)
    There seems to be a lot of misinformation about IQs being given out.

    Of course speed of processig information is part of a person's IQ. If it wasnt then why do they time the tests? A person who is not intelligent is called "slow". Anyone could figure most anything out if given enough time but the term "intelligence" means the people who figure it out the fastest.

    Intelligence is by definition processing speed:
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/intelligence
    "...capacity to acqure"

    Wechsler IQ test. Note #4
    http://www.brainy-child.com/expert/WISC_IV.shtml

    And some more:
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/wv05446945682225/
    http://wilderdom.com/personality/L2-3SpeedOfProcessing.html

    Memory is a huge advantage in chess. Imagine how good you could be if you never had to study openings but could just remember every game you ever saw? How about everything you ever read ? Again, Fischer's memory was as legendary as his play.

    Your logic is flawed though. Just because memory is an advantage doesnt mean that anyone with a good memory is automatically world champion. There's a lot more to it than that. In fact, at the very top it could become a disadvantage if people rely on it too much and dont develop other parts of thir game. But, we're not talking about the world's best, we're talking about a guy that hasnt been playing very long.

    But your last comment blows my mind. You're saying that chess is only about muscle movement and has nothing to do with thinking? Really? I dont think that really requires a response.

    Your logic is flawed again. You're saying that because there are examples of people with high IQs who arent good at chess that that means that somehow inteligence isnt related to chess. I think its obvious thats wrong but to return to my basketball analogy: Yeah, there are tall people who arent good at basketball but that doesnt mean height isnt an advantage. All things being equal you would prefer to be 7'0 over 5'0. Same thing with chess. While a Fischer-like 180 IQ doesnt automatically make you world champion if I had to choose between 180 and 80 its not a hard choice.
  12. 13 Mar '10 16:51 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by savage4731
    There seems to be a lot of misinformation about IQs being given out.

    Of course speed of processig information is part of a person's IQ. If it wasnt then why do they time the tests? A person who is not intelligent is called "slow". Anyone could figure most anything out if given enough time but the term "intelligence" means the people who figure it out t you world champion if I had to choose between 180 and 80 its not a hard choice.
    Well... you have to be pretty stupid to even want to become a professional chess player 😉
  13. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    13 Mar '10 16:55
    Originally posted by Maxacre42
    Well... you have to be pretty stupid to even want to become a professional chess player 😉
    I used to think that until the Iron Curtain came down and all those Russian female chess playing hotties started showing up.
  14. 13 Mar '10 17:01
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    I used to think that until the Iron Curtain came down and all those Russian female chess playing hotties started showing up.
    Don't be fooled by the pretty faces. I'm pretty sure they don't have vaginas.
  15. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    13 Mar '10 17:02 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by savage4731
    There seems to be a lot of misinformation about IQs being given out.

    Of course speed of processig information is part of a person's IQ. If it wasnt then why do they time the tests? A person who is not intelligent is called "slow". Anyone could figure most anything out if given enough time but the term "intelligence" means the people who figure it out t you world champion if I had to choose between 180 and 80 its not a hard choice.
    1. not all IQ test have limited time. in fact, the modern ones usually don't.

    2. memory monsters don't rule the top player list.

    3. strong players relay on muscle memory, weak players on conscious thinking. observed fact, verified by CT-scans.

    4. chess is not basketball.