Originally posted by yelob
Everyone has to work hard even Kasparov but there's a big difference in a talented person working hard and a wood pusher.
I think Euwe said there were no natural chessplayers except Capablanca who he credited with a mystical positional insight.
the thing that's sticked with me, reading about kasparov, was that he's a workaholic. also that every time a weakness in his play appears, he focuses his efforts on it, and a couple of months later it's gone.
which reminds me of:
His interviews with 78 German pianists and violinists revealed that by age 20, the best had spent an estimated 10,000 hours practicing, on average 5,000 hours more than a less accomplished group. Unless you're dealing with a cosmic anomaly like Mozart, he argues, an enormous amount of hard work is what makes a prodigy's performance look so effortless.
kasparov started chess at 5-6 I think? that means he had played & trained 10 years when he was 15 years old. and 20 years at 25. that's an awfully lot of work.
I very much doubt even mozart or capablanca got where they were without training. those are nice stories, and flattering. and I understand why people like when others think they got effortlessly where they are. but nobody would believe such a ridiculous claim about say, a 100m runner who's reached the very top. sure, some people are born pretty fast, but it still takes a LOT of work to get even near the top.
with the polgar sisters, they all agreed that sophia is the most talented, but judit works most at it. and look who got strongest of them all.
if there's a differentiating talent, I think it's the 'talent' of working hard and long. stubborness and a ridiculously big ego also helps when you're pushing your limits.