Sunday, September 18, 2016
Researchers have found that intelligence is always linked to chess skill no matter the age of the participant
If you were hoping to become a chess master by practicing 10,000 hours, think again. Contrary to the theory that expertise at chess is based on intensive training, researchers at the University of Michigan have concluded based on a meta-analysis of 19 studies that hard work is important but not enough. In this game, if you're not smart, you're probably sunk. "When it comes to expertise, training and practice certainly are a piece of the puzzle," psychology professor Zach Hambrick says. "But this study shows that, for chess at least, intelligence is another piece of the puzzle." The researchers found that intelligence is always linked to chess skill no matter the age of the participant, though the link appears strongest in younger players or those at lower skill levels. It's possible, the team suggests, that this is because upper-echelon players are all pretty bright anyway.