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Monday, March 14, 2011

Chess history book writer's take on talent, genes and IQ

Hi everyone,

Here is an interview we chanced upon!

Best-selling author David Shenk decided to look deeply into the subject of what really elevates some people to levels of accomplishments mere mortals only can marvel at. The result is his recent book, “The Genius in All of Us: New Insights Into Genetics, Talent and IQ.” 

Shenk will be in Charlottesville on Wednesday to help kick off the 17th annual Virginia Festival of the Book, which runs Wednesday through March 20. He will be the speaker at the Annual Leadership Breakfast (formerly called the Festival Business Breakfast) in the Omni Charlottesville Hotel Ballroom starting at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.

What is interesting is that Shenk happened onto the subject while doing research for his previous book, “The Immortal Game: A History of Chess.” One of the topics he addressed was what makes a great chess player like Bobby Fischer.

“The question I was looking to answer was whether or not to be a good chess player you have to be born with a talent and all that,” Shenk said. “It turns out that this has been studied quite extensively over the years, as has everything with chess.

“It also turns out that there’s a whole new body of science called expertise studies. These research psychologists study how people get good at doing stuff, and where all different skills come from. And they study what the difference is between people who are mediocre, good, very good and things like that. I also stumbled into this new way of understanding genes.”
We sure want to hear more on that subject!
You can read the full article here.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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  • At March 17, 2011 at 10:15 PM , Blogger Jan said...

    I haven't yet read Shenk's "The Genius in All of Us" but I did read "The Immortal Game" and found it absolutely absorbing and fascinating. I'm no chess genius and I would not even call myself a patzer! Shenk's writing genius is in his ability to put complicated concepts into terms that the average reader can follow - even with no prior knowledge of the subject, and in my opinion he did that magnificently in "The Immortal Game." He took one specific chess game, one move at a time, analyzing it in layman's terms, while discussing a segment of chess history - from the controversy (yes, there is one) about the earliest origins of the game (India? China? Persia? Egypt?) to the development of hyper-modern theory and computer-aided analysis that has revolutionized the evolution of chess players. I loved it (can you tell?) and highly recommend it.

    Jan Newton


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