You don't know many Russians do you? ;)
In chess though you have a ranking, you have past games to compare. It would be silly for him to say "oh, I'm not that good" as there's a measured value which [possibly incorrectly] says he's the world number one. Similarly he spends a lot of his time assessing his opponents, their games, their characters.
I found it interesting that he said Kasparov can judge which opening a player will play taking in to account their mood. It would be nice to test that claim some how.
And besides, many players have their nemesis. Sheer numbers don't reflect that.
Eg. Anand used to be one of the strongest players in the world, but overshadowed, some say intimidated, by Kasparov before the latter retired.
Given Anand's rating, he performed quite poorly against Kasparov.
I remember there was a heated debate as for whether or not Crafty was a strong enough engine for the task.
I don't have all the links at hand, but it shouldn't be difficult to find various parts of this discussion.
Authors of the research argued that contrary to what common sense implies, even if it Crafty is weaker than some evaluated players could have been, results are still legit.
Of course this approach doesn't give full justice to players - while some might have strived for winning by perfect play, others could deliberately play inferior moves just to create complications and provoke their opponents into making mistakes worse than their own, by getting them into time trouble, making them uneasy etc. (eg. Tal was famous for that).
A game - oversimplifying a bit - is won by the player who made less mistakes than the opponent, not by the one who made less mistakes on an absolute scale. So both strategies are valid as far as sport is concerned.
It's empirically checkable how close Carlsen is to Kasparov in skill. If Kasparov was significantly better than Carlsen in some ways, then Carlsen had to be his superior in others.
I'm reminded of a quote by one New England Patriots linebacker about another, when early in his career Jerod Mayo said (and this is approximate, although I'm sure the first three words are precise) "I'm pretty sure I can run faster than Tedy Bruschi, but he's still faster getting to a ball carrier than I am." That was a pretty big complement to Bruschi, about his quick instincts in judging a play.
Well, when you consider that Michael Jordan obsessed about his height before he was tall, there's a good chance that he felt that it was at least partly responsible for his skill.
In actuality, it did play a significant role. If Michael Jordan had the same level of skill, and was 5'9", he would have been above average(for an NBA player) at best.
I think reverse Dunning-Kruger is much more likely in Magnus's case.
"...the most competitive individual...Always felt like somebody else was going to outwork him so he wanted to out work them." - A trainer of Jordan's. (Video for reference: http://youtu.be/w39-_rauFSk)
just like basketball is not purely about body size and athleticism, chess is not purely about iq. And it is kind of idiotic that iq is the thing that people think must be the one thing that makes good chess players good.
after a certain point, iq probably doesn't matter. motivation, concentration, competitiveness, determination, experience, preparation, risk-taking, creativity, pleasure when thinking about chess... i really don't understand why iq is the thing that's talked about so much.
magnus clearly understands that some people will neglect chess for something else. The implication is that there are geniuses out there today doing other things instead of moving figurines over a grid... that's a very humble and wise world view.
That said, I had monumentally high IQ scores as a little kid, and they are surely vastly lower in adulthood. So I'm not very eager to be retested either. ;)
The urban legend of Kasparov's IQ being in the 190 range is still purported, but once he was actually examined (an initiative of "Der Spiegel" magazine) it turned out his IQ was 135 or so.
This is highly intelligent, of course, but that's like 1 in 100 or 1 in 150, so people with higher IQ are still dime a dozen.
Personally I'm of an opinion that IQ doesn't mean much - it's a "dexterous fingers" thing. You surely need dexterous fingers to become an accomplished neurosurgeon or a violinist, but this trait is pointless by itself, and 1 in a 1000 level of dexterity is good enough, so you don't gain anything by going beyond that.
Opinions certainly vary there! My first "real" programming job interview began with an IQ test, and passing it was basically what got me an offer. The company owner scored the test in front of me, and said "Not bad.. five points above the minimum I'd consider hiring for a developer position."
I ask because I tend to agree with the OP. IQ tests assign points based on specific types of questions, which I'd argue aren't valuable in all circumstances. I think the point Magnus was making is that he doesn't think IQ is directly relevant to Chess, despite any correlation between those with high IQs and those who have been successful at the game.
I have worked with plenty of people with high IQs in academics and I can't imagine trying to work with them in an office. If anything, the job to which you are referring would have me worried due to such such strict adherence to an objective score that can fluctuate over time. Isn't five points right around the normal confidence interval for IQ tests?
But the idea that either intelligence or innovativeness etc. are quantifiable by a simple test, and that the measure is linear here, seems just as oversimplified to me, and ultimately also an ideological construct
I wonder if some of the conflict they felt was was really Magnus's more organic, natural approach clashing with Kasparov's more like systematic and rigid type of training, which he no doubt inherited from Botvinnik. This isn't to say Magnus doesn't work hard at his game but on a chess approach scale of, say, Capablanca to Botvinnik, he would very much tilt towards the former.
edit: Actually he specifically talks about that; somehow I skipped it upon first reading.
If history serves right, I am predicting Carlsen will lose the throne to Caruana in 2016!
I was not particularly interested; I was bad and soon stopped again.
I don’t know why I learnt all the countries of the world off by heart, including their capitals and populations. Chess was probably just another pastime.
I’m not a disciplined thinker. Organisation is not my thing; I am chaotic and tend to be lazy. My trainer recognised that and as a rule allowed me to practise whatever I felt like at the time.
When I was 13, my parents took me out of school for a year. They travelled around the world with me and my sisters, and on the way they taught us. That was fantastic, much more effective than sitting in school.
Aaron Sorkin talks about procrastinating a lot between writing sessions. Lots of painters and artists procrastinate as well.
I think its a matter of digestion, your mind is focused on a "task" and churning in the background, but you don't actively work on it except when you "feel like it". I saw some scientific article to this affect that the downtime is actually very valuable for the brain to form creative thought.
I divide my officers into four groups. There are clever, diligent, stupid, and lazy officers. Usually two characteristics are combined. Some are clever and diligent -- their place is the General Staff. The next lot are stupid and lazy -- they make up 90 percent of every army and are suited to routine duties. Anyone who is both clever and lazy is qualified for the highest leadership duties, because he possesses the intellectual clarity and the composure necessary for difficult decisions. One must beware of anyone who is stupid and diligent -- he must not be entrusted with any responsibility because he will always cause only mischief.
You could say that he tried to do the right thing.
Just because it doesn't fit someone else's mold doesn't make your mind lazy, and just because a bunch of minds fit together perfectly to propel one person skyward doesn't make them a genius. A bunch of geniuses arguing about progress doesn't create progress. We aren't very good at mapping our minds while using our minds to do it, but maybe we are.
I hope science one day recognizes that we can spend centuries churning our wheels without actually getting anywhere - we create the same problem we begin with by convincing ourselves we found the solution.
From observing my friends and I, my anecdata suggests that the most creative are on average more lazy because they can use their creativity as a clutch to make up for a relative lack of hard work. The other intelligent but less creative individuals must suppliment that with grinding away more time on the problems.
The creative lazy people also tend to be more 'hot and cold' than consistent, because if they rely on creativity but it doesn't fire then they end up falling short. Consistent hard work is more reliable, but takes more effort and doesn't necessarily produce as high peaks (though in doing so, avoids as low troughs)
It's about great people and how they structured their days. What seems to be fairly consistent was that they were often 'on and off' as well, but to try to ensure that they did actually get work done consistently was to work a) every day and b) not for too long. So each day wasn't a slog like the usual 9 to 5 treadmill, but each day gave them enough space to get some of their best work done and have enough rest to be able to do it every day of the week, every day of the year.
I think it's commonly assumed that people procrastinate because they are lazy. Even procrastinators will berate themselves for being undisciplined and lazy. But it's not that simple; I think there is value in being "lazy", or what is perceived as lazy.
Of course it doesn't have to be true only in case of programmers. Good laziness is when you strive to reduce your energy expenditure while still being determined to accomplish something.
And that’s precisely what would be terrible. Of course it is important for a chess player to be able to concentrate well, but being too intelligent can also be a burden. It can get in your way. I am convinced that the reason the Englishman John Nunn never became world champion is that he is too clever for that. At the age of 15, Nunn started studying mathematics in Oxford; he was the youngest student in the last 500 years, and at 23 he did a PhD in algebraic topology. He has so incredibly much in his head. Simply too much. His enormous powers of understanding and his constant thirst for knowledge distracted him from chess... Right. I am a totally normal guy. My father is considerably more intelligent than I am.
And that his big shtick is his focus, intuition, and domain expertise - not his IQ:
No. In terms of our playing skills we are not that far apart. There are many things I am better at than he is. And vice versa. Kasparov can calculate more alternatives, whereas my intuition is better. I immediately know how to rate a situation and what plan is necessary. I am clearly superior to him in that respect.
Yes, it's spot-on with K. Anders Ericsson's research on expert performance and deliberate practice:
I doubt I'd want to be world champion if it required giving up all those "distractions".
Just like PG says in The Anatomy of Determination - http://www.paulgraham.com/determination.html
EDIT: I read further and it seems like he enjoys poker. So I guess it's possible that he'd enjoy MTG.
To me, this is more "fun". With chess, it's just brutal. Unless both players are evenly matched, it's a steamrolling. No fun for either player. At the top tiers though, I can see it being very interesting. But then again, I find watching top players play Hearthstone to also be very interesting. Especially when you consider the meta-strategizing of picking certain cards for their decks.
You just have to play a handful of games in order to get a rating (whether in real-life tournaments or online), and then you know that playing somebody with a rating within 100 points of your own rating will usually result in a good game where both sides have chances to win and neither will consistently steamroll the other.
The only times that happens as far as I know are when the rating really doesn't reflect the current skill, which can happen over the board with juniors that are improving so quickly that their rating hasn't caught up yet, or people who haven't yet played enough games for the rating to be accurate (e.g., a brand new account on a site that starts with a rating of 1200, which is solved by not playing people who haven't played enough games yet).
The article discusses how different players prefer different ratios of luck vs skill, so making the most "fun" game in this regard really depends on who your target audience is. Similar to your thoughts on randomness. :)
I think that makes a game more fun to participate in but significantly less fun to watch at a competitive level.
I am someone who enjoys poker and watching chess on TV (usually an internet broadcast). The problem with chess as a spectator event is that, at least for me to enjoy it, it takes a lot of time and effort, and there is no social aspect. For example, I enjoy analyzing a game of chess myself, but it takes hours of my time and also computer analysis, and then eventually I get many "aha!" moments, once I understand why a move was (or was not) played. That's really hard to translate to a general viewing audience.
Compare that to athletic events. Anyone can watch and marvel at those who are bigger, stronger, and faster because those properties are well understood. Even without any knowledge of the sport, you can watch a sporting event with your friends while having a beer and have a great time. Probably not going to happen with chess.
With poker, at least you can cherry pick the improbable outcomes and daring bluffs, and add drama due to the high stakes often involved. It makes for very suspenseful watching when a guy risks more than our annual income with a junk hand, and he pulls it off.
So my memory is failing me and I was off by a decent amount, seems mid 60's is an average ceiling for win rate.
This is just an example from the 2013 season at the world championships. You'll want to sort it by Con(structed) Win %. Even the best players in the world win slightly more than they lose over an entire season.
Actually individual hall of famers might be better to look at, especially since these are lifetime stats.
If yo go to the career stats page you'll see that kibler has a lifetime win rate of around 60% and finkel is slightly higher than that.
This may also hold for chess.
The point here is obviously that Magic has an element of chance that chess lacks.
You can play theoretically superior chess and calculate more positions than your opponent and still lose the game, although it's very unlikely. Both player have a horizon and sometimes they can bump in a position of clear superiority for one side that none predicted.
If such a game could be foiled by the other player making a "bad" move, then it would by definition not be a bad move.
I can definitely relate to that when it comes to my studies, too bad it's not yielding any good results.
I first heard about him when I got Chessmaster, which came with his video tutorials. And these were the best I've ever seen, in terms of insightfulness and pedagogical skills.