Standouts talentedbut not amazingly so
Saturday, December 25, 2010 02:53 AM
The Columbus Dispatch
Shelby Lyman

Perhaps the best overall statement on the psychology of the chess player is found in a small book published in Moscow in 1926: The Psychology of Chess Play by D’yakov, Petrovsky and Rudik.

A summary is provided in the 1965 book Soviet Chess by D.J. Richards.

The object of a study cited in both books was the extraordinary group of grandmasters – including Jose Capablanca, Emanuel Lasker, Akiba Rubinstein, Carlos Torre, Richard Reti, Savielly Tartakower, Frank Marshall and Efim Bogoljubov – competing in the 1925 Moscow International Tournament.

The findings, using a battery of tests, didn’t discover a special chess aptitude per se. Surprisingly, the ability to calculate wasn’t mentioned. Equally surprising, the study observed that “The masters’ memories were generally not exceptional.”

But the psychologists found that “The master must possess a considerable number of abilities and qualities rarely found in one individual.”

Among the 16 qualities listed were the ability to distribute attention over many factors, a contemplative mind, powers of synthetic thought and imagination, the ability to think concretely and objectively and an active intellect.

Source: http://www.dispatch.com

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