RE: Chess and Go study

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sat Dec 14 2002 - 16:32:09 MST

Eliezer wrote:
> Incidentally, I don't find it too hard to believe that variance between
> ranked Go players is not much correlated with g-factor, and that while Go
> aesthetic perceptions are trained by "deep thinking", the application of
> those learned aesthetics is a more specialized function.

I agree, the variance between ranked Go players (or chess players, I
suppose) is probably weakly if at all correlated with IQ. At that level, I
suspect, variations in ability are mostly caused by pretty specific
differences in intuitive/cognitive ability, not by differences in "level of
general intelligence" or "general analytical or intuitive ability."

But there's just *got* to be a strong correlation in the general population
between IQ and chess or Go ability.... The insinuation that there is not,
is what I referred to as obvious rubbish.

Personally, I'm a very mediocre chess player yet I have a very high IQ.
I've not played much chess ever ... but I also don't think I have an
aptitude for it, because I find it very difficult to get myself to
concentrate on *any* game. I suspect that if I forced myself to practice
chess very very hard, I could become very good at it, but probably not as
many standard deviations above the mean as my IQ is. Even now, though, I'm
pretty sure I could beat most people at chess, based on raw analytical
ability & intuition (and this is borne out by the handful of times I've
played strangers socially).

In terms of brain imaging, I agree with your comments. There's probably an
interesting study hiding somewhere behind that stupid article. But the
study is probably interesting in terms of where it (and other related
studies) will eventually lead, rather than because of the isolated
significance of the negative finding of activity in a certain brain area
during hcess or Go playing.

-- Ben G

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