Re: Chess and Go study

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sat Dec 14 2002 - 17:57:07 MST

Ben Goertzel wrote:

> 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.

Well, I have never met a master player of either game of humble IQ.

> 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).

I am pretty good at chess. I took to it from the moment I first
encountered it at age 11. But Go is another story entirely. I
have never succeeded in getting "the feel" of the game. I find
the two games quite different in the type of mindset required to
successfully master them. So I think a direct question of which
game requires more intelligence or is more difficult or whether
they are equivalent is ill formed.

There are also different ways of playing even within a single
game. Once in my life I played chess in a way that was almost
completely different from my normal chess playing mode. It is
difficult to describe. I saw/felt/intuited the possibilities
from any position. It was more like choreography than playing
chess. I saw instantaneously how groups of pieces and moves
would play against groups of response moves and pieces without
the usual labor involved. It was quite strange and wonderful.
In this mode I beat a state champion three games in a row, each
time in less than 40 moves. I am usually not *that* good to
say the least.

- samantha

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