: What goes in the making of a chess prodigy?

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The current world champion, an 18year old Magnus Carlsen beat a former world champion Anatoly Karpov who was 57 at the time. I’m sure there must be a lot of instances like this, just pointing out one. I’ve seen kids aged 5-6 beat adults, far-more experienced players. How does this happen?

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Experience can only get you so far in chess. Sooner or later the game will branch out from known situations to something unique and from there the only thing that matters is analytical thinking and work memory. For these abilities the age of 20 seems to be the peak, so young players are at an advantage with their fresher brain (once they managed to learn all the opening situations and how to respond to them)

And I’m pretty sure those 5-6 year olds were savants. Autists with a very specific skill they can do inhumanely good but lack a lot of other skills

We do not know. Of course you need a lot of practice and education in order to become one of the best chess players. And giving people that oppertunity does help people becoming grand masters. We can see this in the number and skills of chess players of the former Soviet Union but also specific areas like for example St. Louis, Missouri. But there does seam to be some unknown factor required to become the worlds best chess player. So we do not know what it takes to become a 3800 rated player and not a 2800 rated player.

A chess board is a size to reasonably allow for a computer to learn every play and optimal moves enough to challenge and defeat high level players. Ultimately it’s a measure of a players ability to map out the probabilities and find these optimal plays while minimizing blunders or in other words, emulate the supercomputers as best they can