Roger,

Chess is not the best measure of raw mental ability, much of it has to do
with training with people at the highest levels having to spend hours each
day practicing and constantly learning to maintain their level of play.

That particular Hungarian woman you mention was one of three sisters, who
were all trained to play at the grandmaster level:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A1szl%C3%B3_Polg%C3%A1r

So certainly, much of what it takes to be a good chess player can come from
training, and the earlier such training starts, the more effective it is
likely to be.  It is also not uncommon for very good Chess players to be
able to keep a board (or several) entirely in their mind.  However, studies
have shown this is more a memorization of common opening patterns.  When
shown boards with randomized layouts of pieces, both masters and regular
people were equally bad at recalling them:
http://www.psy.fsu.edu/faculty/ericsson/ericsson.mem.exp.html

The same phenomenon with domain expertise was shown with waiters who
memorize orders.  When asked to memorize random words rather than menu
items they fared no better than the average person at memorization.

Interesting video, thanks.

Jason

On Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 8:28 AM, Roger Clough <rclo...@verizon.net> wrote:

>  Hi -
>
> This national geographic special shows a young
> hungarian lady who can essentially play and win five
> games of chess blindfolded. Instead of a blindfold, here she
> is playing only by voice to voice over a  mobile phone.
> Her father, a psychologist, trained her to excel at chess.
> This would seem to argue for nurture versus nature,
> for chess is a position-sensitive game.
>
>
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wzs33wvr9E
>
>
> Also of interest is that the part of the right side of the
> brain that deals with spacial relations (not getting lost
> while hunting) is thicker in males. But the corpus
> calliostrum or tissue connecting the right and left
> sides of the brain is more substantial in females.
>
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