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    #247764 - 11/24/20 04:59 PM Queen's Gambit, chess, and gifted children
    mithawk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/25/11
    Posts: 255
    I am only on this site occasionally and coming back, I was surprised there wasn't a discussion on chess given the popularity of Queen's Gambit.

    Chess is a cerebral game that was a natural fit for my DYS. He happened to excel at it, but I think it's wonderful for all skill levels whether played just for recreation or competitively.

    Queen's Gambit is such a big hit that interest in chess has increased immensely. It's too early to tell, but the biggest impact might be on more girls playing in what was primarily a boy's activity. Let's hope they stick with it.

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    #247765 - 11/25/20 08:01 AM Re: Queen's Gambit, chess, and gifted children [Re: mithawk]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3738
    I'm a little surprised there hasn't been chatter on it either...but it's been quiet on the forum recently.

    I agree; I hope the biggest impact is encouraging young people of all descriptions to view chess as something for them. (And this from someone whose chess-minded sibling gave up on teaching the game to! I'm not a very visual spatial person...perhaps a different approach would have been more successful.)
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #247772 - 11/27/20 06:44 AM Re: Queen's Gambit, chess, and gifted children [Re: mithawk]
    Eagle Mum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/24/20
    Posts: 85
    Loc: Australia
    I havenít watched the tv series, but thought Iíd post that DH & DS love chess and have studied it quite deeply (separately & together) but they only play against chess computers. They donít enjoy the adversarial nature of actual Ďover the boardí games against human opponents.

    DH has played in three tournaments as an adult and because his ELO rating (from his youth) was so far below his actual ability (he can even play simultaneous games of blindfold chess although he regards this as just a parlour trick to impress his father-in-law & my uncles), he caused tournament upsets which were written about in chess news. DS doesnít have an ELO rating so he could make quite an interesting debut one day if he chooses, but he prefers activities where he can focus on PBs (track & field athletics, speedcubing). He is training for maths olympiads which is a competitive arena, but heís mainly in it for the enjoyment of problem solving and his biggest passion of all is music composition. Although Iíve never sought to influence his choices, I am pleased with how he elects to spend his time.

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    #247783 - 11/29/20 02:13 PM Re: Queen's Gambit, chess, and gifted children [Re: mithawk]
    mithawk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/25/11
    Posts: 255
    Your DH must be quite good to be able to play multiple games of blindfold chess. My son is a Master and he can do one game blindfold against a player about 400 points below his level.

    Anyway, Queen's Gambit is excellent. Everyone in our family enjoyed it, and my son reported that the chess is portrayed very accurately. But note it's not meant for young kids given the substance abuse.

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    #247785 - 11/29/20 09:34 PM Re: Queen's Gambit, chess, and gifted children [Re: mithawk]
    Eagle Mum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/24/20
    Posts: 85
    Loc: Australia
    Originally Posted By: mithawk
    Your DH must be quite good to be able to play multiple games of blindfold chess. My son is a Master and he can do one game blindfold against a player about 400 points below his level.

    Anyway, Queen's Gambit is excellent. Everyone in our family enjoyed it, and my son reported that the chess is portrayed very accurately. But note it's not meant for young kids given the substance abuse.


    Congrats to your son for his Master title!

    My father & uncles were just amateur players (only played against each other), so thatís why DH says itís just a parlour trick (DH has played quite successfully against a number of IMs & GMs online). DH & DS do have very good visuospatial skills and theyíve honed it in other areas (MRI, speedcubing, Olympiad level geometry).

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    #247790 - 12/01/20 07:44 AM Re: Queen's Gambit, chess, and gifted children [Re: Eagle Mum]
    mithawk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/25/11
    Posts: 255
    Originally Posted By: Eagle Mum
    (DH has played quite successfully against a number of IMs & GMs online).

    Whoa! That doesn't just happen without serious natural talent given how little he has actually played. If he wanted, DH could win many regional tournaments and win some prize money.

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    #247791 - 12/01/20 12:29 PM Re: Queen's Gambit, chess, and gifted children [Re: mithawk]
    Eagle Mum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/24/20
    Posts: 85
    Loc: Australia
    He did win a local tournament & prize money a few years ago. As I first posted though, he did study the game quite seriously/deeply on chess computers for a few years, so itís not like he hasnít explored most of his potential. As it was, I think, after he took his age and the social scene into consideration, he decided heíd explored it sufficiently & turned to other things (such as currently being an examiner in his field of specialty).

    At one time, heíd also gone back & progressed from Grade 3 violin level (achieved in his youth) to Grade 7 and played as an amateur in a semiprofessional orchestra which he thought was also as far as he wanted to go, considering his age. One lifetime, with its cares & responsibilities, limits how much an individual can explore their interests. Weíve been in a comfortable financial position to offer our kids the opportunities of professional coaching in any area of interest (Ďa leg upí at a young age so they can get further than we did without any parental support or encouragement) but theyíve preferred to explore their interests on their own. I guess theyíve seen that being a Jack/Jill of many trades even if master/mistress of none (DS isnít notable in any area, but he has nine state/national rankings across his wide range of different interests), can be sufficiently satisfying.

    Itís interesting to note that Magnus Carlsen is quite athletic and attended a sports school.

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    #247792 - 12/01/20 12:48 PM Re: Queen's Gambit, chess, and gifted children [Re: mithawk]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1602
    Chess got very popular about 15-20 years ago and then it fell off. It was assessed to be a game about memorization of all the moves. Hence, the reading of all the series of moves. When it became a game of memorization, rather than strategy, it fell off in favor. I think that achievement anywhere is worth noting, but this started out about chess and popularity.

    I watched Queen's gambit and enjoyed it.

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    #247793 - 12/01/20 09:52 PM Re: Queen's Gambit, chess, and gifted children [Re: mithawk]
    mithawk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/25/11
    Posts: 255
    The openings are memorization. But afterwards it isnít. To think that it is all memorization fundamentally misunderstands the game.

    I am nowhere near the strength of my son, but among strong players the middle game is really about creating tremendous pressure on both sides until one side finds a small weakness in the other to gain better board control or win material. This is where deep visualization, the part where Beth saw moves on the ceiling, is most important.

    Anyway, my point of this thread is that it can be a wonderful game for gifted kids, and for a while at least, is likely to be a popular social activity.

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    #247831 - 12/15/20 08:21 AM Re: Queen's Gambit, chess, and gifted children [Re: mithawk]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    Have to agree that chess is not about memorization!

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    #247832 - 12/15/20 07:23 PM Re: Queen's Gambit, chess, and gifted children [Re: mithawk]
    Emigee Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/23/16
    Posts: 72
    I am also hopeful that this surge in chess interest will bring new players into the game, and perhaps result in more opportunities for play and competition in areas that currently don't have many. This is not related to Queen's Gambit/popularity, but one silver lining of the pandemic for our family has been that our 7-year-old obsessive chess fanatic suddenly has access to all sorts of chess classes, camps, and tournaments that are now online. We live in a small town with no organized chess activities for kids at all, so this is a huge opportunity for him, and he is loving it! Maybe with increased interest in chess, combined with so many chess schools/orgs learning how to run their classes/competitions online, these opportunities will last beyond the pandemic. Even better, maybe there will be enough interest for smaller towns like ours to have in-person offerings!

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    #247834 - 12/16/20 05:10 AM Re: Queen's Gambit, chess, and gifted children [Re: mithawk]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1602
    Chess is a great activity to do online. What does that mean for tournaments going forward? Will it become more of an online event?

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    #247837 - 12/17/20 08:59 AM Re: Queen's Gambit, chess, and gifted children [Re: mithawk]
    mithawk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/25/11
    Posts: 255
    There are two main reasons for in-person tournaments. The first is socialization, and the second is cheating.

    Chess is not a particularly social activity, but certainly more so than staying cooped up at home. And this actually becomes more important as a player becomes more nationally competitive and there are fewer local players that are challenging.

    Cheating is also unfortunately a consideration. We have seen in-person cheating even for as little as $50 prize money, and the tournament director suspected it was happening for months before he was caught (the telltale sign was that it was an adult player that rose quickly, which rarely happens). It's much harder to see/detect online cheating. It might be only a tiny percentage of players doing this, but they will ruin it for everyone.

    My son has played this year in some of the national tournaments that have gone online. At least one of them required two cameras active at all times, the first being the laptop camera and a second being a phone video stream taken from the side to see if someone is looking at a chess engine while playing.


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