Sunday, 2 November 2008

FIDE Chess Survey by Dr Robert Howard (University NSW) - Preliminary Results

Preliminary Results of a FIDE Chess Survey (University of New South Wales) by Dr Robert Howard

The sample consists of 581 players (to date):
  • 5 grandmasters
  • 25 international masters,
  • 67 FIDE masters,
  • 2 woman’s grandmasters,
  • 2 woman’s international masters,
  • 2 woman’s FIDE masters.
Some survey highlights:
  • Players learned the moves at a median age of eight years old (masters about two years younger).
  • The median age of starting serious play and taking part in the first rated tournament is 14, 12 for masters.
  • Most players have had coaching.
  • Players average around five or six hours of chess study a week, but the range is huge (0 to 60 hours).
  • Number of hours of study of chess material is a factor in expertise level but only a relatively minor one.
Common ideas for what natural talent for chess consists of are:
  • Good spatial ability,
  • High IQ,
  • Good memory,
  • Creativity,
  • High motivation,
  • Strong will to win,
  • Control over emotions,
  • Psychological hardiness.
Eventual grandmasters:
  • Take a median 390 FIDE-rated games from rating list entry to gain the title.
  • Most players do not play anywhere near enough rated games in their careers to have a realistic chance of becoming a grandmaster.
  • About two thirds of those who do play over 900 games actually succeed in becoming a grandmaster.
  • However, those who play over 740 games without becoming a grandmaster on average seem to strike an impassable barrier at around 2400 level.
Analysis of rating data of players who played over 900 FIDE-rated games:
  • Show that eventual top ten players indeed are identifiable from list entry.
  • They get on the rating list much younger on average,
  • They get the grandmaster title much younger and much faster.
  • They rise in the ratings much faster than other grandmasters.
The full report is found here.

If you would like to contribute to this survey, and have a FIDE rating, click here.HTML clipboardHTML clipboard

Tags: Chess - Creativity - Emotion - FIDE - Grandmaster - IQ - Memory - Motivation - Robert Howard - Spatial Ability
Posted by ALCHEssMIST - Alchemipedia alliance.

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