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The Wiley Handbook of Genius by Dean Keith Simonton

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17 Cognitive Processes and Development of Chess Genius An Integrative Approach

Guillermo Campitelli, Fernand Gobet, and Merim Bilalić

Introduction

There has not been a better time to write about chess genius. On January 1, 2013, the 22-year-old Norwegian player, Magnus Carlsen, reached the highest international rating – 2,861 Elo points – in the history of chess, above the likes of Garry Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov, and the late Bobby Fischer. This is one of many achievements by Carlsen. In 2004, Magnus became a grandmaster at the age of 13 years and 148 days; he became the youngest player in history to break the 2,600 Elo points barrier at the age of 15 years and 32 days, the 2,700 Elo points barrier at the age of 16 years and 213 days, and the 2,800 Elo points barrier at 18 years and 336 days. On January 1, 2010, at the age of 19 years and 32 days, he became the youngest chess player in history to reach Number 1 in the world ranking, and on November 2013, he became world chess champion.

Carlsen is not the only example of impressive achievement at a very young age. The 21st century has witnessed extraordinary chess performances by teenagers. The Ukraine-born Russian, Sergey Karjakin, holds the record for being the youngest player to obtain both the international master title at the age of 11 years and 11 months (in 2001) and the grandmaster title (12 years and 7 months, 2002). Just after turning 12, he was hired by Ukrainian, Ruslan Ponomariov – another player with remarkable ...

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