I have a lot of friends who are good at chess, and I do think chess is a pretty good determinant of intelligence, and perhaps a better determinant of academic and career success.
I was in a chess club through seventh or eighth grade, and really never got that good until the first machines came out because they played perfectly – too perfectly.
But as an illustration, There are three reasons I am not very good at it:
(a) Puzzles vs Problems ethic: I have a problem with puzzles as wasted effort, when I should be working on problems. Just as I have a problem going from books to problems, rather than from problems to books. So in effect I see playing games that require more than casual attention (cards), as an immoral waste of my time. (Which a certain girlfriend in college beat into me through insults as well.) So I cant make myself spend times on such things without feeling like I’m letting the time run out on my lifespan.
(b) Working (short term) memory – one of the reasons I became interested in IQ is the understanding of both the myopia of my autistic thinking and what I began to understand was a problem for me in arithmetic calculation despite my abilities in mathematical reasoning. I work on certain categories of problems partly because I seemed to have a fairly weak working memory compared to other students. I have trouble adding and multiplying, or working with a lot of states: like origami requires. I have no problem reasoning. I can detect truth content pre-cognitively, and I can define spectra – lines of causality. I cannot however juggle many independent and as I see it – unrelated – states of things.
(c) Limited lateral thinking. (which I suppose I could overcome with practice) but not only do I have trouble with humor – which depends upon it, with cunning in a game of chess (i tend to play aggressively with every move and am too concerned with optimum moves and can be baited by them), but I tend not to find ‘shortcuts’ so much as ‘truths’.
Basically ‘if its in motion in time’ I intuit it. If it exists in states I don’t. Everything consists of flights of arrows.
This tells me a lot really, because again, I see the world as a division of cognitive labor, with all these variations in smart people producing different ‘sensors’ that detect different ‘bits’ of reality, and our voluntary cooperation and trade as the information system by which we different sensors share that information.
Man is a gloriously fascinating creature.
The Propertarian Institute