I am a big advocate for chess and education. I strongly believe that chess can help people of all ages, especially at a younger age, in so many ways. However, I am not and I would never advocate being single dimensional. As evident in this blog, I cover quite a number of topics and issues. It is more important to me to sacrifice a hundred or two Elo points but be a much more rounded and happy individual than to be obsessed with just one thing. I value the importance of education, intellect, physical fitness, and much more. This is how I raise my children and this is what I promote daily. Chess to me is a great tool to give children a wonderful jump start in their lives. Here is a very interesting article about the two sides of genius. What is your opinion?

Child prodigy: Two sides of genius
Stories by S.S. YOGA

Child prodigies may have a headstart compared to their more average peers – but how will they turn out later in life?

…Is it right then to call a child prodigy, gifted?…

…Australian pianist David Helfgott, had to deal with an abusive and overbearing father; Helfgott suffered a major mental breakdown. But he rose above his circumstances and carved a career of popular acclaim. If it sounds familiar, it may be because it inspired the Oscar-nominated movie, Shine.

But that could also be the conventional view of how child prodigies eventually turn out – lives broken and unfulfilled. And there is also the widespread belief that young geniuses are pushed and prodded to extremes by one or both parents.

Just what is a child prodigy, though? According to American developmental psychologist Dr David Henry Feldman, typically it is a child younger than 10 who is performing at the level of a highly trained adult in a very demanding field of endeavour.

Very few scientific studies have been done on prodigies; Dr Feldman and his colleagues did one in 1991.

He notes that there are some fields in which child prodigies are more frequently found. Music is the most common, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has been hailed as the most gifted. Chess has contributed some names, too. The late American chess master Bobby Fischer (who unfortunately fell into the “troubled” category of prodigies) is seen as the most astounding proponent of the discipline. Another science noted for producing prodigies is mathematics.

But such cases are rare in creative fields like writing, dance and philosophy, or even business and law. Dr Feldman has proposed that children are more likely to compete in fields that are highly structured with clear established rules, like music and mathematics. So for those who have more open-ended goals, disciplines such as writing, which require experience and abstract thinking, would be more difficult to master.

Here is the full story.

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