Avert brain drain
Last Updated: 7:38 AM, March 21, 2010
Posted: 1:12 AM, March 21, 2010

The world’s top-rated player says you can be too smart to play chess.

“Being too intelligent” can “get in your way,” Magnus Carlsen, the 19-year-old Norwegian super-GM, told the magazine Der Spiegel.

He cited the case of Britain’s John Nunn, who at 15 became the youngest student at Oxford in 500 years. Nunn had considerable chess talent and became a solid grandmaster but never got close to the world championship.

“His enormous powers of understanding and his constant search for knowledge distracted him from chess,” said Carlsen.

Carlsen, who said he memorizes episodes of “House,” was repeating a theory of Sherlock Holmes, who helped inspire the TV series. Holmes told Dr. Watson, in “A Study in Scarlet,” that he had never heard of the solar system and didn’t want to know about it. There is just so much room in the human brain, and the additional information about planets and orbits was bound to push out something useful, he said.

Carlsen, who said he isn’t “a disciplined thinker,” said he doesn’t know his IQ — and wouldn’t want to know it. “It might turn out to be a nasty surprise,” he said.

Source: http://www.nypost.com

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