Putin is a very competent chess player and the Chinese leaders are decent Go players and both play international politics with hostile EU/US rulers who are the Bilderberg gang and this gang of intellectual giants don’t understand deep thinking strategy since they win by being very rich and destroying their own social/economic systems, basically looting it. Meanwhile, both Russia and China are securing their nations and building something there instead of driving both deep into debt. Russia Outplays the West
Bloomberg commentator Leonid Bershidsky confirms what we always said would happen: Ukraine is in a bind, Russia holds all the cards, and the Russian economy is bouncing back as Western investors flood back in.
Here is a comment from a reader that I can’t beat:
Muhammad Abbass Vera Gottlieb • 13 hours ago
If they play poker anymore they play it very poorly I’d say. Even if you’re not paying close attention you can see their hand from their faces from the other side of the room. I’d say it is more like a game of snakes and ladders. Snakes crawling about, trying to climb anything that looks like a ladder but failing because they forgot they don’t have any feet.
I went to university when only 16 years old and my parents and grandparents were all scientists and astronomers. My intelligence level was at the very top tier when I was young and I had proof of this by winning scholarships that were based 100% on examinations and tests with no holds barred. Even so, I lack ability in various skills that I attempted in the past such as playing chess. When I was under the age of 12, I did as well as boys when playing chess. Then, they rapidly pulled ahead of me by age 16. I was very frustrated by this. Up until today, no one has any explanation for this strange inability of women to compete at science and mind puzzle games like chess or Go, compared to men and even boys.
Trust me, I was painfully annoyed that I can’t do what men can do. Far from giving up due to being disinterested, I feel to this day tremendous frustration and fury that I can’t come close to the top men in these areas. I did men’s work all my life and did it very well and often, with little extra effort but when it comes to these particular mental gymnastics, I am a klutz compared to intelligent men.
Far from being angry with men about this, I am curious as to why this is happening to me. Why are world class women chess players extremely rare? Around 1% of the top chess and Go professional players are women, after all. Since this requires no brawn, why are women so utterly incapable of competing with men in chess?
One of the explanations given by men who are top players is, women aren’t as ruthless or desire victory enough to compete. I call this hogwash. I am very predatory when competing. I have, for fun, fought in medieval armor on the battlefield where women are also quite scarce and held my own ground and then some, even doing strategy and tactics and one on one combat or even fighting several men at once which is how I broke my arm.
Top genius chess king, Carlson Magnus, demolishes top woman chess queen, Judit Polgar in speed chess tournament in London, 2012.
But I can’t beat men at chess! Most annoying. Media Storm Over Grandmaster Gender Column – Chess.com discusses the concept cooked up by people who don’t want to admit, men have mental powers women seldom have, to explain away why women can’t win very often in these mental games:
A month after publication, a column by GM Nigel Short on gender differences has suddenly caused a heated debate in English media. Short’s remark that “men and women’s brains are hard-wired very differently” is in the center of the argument.
The question is almost as old as the game itself: why are women performing worse in chess than men? In his column for New in Chess Magazine 2015/2 GM Nigel Short attempted to put a different perspective, suggesting “rather than fretting about inequality, perhaps we should just gracefully accept it as a fact.”
Here’s the final paragraph of Short’s column:
“Men and women’s brains are hard-wired very differently, so why should they function in the same way? I don’t have the slightest problem in acknowledging that my wife possesses a much higher degree of emotional intelligence than I do. Likewise, she doesn’t feel embarrassed in asking me to manoeuvre the car out of our narrow garage. One is not better than the other, we just have different skills. It would be wonderful to see more girls playing chess, and at a higher level, but rather than fretting about inequality, perhaps we should just gracefully accept it as a fact.”
Here is a woman top player’s take at the forum: Spektrowski
Chess in Soviet Union were very equal-opportunity, both boys and girls were encouraged to play chess and study in chess schools as early as in 1920s. Despite this equality, Soviet woman players, even world champions, were barely master-strength players (Olga Rubtsova, for instance, won the World Championship at age 47, being a mother of five and only playing chess in her spare time. It’s quite an achievement, but if the world champion is essentially an amateur, that says something about the level of competition). The first grandmaster-strength woman that could compete with men was Nona Gaprindashvili, who came to prominence in the early 1960s. Compare one Gaprindashvili with a few dozens of male masters and grandmasters produced by the same Soviet chess system.
But, at the same time, women faredmuch better in amateur and open Soviet tournaments. So it seems that on casual level, women are generally equal to men. But there is certain something, perhaps not even related to chess strength per se, that prevents most women from consistently playing grandmaster-level chess.
Women still don’t come out on top, as high as men in general at any level of chess tournaments except at the very young levels where I did well for a while. One thing that infuriated me most was, when I began to show signs of being a woman due to hormone changes, my chess abilities faded fast. I fell further and further behind.
Even more frustrating, I could still analyze other people’s games and even anticipate the best moves, both with Go and chess and could even hang out online at top player’s games there even professional players, and give a running analysis in the comments sections and everyone assumed I was also a pro player when I am utterly incompetent to play myself! I marveled at this embarrassing inability, too. I figure, this has something mysterious to do with how humans evolved as tool makers.
Here is a discussion about this business at the Japanese Go Association’s website: Discrimination in Go at Sensei’s Library
BobMcGuigan: I’ll add to dnerra’s remark and say that while there may (I say may) be some physical basis  for the existence of women-only tennis or golf, go is a mind sport so there is really no inherent reason why women and men shouldn’t compete on an equal basis. There may be societal bias which affects women and their ability or willingness to compete. And there are several women who are very strong pro players, even Rui who won an open title in Korea (the Kuksu).
On extremely rare occasions, a woman’s star shines very brightly indeed. But it remains rare like unicorn horns. Instead of delving into why this is so, many excuses are made to avoid delving into the physical, evolutionary reasons.
Tamsin: There are various physical reasons why women might be less disposed toward playing go than men, in fact. Testosterone and oestrogen have radically different effects on a person’s temperament and style of thinking. These hormones have profound effects on different structures in the brain.
This may very well be true. I have a man’s fighting temperament and I have a lifetime of doing male fighting. Way back when I was dating a top Olympic saber fighter, I used to spar with him using saber swords. This was forbidden back then. We campaigned to change the rules and eventually women were allowed to fight this way. Unlike fencing which tags people, with saber you slash hard and it leaves welts which I didn’t mind at all.
After women were allowed to do this finally, very few entered saber fighting. Why is that? I wasn’t the best on earth at that. Women who do end up saber fighting tend to be tomboy types in build and often character but I was neither. I have a very female body. I could feel the sensation of resistance to learning and doing saber fighting from inside myself and was determined to overcome this impulse.
But I was never anywhere near the level of male saber fighters and had no illusions of being as good as them, after all, my teacher was awesomely difficult to win against even if one was a very good male fighter. Nonetheless, I couldn’t ever go scale the heights he scaled seemingly easily.
Velobici: women might be less disposed toward playing go than men what effects might this have? Fewer women studying Go with sufficient vigor to reach professional strength? All women that do study go, studying with less intensity and perhaps not reaching the strength of male players?
Rich: I agree, Tamsin; in fact, while the influence of various sex hormones affect temperament, Perhaps the most obvious way they affect people is developmentally. The quote “Go is a mind sport so there is really no inherent reason why women and men shouldn’t compete on an equal basis” seems idealistic; since sex hormones during development radically affect almost every aspect of the body – muscle, hair growth, skin tone and so on – why should it be a surprise that it affects brain structure? Other individual competitive mind sports, like chess, are equally male-dominated.
I don’t know one way or the other, and personally have no clue whether it’s nature or nurture; but consider this – if women are generally less physiologically disposed to high-level success in go than men, so what?
It matters a lot. The curious hole in studying the reasons why women can’t compete in science, math, mental games like Go or chess, is political. No one dares venture into ruthless research in this vital area. Instead, all sorts of goofy excuses are made to explain away this fascinating difference between men and women.
Here is a typical attempt at being stupid: Are Girls Bad at Chess? – Scientific American (which has been dumbed down over the last 60 years I have read the magazine):
Psychologists have hypothesized that repeated exposure to stereotype threat might cause people to avoid the activities that are causing the threat. In other words, one reason why women may shy away from math-oriented careers is because of their previous experiences with stereotype threat in math-related situations. To see if this might be happening with young female chess players, Rothgerber and Wolsiefer looked at the number of tournaments played by their research participants in the following year. In addition, they calculated the number of months that passed until each player competed in their next tournament. They found that girls who performed more poorly than expected tended to play in fewer tournaments the following year. They also waited longer before competing again. For boys, their performance was unrelated to their later decisions to continue playing. Therefore, only girls who perform more poorly than expected seem at risk to give up on chess.
So, ‘girls give up!’ is the scientific answer???? I want to saber sword slash these dumb psychologists. I hate giving up. I want desperately to compete. Yet I find this odd mental discomfort place where men are quite comfortable and it is not due to psychological problems. My parents and grandparents wanted my sisters as well as me to excel in these areas and yet we struggled to do what our several brothers did so seemingly effortlessly.
This research demonstrates that stereotype threat may, in fact, thwart performance in real-world situations. Even outside the laboratory, where there are so many variables at play, stereotypes have the potential to cause vulnerable individuals to falter. Overall, the study suggests that stereotype threat may be an issue for even young girls and may contribute to girls’ early avoidance of certain activities. To prevent girls from giving up in areas where they are negatively stereotyped, parents and educators may need to step in early.
Except, due to zero research in this fascinating field of study, the differenced between male and female brains, the brainiacs debating this issue want more efforts to lead female horses to the water trough to drink when the horses have no interest in drinking but rather would eat grass instead. A round about verbal way of saying, ‘You can lead a horse to water but can’t force it to drink’.
Lots of wasted effort goes into forcing people to do or learn things they don’t want to do or learn. Meanwhile, males who excel in these things are chastised for being mean to others when they compete ferociously with each other in these areas. Demands that they make nice and back down are heaped on high level males especially when they are boys. This does not happen with sports.
Everyone accepts that women are hopelessly inferior to men in sports and women therefore, universally, have their own sports areas to compete only with each other. This is true in Go and chess: women prefer to go for their own sex specific titles. The few who make it to the upper 1% of players in the male world remain very much a 1% of the top 1% and seldom anywhere near the very top rankings.
At a debate raging on another chess forum is this comment: Why are men better at chess than women at the GM level and all other levels? – Quora
2) Some boys as teenagers have an extraordinary ability for tunnel vision and can spend long hours in front of the chess board while loving every single second. Those are typically the one that become very good chess players. I simply did not see that same behaviour in most girls, with a few exceptions.
3) At the top level (grand master level and higher), there might be other subtle reasons contributing, that are of neurobiological origin. I just don’t know and I don’t think you can scientifically test this easily.
The last comment is BS. This is ridiculously easy to scientifically test for this. But no one dares do it. At universities, any professor doing this would be terrorized, lose his or her position, they would be hounded by screaming students, the administrators would begin sabotaging their daily lives on campus. The media would attack violently, politicians would demand the professors be investigated.
All hell would break loose. So instead, we pretend that girls are weaklings who give up because…they are GIRLS! I am highly insulted by this. I never give up due to being a weakling, I gave up due to recognizing I didn’t have the ability due to something different in my brain. I can see clear as day, how the top chess and Go players think and operate their brains but I can’t do it myself! How annoying is that?
Very annoying. Congratulations, all you guys: you have something I will never have.
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