Wednesday, December 25, 2013
The difference between the good and the best
Susan Polgar: What it takes to reach the worldwide pinnacle of chess mastery
The question of the week is what makes the difference between a good grandmaster and a world champion/world No. 1 player?
It is extremely difficult to become a grandmaster. Some say that it is much more difficult to earn a grandmaster title than a Ph.D. degree.
One has to dedicate years of studying chess to get to this level. It is a lifetime commitment. There are only about 1,300-1,400 grandmasters in the world today out of more than 750 million people who play chess. As you can see, even with this dedication, most will not get there.
To be a world champion or world No. 1 player, it is even much more difficult. In addition to the incredible dedication, one must keep up the consistency level year round, has to have incredibly strong will and determination, self confidence, passion for the game, and sometimes a little bit of luck.
I first became the No. 1 woman player in the world when I was 15 years old. I started to learn chess when I was 4. It certainly took a lot of sacrifices on my part as well as my parents. I have often been asked what it took to achieve the trifecta: world No. 1 ranking, world championships (4), and Olympiad gold medals (5). The answer is simple. To be better than your competition, you have to work harder and more efficiently than them.