And to this day I remember vividly a Saturday morning in a draughty village hall where I and 29 other chess playing geeks turned up and paid the grand total of £1 to play against a traveling ‘grand master.’
And the traveling grandmaster played us in turn – and I’ll never forget watching him move from board to board, spending no more than 60 seconds per board before making a move, clicking his chess clock, and then moving to the next board.
And he won every single game.
Every. Single. Freaking. Game.
At the time I was impressed by his results – but just put it down to the fact that he was a ‘grand master’ and therefore naturally more talented at chess than the rest of us.
But if you’ve read many of the posts at One Spoon – especially this one: Do You Believe In Natural Talent? – you’ll know that I’ve since changed my mind on the whole ‘natural talent’ myth.
That conversion came about due to a detailed study of Geoff Colvin’s wonderful book Talent Is Overrated.
Reading Talent Is Overrated gave me a crucial insight into why that long ago ‘traveling grandmaster’ was able to defeat so many wannabe chess players simultaneously.
And that insight is this: the grandmaster had a bigger Domain Map of the world of chess to draw from.