chapter  4
12 Pages

Practice Makes (Almost) Perfect

ByFernand Gobet

The pendulum has swung to the practice side, in particular due to the popularity of the deliberate practice framework, developed in 1993 by Anders Ericsson, Ralf Krampe and Clemens Tesch-Romer. Therefore, deliberate practice is possible only when there is a suitable environment, including strong financial and family support. If players must acquire a large number of chunks to reach high levels of skill, then it stands to reason that they will have to devote considerable amounts of time to study and practice chess. Group practice, which included competitive games and practicing with other players, had a more important role than individual practice. The younger the players started practicing chess seriously, the better they became. The degree of handedness was less extreme with chess players. There is a seasonal pattern in several sports as well. The importance of talent in chess has received strong empirical support, mostly from research into intelligence but also from research into personality.