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Record Set For World's Youngest Chess Champion 214

Posted by timothy
from the odds-are-one-in-a-billiion dept.
Pickens writes "Hou Yifan, a 16-year-old chess player from China, became the youngest world chess champion on Friday, in the final of the Women's World Chess Championship held in Antakya, Turkey, toppling a record held since 1978. Currently, the top-ranked woman is Judit Polgar of Hungary, who is thought to be the best female player in history but Polgar, once ranked No. 8 in the world among all players, men and women combined, does not compete in women's tournaments and did not play. No one really knows why the best female players are typically not as good at chess as the best men. One theory, common among some top male players, is that men are usually more aggressive by nature than women, and are therefore better suited to a game that simulates warfare. Another, cited in at least one university study, is that the talent pool among women has not been big enough to produce many great players."
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Record Set For World's Youngest Chess Champion

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  • On Women (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AmericanInKiev (453362) on Sunday December 26, 2010 @12:33AM (#34668576) Homepage

    May I suggest politely, that women, in the main, have /two/ paths to success, (or evolutionary strategies) whilst men may have merely one.
    That is that Women can, by merely looking fabulous, simply attach themselves to the success of a /competent/ male, while few males have managed a similar trick in reverse, and that these two strategies compete with each other in a way that dilutes the pressure to be competent. Fabulous women out-compete women who are merely competent in propagating their genes. I would wonder whether, in any species, both genders can adopt the same evolutionary strategy, this is likely not the case, as sexual reproduction leads to mutual exploitation by definition (as each gender conspires to make the other partner more responsible for the child rearing)

  • Not surprising (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NoSig (1919688) on Sunday December 26, 2010 @12:57AM (#34668654)
    Chess requires high IQ, the variance (not average) of IQ (and lots of things) is higher among men than women so you get more male idiots and geniuses. In other words, more men are further away from the average than women - be that better or worse. Hence better top performers in many areas of human activity. Also, more male bottom performers. It's not exactly surprising that women have less variance since they have two different X chromosomes, so the effect of every gene on the X chromosome is the average of two genes from the gene pool, while in men the effect of every gene on the X or Y chromosome is just the effect of 1 gene. So a good X or Y gene gets full effect in a man and a bad X or Y gene gets full effect in a man. In a woman the X genes have two copies so both bad and good genes are likely to be counteracted by the second copy of that gene on the other chromosome. Women don't have a Y chromosome which also means they can't differ in their Y chromosome, again reducing variance.
  • by Tablizer (95088) on Sunday December 26, 2010 @02:32AM (#34668882) Homepage Journal

    No one really knows why the best female players are typically not as good at chess as the best men.

    Past studies have shown that the range of men's brains is wider. Thus both the smartest and dumbest people alive tend to be men. Men are not only wired to take more risks, but their physiology also seems to toss the dice further when putting their genes together.

    In mammalian groups, typically the reproductive quantity difference between the top male and bottom male is larger than that of females.

    This is because the top male can mate many times with multiple females, while the top female can only crank out and raise slightly more than her typical competition. Thus, the reproductive rewards and penalties are more extreme for males.

    This results in males being risk takers by personality and by construction. Recombinant DNA appears set up to take bigger gambles on male design; and this means that for any skill test, the more extremes of the spectrum will tend to be male.

  • Re:Talent pool (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Klinky (636952) on Sunday December 26, 2010 @03:12AM (#34668962)

    Baseball & other sports take more mental prowess than you seem to think, at least on the professional level. A lot of a teams success can hang on managements ability to judge the other team, their own personnel & how they use their personnel.

Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward.

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