Chess is an interesting game. This is the game of chess that I lost last night against my kid.
I guess I could win a game, if I really cared enough about it. You have to plan out your moves several steps in advance in order to actually beat someone. I wonder if there has been any scientific studies on kids who play chess, and how successful they become in life. I can debunk that theory. I once tried to learn to play chess from some guy who was a recovering crack addict. Of course, who knows, he might have ended up successful after all.
I know loads of successful people who don’t even play chess so I guess that’s why a group of scientists decided to make up their own game to determine how kids will turn out later in life.
It’s called the Marshmallow Test
Here’s how it works. You sit a kid down at the table and hand them on big fat marshmallow. The kid can eat the marshmallow, but if they can wait 15 minutes without eating the marshmallow, they can have 2 marshmallows. Then the scientist left the room and came back in 15 minutes.
The kids who waited were able to turn around and entertain themselves to keep their mind off the marshmallow.
Scientists studied 1,000 kids as they grew up and reached adulthood. The kids who didn’t eat the marshmallow, were more likely to become successful and made higher grades on the SAT. Even the kids who came from poor families who didn’t eat the marshmallow, grew up and were able to get high paying jobs.
The kids who ate the marshmallow, were more likely to get pregnant as teenagers, get into crime, and get low paying jobs.
These scientists proved that self-control can get you far in life. They didn’t manage to get how to tips from the parents of these kids who had iron wills. Seriously, sure, that totally makes sense, but what I want is a “how to” booklet to tell me step by step how it’s done.
I found this “Marshmallow Test” fascinating because I read this book by Malcolm Gladwell called “The Outliers.” There was this scientist guy who gathered the geniuses of the world, kids who scored 130 or above, and these guys just turned out to be ordinary people later in life. As it turns out, the higher the IQ, the less likely you are at being very successful. Maybe they were just too smart to get lured into the “Rat Race”. Maybe they didn’t want to work at some pointless meaningless job just so they could buy a bunch of stuff to impress people they really don’t care about.
My daughter made below average on her IQ test at school, yet passed the Marshmallow test with flying colors.
Just for the record, I thought up a great chess strategy to help those who are playing chess with a grand master in a tournament. If you find that you need to pass and you can’t move without loosing, simply blow a little pepper into the opponents face without them noticing. While the opponent sneezes, tap a piece on the board twice to make it sound like you moved. If they ask where you moved, you don’t have to tell them. They’ll be so confused that they might not win the game.
(FYI: I bought the multi-game board at a garage sale for $5)