Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

The role of domain-specific practice, handedness, and starting age in chess

Gobet, F. and Campitelli, G. (2007) The role of domain-specific practice, handedness, and starting age in chess. Developmental Psychology, 43 (1). pp. 159-172.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.43.1.159
*Subscription may be required

Abstract

The respective roles of the environment and innate talent have been a recurrent question for research into expertise. The authors investigated markers of talent, environment, and critical period for the acquisition of expert performance in chess. Argentinian chess players (N = 104), ranging from weak amateurs to grandmasters, completed a questionnaire measuring variables including individual and group practice, starting age, and handedness. The study reaffirms the importance of practice for reaching high levels of performance, but it also indicates a large variability: The slower player needed 8 times as much practice to reach master level than the faster player. Additional results show a correlation between skill and starting age and indicate that players are more likely to be mixed-handed than individuals in the general population; however, there was no correlation between handedness and skill within the sample of chess players. Together, these results suggest that practice is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the acquisition of expertise, that some additional factors may differentiate chessplayers and nonchessplayers, and that starting age of practice is important.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: American Psychological Association Inc.
Copyright: © 2019 American Psychological Association
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/53824
Item Control Page Item Control Page