14 November, 2007

My Brilliant Brain- National Geographic Documentary

My Brilliant Brain is a 3-part series examining the concept of genius- and putting forward the notion that genius is created through perserverence and hard work.

The first episode, screened in Australia last Friday on Pay TV, traced the story of Grandmaster Susan Polgar, who was bought up by her psychologist father as an experiment to prove that, if trained properly, a female can be as competitve on the chess board as any male. In the 1970's this was radical thinking as no female could get close to the top 600 male players in the world.

Some of Susans better party tricks include playing an opponent over the phone- and beating them- without being able to see a chess board. Or, sitting outside a cafe, truck drives past in peak hour traffic with a chess board painted on the side. She gets a three second glance, then places 32 pieces in exactly the same configuration on a chess board in front of her!

Computer animation explains how Polgars brain is different from mine or Sam Grumonts, by using the face recognition part to identify millions of chess combinations.

If you want to watch the 46 minute doco on-line, click here.

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