Can Everyone Become Talented? – Story of the Polgar Sisters (animated)

Can Everyone Become Talented? – Story of the Polgar Sisters (animated)

Laszlo Polgar, a Hungarian educational psychologist,
was one of the earliest advocates that great performers are made, not born. He had argued, that dedicated practice in
any chosen field, could transform any healthy child into a genius. “Children have extraordinary potential, and
it is up to society to unlock it”, he says. “The problem is that people for some reason,
do not believe it.” “They seem to think that excellence is only
open to others, not themselves.” Back in 1960s, when Polgar was contemplating
his experiment, his idea about talent was considered so absurd, that a local government
official told him to see a psychiatrist to get rid of his delusions. But Laszlo could not be stopped that easily. He realized that the only way to prove his
theory was to test it on his own future children. So he started exchanging letters with a number
of young ladies, in search of a wife. He found a young Ukrainian woman named Klara. Like many at the time, she thought he was
crazy, but they agreed to meet. Amazingly enough, she found his arguments
irresistible and ended up taking part in his bold experiment. In 1969, Klara gave birth to their first daughter,
Susan. Laszlo spent hours trying to decide on the
specific area in which Susan would be groomed for excellence. He needed Susan’s achievements to be so dramatic,
that nobody could question their authenticity. This was the only way to convince people,
that their ideas about innate talent were all wrong. And then it struck him: Chess. Polgar said it was chosen because it was objective. If his child had been trained as an artist
or novelist, people could have argued about whether she was really world class or not. But chess has an objective rating based on
performance, so there is no possibility of an argument. Although Laszlo was only a hobby player, he
read as much as he could on the method of teaching chess. He schooled Susan at home, devoting many hours
a day to chess even before her fourth birthday. He did it playfully, making great drama of
the game, and over time Susan became hooked. By her fifth birthday she had accumulated
hundreds of hours of dedicated practice. A few months later, Laszlo entered Susan in
a local competition. Almost all the girls qualified were twice
her age or older. But she won game after game, her final score
being being 10 to 0. The fact that such a young girl won the championship
was already a sensation, but winning all the games added to people’s amazement. They thought she was born with natural talent
for chess. Now, this is where the story only begins. In 1974, Klara gave birth to a second daughter,
Sofia. Then in 1976, to a third daughter, Judit. Both Sofia and Judit watched their older sister
Susan being trained by their father and wanted to get involved, but Laszlo did not want them
to start too early. Only when they turned five did he start their
training. The girls were not forced to play, so it didn’t
feel like a chore for them. They were actually fascinated by chess and
wanted to play. By the time they had reached adolescence,
all three sisters had accumulated well over ten thousand hours of specialized practice. Let’s take a look at how they performed: At the age of twelve, Susan became a world
champion for girls under sixteen. Less than two years later, she became the
top rated female player in the world. In 1991 she became the first woman player
in history to reach the status of grandmaster. The highest title you can reach in chess. By the end of her career she had won the world
championship for women on four occasions and five chess Olympiads and was the first person
in history to win the chess Triple Crown. Sofia won the girls under fourteen championship. And like her sister, she would win many gold
medals from chess Olympiads and other prestigious championships aswell. But her most extraordinary achievement is
now known as the “Sack of Rome”. She stunned the chess world by winning eight
straight games against many of the best grandmasters. She was just 14 at the time. Her performance at that tournament was rated
as the fifth greatest in chess history. After many record breaking victories in her
early teens, Judit became the youngest grandmaster ever – male of female – in history, at the
age of fifteen. She has been the number one female chess player
in the world for well over a decade. Over the course of her career, she had victories
over almost every top player in the world and is universally considered to be the greatest
female player of all time. The story of the Polgar sisters provides evidence
for Laszlo’s theory of dedicated practice. But the public was sure that, the sisters’
success, was a consequence of unique talent. Susan was even described by the local newspaper
as a child prodigy. But this is an iceberg illusion. We only see the fruits of labor, but not the
hard work behind the curtains. As Laszlo puts it: “If they had seen the painfully
slow progress, the inch by inch improvements, they would not have been so quick to call
Susan a prodigy.” Also neither Laszlo nor Klara could have passed
on any innate chess ability to their daughters. Laszlo was only a mediocre player, and Klara
had demonstrated no chess ability at all. The sisters’ success resulted only from their
years of intensive work. At the same time, it must be noted that the
sisters did not achieve equal levels of success. The middle sister, Sophia, did not reach the
heights of her two sisters and everyone seems to agree that she was the least committed. Although she did become the sixth ranked woman
in the world. Even Susan said that Sophia “was lazy”. And Sophia herself agreed, that she would
give up easier than Judit and never worked as hard as she did. Likewise, everyone seems to agree that Judit,
who rose highest, worked hardest and practiced the most. So here’s a question for you: Does everyone have the capacity to become
a talented individual? The sisters would say that yes, any healthy
person can become an expert in their own domain, if they put in enough dedicated practice. Their own stories have convinced them that
their father was right about talent. As Susan put it: “My father believes that
innate talent is nothing, that success is 99 percent hard work.” “I agree with him.” Thanks for watching till the very end. I hope you found the story of the Polgar sisters
as fascinating as I did. If you enjoyed the video, don’t forget to
press that like button. And if you’re new to the channel, make sure
to subscribe. Together we’ll become better than yesterday.

100 thoughts on “Can Everyone Become Talented? – Story of the Polgar Sisters (animated)

  1. Hard work is 99% and the remaining 1% is "talent" which is combination of: intelligence, temper, conscientiousness, good relationships and money as well as simply luck, while people think that "talent" (which they think is some magical trait of a person) is about 90% of success.

  2. To be fair, innate talent plays a factor in success. Needless to say, I know this video isn’t trying to say the opposite. Unfortunately, a lot of people in positions of instruction fail to see it as just a factor and lean on it as an excuse for their shortcomings in nourishing potential. From fitness instructors who imply you have bad genetics to university professors who think their students are dumb they’re all guilty of this. I think this sort of thinking, which is a defense mechanism for the unknown, is the main reason for the existence of “it’s all talent” as a platitude.

  3. Genetics sets the range of ability and behavior determines where in that range you find yourself. You can't be greater then your genetics but if you apply yourself fully you will be greater then you imagine

  4. The William's sisters storie is quite similar. Who ever dedicate all his énergie to make his childrend good at something will succeed. Most parents don't care about this.

  5. To really put this hypothesis to the test, he should have had children with a lot of women with different backgrounds. Then give the same training to all the kids.

  6. Damn… I was thinking to do a similar thing.. I know and have noted what all mistakes i have made in my life.. Also i have kept a diary…

    When i have babies, (a guy to be precise)… I'll make him the better version of me… I'll teach him every positive trait i have and also fix my negative traits for him…

    I'll make him epitome of confidence, teach him business at a very young age.. Teach him to be social perfection, teach him the ways to get a girl… Make him travel alone and find a partner…

    Its like I have planned out his entire life by now…

    Just to show that yes, we can indeed create geniuses by dedication…

    (I didn't knew some experiment like the one in video has happened before)

  7. Hard work is a main contributing factor regarding talent, but, some people are born wetter suited to excel. I’m sure there must have been a basketball player who practiced just as hard, if not harder than Michael Jordan but he’s the best of all time. Hard work plus genetics plus competitive will = greatness.

  8. This video would be 100% true if everyone was born the exact same and nobody had different genes, however its a fact that some things are genetic and people will be better at some things than others naturally. This is not just an excuse for lazy people to complain about people better than them, myself and many people i know can spend thousands of hours actively trying to improve at a skill while seeing others do better with much less time and effort put into the same task. If you took 1 person who was a midget and another person who was very tall and trained both to the same skill level, obviously the taller person would do better, through no fault of the shorter person. This video is misinformation based on an assumption that is blatantly false.

  9. We often hear about people who excel at their sport starting at an early age. But what about those who started late? Isn't there anyone who started something in his adulthood and made it to the top? Please bring us some stories of those rare jades as well. I'd really be grateful to you because so far I haven't come across anyone who started at their 20s or 30s or… and became a legend. I'm sure those peope will inspire your viewers including me to lot as most of usdon't start that early in life.

  10. The thing is that imo it is possible to become world champion level talented at anything only when you start very early from childhood, natural talent is not that important but grooming surely is, you can't become a world champion at anything(lets say chess) if you start around 18-20. Surely you can become good enough but never "the best" in the world.

  11. Selection bias – the family members are all selected for their high IQ. No doubt their practice was huge important, but they probably had a strong IQ advantage over the average. So no, you cannot simply train anyone to be a chess master. Redo the study and give equalized practice to non-siblings of differing IQ.

  12. Thank you for this video; which, I have enjoyed very much.  Hence, I have purchased the four Lazlo Polgar Books; and, also, have purchased the Susan Book; and, additionally, I have purchased the three Judith Lazlo books too; all of which, I intend to study.  Incidentally, I agree with the PoV which you bring the foreground re: the principle of 10,000 Hour principle, and, the aspect of dedicated practice, which, I need to put in to practice in my music practice and studies.  I recognise this aspect from my studies in Six Sigma, and Total Quality Management.   Thank you.

  13. I believe that there is a natural talent. For example there are people who are better than everyone else without putting any effort. Messi is better than Ronaldo but ronaldo tries 3x harder

  14. The problem with this is that the husband + wife are clearly smart people to begin with. To even consider this an idea of a study and commit to it makes them far, far above the standard echelon for parents. Take retard babies (most of the babies born in the world) and they cannot become world champions of chess despite all the help in the world. That's not to say environment is useless, far from it, but to say this study proves that environment is everything is really short sighted. It's both.

  15. Chess are mainly a game of mind so the dedication and practice yelds a lot IMO, tennis for example requires strength, agility and power as well as mind and in this case I think and feel that a talent or inborn predispozitions could make a big difference here. Perhaps when learning curves of various players were compared.

  16. Mozart, as a son of a musical instructor, was filled by music when he was a child. The exposure helped Mozart develop his passion and skills. Even at age 6 when he was composing his own pieces, it wasn’t considered that good but he was still able to do it because he had 2 years of musical experience. Then after years and years of thorough training, he was already considered a master at it.

  17. People who truly believe that talented people are born talented and smart people are born smart are just making excuses for their shortcomings LMAO

  18. This is a nice video. I think what sometimes people attribute to talent though could be a number of different things and I feel at times, it is different for each individual. I believe studying these things could help us also see the many different things we can do as humans as well. Others may just have an initial mindset that is perfect for that endeavor which makes it easier for them to learn crafts or skills of a certain type. Others may be more in touch with certain aspects of their coordination which may certain tasks easy for them to do. Others may just be able to control some part of themselves really well which enables them to do some tasks really well. Others may be more inclined to some part of themselves which may make it easier for them to see things that people wouldn't normally see unless they really pay attention because they're always looking out for stuff like that. There's physical considerations too for some. Others might be a combination of the examples I gave. For the most part, I believe that whilst hard work is essential, learning how certain things work and appreciating their meaning and modes of thought and demands opens up certain parts of ourselves which when then applied hardwork could then get us to be like the 'talented' people. 'Talent' can be defined many ways. Just depends on what has captured you. Take some 'artists' Both can be artists yet with different inclinations and interests. Some are amazed more at how some people are able to 'draw from memory' whilst some are amazed at how one can observe so accurately and yet again others seem to easily figure out the best way to move their limbs to draw perfectly whilst others are capable of immersing themselves in such deep and profound imagination. All these things can be learnt and the greatest potential is often with a child or with someone who is willing to begin with a beginners mindset.

  19. I think his theory is true up to a point..and for things like sports,fighting ect that genetics play a role for sure..and even things like the arts..I think that some people have a natural attitude for certain things..but like the saying goes..hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard.💯

  20. All these for their dad's theory? I'm sorry but taking away the freedom of children right from the beginning of their life is not very ethical.

  21. There was a big risk in this experiment. If what the father wanted his daughters to be good at was just too much for the daughters. That would make their life a living hell with the constant idea of failure lurking in their minds.

  22. I’m leaning towards yes. Specialized practices and nurturing environment will make a genius out of someone, but only if that person wants it.

  23. Everyone listen to me chess is a dead game already, it’s hard and boring as shit, it’s frustrating to play and u can’t make a job out of it
    Even lol is better than this dumpster fire if u want to play ANY GAME competitively

  24. I still believe there is something called talent. Some people are inherently blessed at memorising stuff, take carlsen for instance, he worked his ass off no doubt studying 3 well years of analysing chess games but he also had an inherently good memory. I know people who just understand numbers and their property so well that they can just visualise fermat's theorem and number theoretic properties so that they occur to them as as obvious facts as 1+1=2 to us.

    Some people are just inherently blessed and we can do nothing about it.

  25. But chess is all about the mind so you can train that a lot but the body and the skill you need for sports is so much different

  26. This whole video is a complete bs. As what Jordan B peterson said in his lectures that certain people just cannot become a expert in a field even if they want to. It is litmited by IQ and it had been proven to be correct.

  27. Talent is the ability to put all your energy and time into practising a skill, while enjoying it. Being talented at a skill only makes it easier to practice that skill, you may be amazingly talented, but without acting upon your own interests you will never nurture your 'talent' into success. This is what I have learned from my own experience, as someone who is naturally interested and achieves perfect focus on the fields most applicable to me.

  28. So to become good at something you only need:
    – Start from age 3
    – Focus solely on one skill
    – Have parents 100% dedicated to your success in a fun and loving way with no tiger mom psychological torture bs

    Good luck making 'geniuses' to the other 99.999% of the world that can't have these conditions lol

  29. Better then yesterday you should make a follow up video about the children of the sister, because them too are grandmasters and even at a younger age then the sisters…

  30. Wow. Before I would think talent as in born and think of ones that people learn as skills. So everytime someone said I sould join a contest because of my "talents" I would always decline. Missed oppertunities because I thought that I wasn't born with anything special when no one really is. Damn I feel so stupid right now especialy when I would spend hours on that "talent" some would prefer to. Great vid btw.

  31. Life knows that all things in one person can destroy all things. The solution is to divide into many small things. Thus one person cannot work alone, but people can work together.

  32. Interesting that geneteics is supposed to have zero or little influence – but no comment about special tournaments for girls – now why is that?
    Because genetics obviously have an undeniable and overwhelming influence!
    Nobody ever denied that structured training improves a skill. That's all this anectdotal evidence shows.

  33. But case studies are unreliable because such the small sample size, there is a chance that these girls just happened to have fantastic genes for chess. Maybe if they were randomly adopted kids it would be better.

  34. There is a difference between talent and skill. If you train yourself or get trained to do something, it is a skill, not a talent.

  35. that's why I don't believe in IQ tests, it doesn't prove nor measure anything…. as everyone's IQ changes from time to time depending on the level of effort and curiosity/interest on a certain subject.

  36. Sadly interpreters like me have no domain since the sea of a single language is boundless and good mentors are rare to find

  37. "They admire geniuses and will not identify those who work hard as it mean they admit to their own lack of hardwork"


  38. o yea i totally did the same thing in college with the girl I met in Psych class. after 3 children and almost 2 decades later, she remains convinced that we're still doing "the experiment".

  39. I wonder what would have happened if he started training them at the age of 12 or so. Can anyone quote a similar story?

  40. focused on one thing, that's also a really important point. i'm jealous of people who have their lives directed at just one thing and not have to worry about anything else. a lot of people don't have that opportunity to sacrifice everything else 🙁

  41. This doesn't prove anything, because it doesn't have the numbers to prove it (a single example is not considered scientific proof). However, if we were to assume the validity of this research, then it proves the power of innate perseverance, rather than the power of practise.

  42. This is cool, but perseverance comes with a lot of things, it depends upon the society one is influenced by, it depends on the incidents that suddenly take place in life, some kind of realization that makes a person work harder. True, legends are made not born, but it heavily depends upon the circumstances that take place in life, the polgar sister's wouldn't have been successful if Lazio didn't thought of proving the world about his theory, certain shocks that occur in life that open ones eyes and push them to work harder also depends upon chance or destiny, so if thought deeply, then everything that happens in the world is result of some previous cause, and it is a long chain. Thus in this case, one needs to be born with these circumstances, that can be called as luck or in other words- talent.

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