“Pas-sion (noun). Boundless enthusiasm”

~ American Heritage Dictionary

Michael Gelb talks about the research done on chess grandmasters, chess masters, and chess experts in his tape Creative Genius. It’s fascinating.

First, a little background: a chess master is so good that he can beat a room full of 25 chess experts—at one time!! A chess grandmaster is so good that he can beat a room full of 25 chess masters at one time!

The researchers wanted to know what made chess grandmasters grand masters. Was it superior IQ? Better memory? Better logic?

What they discovered was that the chess masters and grandmasters were, in fact, significantly more intelligent with significantly better memories, etc. than the chess experts. However, there was no significant difference between the grandmaster and the chess masters. They were, in essence, equally brilliant.

What then, distinguished the grandmasters and allowed them to so handily beat the masters if they had essentially the same intellectual capacity?


The grandmasters were more passionate about chess. They loved it so much that they were always thinking about it–they lived, breathed, and ate chess!…leading to a level of excellence that was far superior to any other players in the world.

What are you most passionate about?

Of what will you become a grandmaster?

My guess: The two are probably the same thing…


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