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

Lazslo Polgar, 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.

He realized that the only way to prove his theory was to test it on his own future children. So he found a young Ukrainian woman named Klara, who found his arguments irresistible and ended up taking part in his bold experiment.

In 1969, Klara gave birth to their first daughter, Susan.
Laszlo needed Susan’s achievements to be so dramatic, that nobody could question their authenticity. That was the only way to convince people, that their ideas about innate talent were all wrong. And then it struck him: Chess.

In 1974, Klara gave birth to a second daughter, Sofia. Then in 1976, to a third daughter, Judit.
By the time they had reached adolescence, all three sisters had accumulated well over ten thousand hours of specialized practice in chess. All three sisters would win many championships and set new world records.

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.

So here’s a question for you:
Does everyone have the capacity to become a talented individual?

50 Comments

  1. Vanger on October 31, 2021 at 10:01 am

    Wow so inspiring! Thanks!
    Astonishing results!



  2. PA1 Agyeman Kwadwo Afriyie on October 31, 2021 at 10:02 am

    Everybody is gangsta until they meet they meet the Norwegian lvl.99 boss



  3. Burhan Lakdawala on October 31, 2021 at 10:02 am

    The 375 dislikes are from people who believed she only had talent 😂



  4. andydidyouhear on October 31, 2021 at 10:03 am

    To get to top 10 in chess (or any other discipline) you need an exceptional talent. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluding themselves.



  5. Thrissha Arcot on October 31, 2021 at 10:04 am

    Imagine if every parent did this with their kid



  6. Lance Westveer on October 31, 2021 at 10:07 am

    Hey baby, want to prove a theory?



  7. SmartLearner on October 31, 2021 at 10:07 am

    Your videos should be part of school education



  8. hell fire on October 31, 2021 at 10:09 am

    Judit Polgar had an IQ of 170. Ironically, even if she were to be exceptional at chess, which she is, it’s still not proof of her father’s theory.



  9. robert mills on October 31, 2021 at 10:11 am

    Guy married a completely random women and had children with her just for the sake of a research, I’ve never heard of a more dedicated person



  10. Kevin Bowen on October 31, 2021 at 10:11 am

    At the same time, Judit and Susana have 170+ IQs.



  11. ジョネーJonét on October 31, 2021 at 10:12 am

    This is probably my favorite piece of history and I’m sad not more people have tried to replicate this process. I, too, believe children are capable of so much more than we think and we need to radically alter the way we teach them and what we teach them. I’m sad it seems all the people in the comment section are completely ignoring how valuable this experiment could be towards furthering human society. Regardless of the reason those girls were born is irrelevent. People have kids they don’t want, or are incapable of taking care of, all the time. At least the father wanted the kids and actually carefully considered how he should raise them, something the majority of parents don’t do. The mother willingly volunteered and the girls seem to have turned out fine (looking at Judit’s and Susan’s TedTalks), so there’s no problem.



  12. CHING GAEY on October 31, 2021 at 10:12 am

    Damn credits of atomic habits



  13. Jenna Sink on October 31, 2021 at 10:12 am

    Geniuses are born, not made.
    Just kidding, go practice! #lingling40hours



  14. Roman Soldier on October 31, 2021 at 10:14 am

    Geniuses are made not born 🙂
    All those who feel like they can never be good enough you need to work like a prodigy. This is the truth. Please don’t think that you can never be a genius or be smart. You can be anything you want with resources and hard work.



  15. eLem3nT on October 31, 2021 at 10:16 am

    How can Judit be the #1 female player in the world? Susan is older and older sisters never let younger sisters win.



  16. John Adams on October 31, 2021 at 10:18 am

    Judits games are master pieces



  17. Paul Thang on October 31, 2021 at 10:19 am

    Better than yesterday what about Issac Newton



  18. Mandy簡單國際象棋教學 on October 31, 2021 at 10:20 am

    Great video, thanks for sharing!



  19. THE BRAVADO SHOW on October 31, 2021 at 10:20 am

    LEGEND



  20. Libertas Americana on October 31, 2021 at 10:24 am

    Also shows the importance of good parents spending time with their children.



  21. Kalpana kk on October 31, 2021 at 10:25 am

    Who came here after reading ‘atomic habits’ by james clear



  22. Ais Satria on October 31, 2021 at 10:25 am

    Mirror mirror on the wall who’s the best of Polgar’s sister them all?



  23. REfilming on October 31, 2021 at 10:25 am

    We are a product of our environment, sometimes we can break free if it’s bad but if it’s stimulating then why should we?



  24. 812GUITARS Chavez on October 31, 2021 at 10:26 am

    What was said here about people not respecting hard work,that to achieve a great goal you had to have some kind of specialized talent is very true. Take the Stradivarius violin for instance. Till this day people are arguing about the trees, the chemicals in the varnish, or some other innocuous factor. A great luthier named Jimmy D’Aquisto set to an interviewer once, "why is it that you guys (regular folks) look for every other factor except for the individual that put in the hard work, why can’t it just be that you work hard at something and was able to achieve it (building great violins)". There is something to say about 10,000 hours of hard work, but you should see what happens after 20,000 hours.



  25. bennemann on October 31, 2021 at 10:26 am

    The information in this video at 2:05 conflicts directly with Susan Polgar’s own account. In her version, she says she only found out about the existence of chess when she was 4 already. She says she found some pretty pieces in the cabinet and asked her mom, and her mom told her it was a game, and that her father would teach her when he got home. Yet, this video says Laszlo Polgar taught her for many hours even before she was 4 years old. So who is lying? :-/ Susan’s TED talk where she explains her origins in chess: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c956hc2TdjY



  26. Viktor Skarlatov on October 31, 2021 at 10:28 am

    The "experiment" shows that hard work leads to massive improvement but it doesn’t help with determining peak human performance due to a very small sample size.



  27. Unknown User on October 31, 2021 at 10:29 am

    Obsession breeds monsters



  28. Archange Camilien on October 31, 2021 at 10:30 am

    Ramanujan…



  29. Allah's slave on October 31, 2021 at 10:30 am

    As talent is a matter of proper practice, I’m going to work as hard as I can on my projects (I’m still noob now).
    I’ll UPDATE this comment every 3 months! let’s see what changes happen



  30. Ebola on October 31, 2021 at 10:32 am

    I think the dad was just autistic and his obsessive behavior is genetic and passed onto the children. Also the woman would have to be pretty dedicated to agree to this arrangement as well



  31. Adnan Talebi on October 31, 2021 at 10:32 am

    I don’t think 3 people from one gene pool entering one particular branch could actually prove anything and let us expand this theory the every domain and everyone…



  32. Gopal Deshmuk on October 31, 2021 at 10:33 am

    So that means you have to start very young…..but I am 19 now….sigh



  33. Gatbunton Jethroe L. on October 31, 2021 at 10:34 am

    This is the most amazing story about hardwork and talent I’ve heard! I know Judit Polgar but didn’t know about this story.



  34. lamus4e ptov on October 31, 2021 at 10:38 am

    Great work! Well.done



  35. Miguel Pereira on October 31, 2021 at 10:41 am

    Wrong. Geniuses are born, not created.



  36. AK cristo on October 31, 2021 at 10:41 am

    – I agree with the hard work theory BUT.., this is chees.. everyone who play consistently since 4 years old at some point in life achieved something.. now let’s say… football.. in this case, im sorry only hard work could not be enough. For example Cristiano Ronaldo, he is a beast, he is committed he is responsible he is focussed and the work work work a lot since he was a little kid in Madeira Island, he achieved to the top of football bcoz he of his hard work, but he was talented, if he don’t work so much, he could be a top player in portuguese league, maybe he could do a good 2 3 seasons European level, but no.. he wanted more and he work for that, it work bcoz he have talent too.. so its not so simple like it says in the video, i don’t think its ok to teach a child he could do whatever he want IF he work for that… no! its not like that, its important to teach him to work hard for his dreams, but teach him there are, or could have, limitations and those can be external or can be related with his limitations. Teaching when to stop, teaching to admit our own limitations, teaching how we evaluate ourselves, is one important lessons we can teach..



  37. Ilect on October 31, 2021 at 10:43 am

    But is dedication genetic?



  38. Ahmed B on October 31, 2021 at 10:44 am

    thank you !



  39. Kevin Shen on October 31, 2021 at 10:45 am

    The belief of being born with simple talent is just an excuse for those who don’t try



  40. jesus chan on October 31, 2021 at 10:47 am

    I find the polgar sisters storie very inspiring…



  41. Dark Archon on October 31, 2021 at 10:47 am

    If result is not reproducible, it doesn’t mean much. Children may have been naturally gifted, all of them, given that IQ can be inherited.



  42. milomazli on October 31, 2021 at 10:48 am

    as a hungarian, I greatly appreciate this content!



  43. Shiboline M'Ress on October 31, 2021 at 10:48 am

    I was expecting at least one of the kids to show no interest or aptitude for chess, but instead to be interested in pursuing something else, perhaps even to the extent of rebelling against the family’s great emphasis on chess because she felt "different".

    I don’t think the nature/nurture question can ever be truly solved. Both always play a role. Emotional and relationship issues always factor in too, especially in family dynamics like this one.

    And apart from that, what if one of the girls had been born with a genetic condition that limited or enhanced her abilities in certain areas? Genetics do indeed play a role, just maybe not the one most people might expect.

    Addendum: there are a plethora of instances where children have rebelled against being molded into what their parents want them to be. This guy’s kids are the exception rather than the rule.



  44. John Gicharu on October 31, 2021 at 10:54 am

    Based on my own experiences and observations, I would say that talent is just hard work. No one is born with an innate ability to dance or play football. But once they play, grow passionate and practice for hours on end, they get the skill and that is when the world refers to it at talent.



  45. Gajendra Rathod on October 31, 2021 at 10:55 am

    It’s all about environment and proper guidance which engineers neurons in a certain way.



  46. Skyrat on October 31, 2021 at 10:56 am

    Some of us feel sorry because they were born to prove a point, but they have achieved something most of us will never come close



  47. Lasha Chakhunashvili on October 31, 2021 at 10:57 am

    A factual error at 3:43, Susan Polgar wasn’t the world’s first female grandmaster, she was the youngest female grandmaster. The first female to ever reach the grandmaster title (in 1978) was the Georgian (then part of the USSR) Nona Gaprindashvili.
    https://news.trust.org/item/20201130170326-owkh6



  48. Krishnapriya PB on October 31, 2021 at 10:57 am

    What about soft skills??? Some are naturally talented at it .. while others not



  49. Blogger Blogg on October 31, 2021 at 10:59 am

    My mom’s example shows if you have talent is nothing if you don’t not put work in it. She considered as gifted violinist, but she didn’t like it, neither practice. My grandparents not the best parents, didn’t supported her either, just told her she is lazy, etc. She never received support or motivation from them, like Laszlo did with his daughters. My mom was an unwanted child, so is explains a lot. So, I think first of all the parent matters a lot, and their attitude and support, also need to become genius. But if a child doesn’t motivated or dedicated enough, it not possible. Like my mom, if she was practiced a lot and she was dedicated, got enough support from my grandparents, I am sure she had the possibility to become one of greatest violinist in the world.
    As she says, she always gave up before the finish line and lost interested and that’s the biggest mistake.



  50. Fathima Vp on October 31, 2021 at 11:01 am

    thank you