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?