30 December 2008

Battle of the Sexes

girl playing chessEd Yong has a great post over at Not Exactly Rocket Science. (Seriously, I might have to put it on both my blogs.) The question here is "Are men better than women at Chess?", and by association "Are men smarter than women?". [Image from Corbis]

The short answer is ...

Far more men play chess than women and based on that simple fact, you could actually predict the differences we see in chess ability at the highest level. It's a simple statistical fact that the best performers from a large group are probably going to be better than the best performers from a small one. Even if two groups have the same average skill and, importantly, the same range in skill, the most capable individuals will probably come from the larger group.
... no. Don't let that stop you from reading the full post though.

The article goes on to discuss Elo scoring as well, something I've mentioned before and will come back to again.
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