Bringing Up Genius: Is every healthy child a potential prodigy?

Paul Voosen in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

ScreenHunter_1501 Nov. 20 18.17Before Laszlo Polgár conceived his children, before he even met his wife, he knew he was going to raise geniuses. He’d started to write a book about it. He saw it moves ahead.

By their first meeting, a dinner and walk around Budapest in 1965, Laszlo told Klara, his future bride, how his kids’ education would go. He had studied the lives of geniuses and divined a pattern: an adult singularly focused on the child’s success. He’d raise the kids outside school, with intense devotion to a subject, though he wasn’t sure what. “Every healthy child,” as he liked to say, “is a potential genius.” Genetics and talent would be no obstacle. And he’d do it with great love.

Fifty years later in a leafy suburb of St. Louis, I met one of Laszlo’s daughters, Susan Polgár, the first woman ever to earn the title of chess grandmaster. For several years, Susan had led the chess team of Webster University — a small residential college with a large international and online footprint — to consecutive national titles. Their spring break had just begun, and for the next few days, in a brick-and-glass former religious library turned chess hall, the team would drill for a four-team tournament in New York City to defend the title.

More here.