Saturday, May 28, 2011

It Happens Everywhere?

Who is Tyler Cowen?
When Tyler Cowen was 15, he became the New Jersey Open Chess Champion, at the time the youngest ever. At around the same age, he began reading seriously in the social sciences; he preferred philosophy. By 16 he had reached a chess rating of 2350, which today would put him close to the top 100 in the U.S. Shortly thereafter he gave up chess and philosophy for the same reason: little stability and poor benefits.
He’d been reading economics, though. He figured that economists were supposed to publish, and by age 19 he had placed two papers in respected journals. As a PhD candidate at Harvard, he published in the “Journal of Political Economy” and the “American Economic Review.”
They were weird, strange pieces,” he says, “but still in good journals, top journals. That cemented my view that I could, you know, somehow fit in somewhere.” I ask him what he was like, what made him doubt he could fit in.
I was like I am now.”
You’ve always been like that?”
Always. Age 3. Whatever.”
What did you do at age 3?”
Read a lot of books.”
Who is Tyler Cowen? Well, the point of this  post is not to share with you who Tyler Cowen really is, but just to point out that quitting chess not only happens in Malaysia, but also in the US due to the same reasons, as given by Tyler:
Shortly thereafter he gave up chess and philosophy for the same reason: little stability and poor benefits.
For the full story, read here. Oh, by the way, if you are still wondering who Tyler Cowen is, he is an economist by profession and shares the blog known as Marginal Revolution, the blog that directed about 3,000 visitors to Ilhamuddin's post on Dominic Strauss-Kahn.

P/S: In case all of you have not noticed, I am trying to get you all to quit chess as soon as possible in my two recent posts so that I will stand a chance in local events.


  1. Hi Ninja,
    Another economist that plays chess is Kenneth Rogoff, a chess GM, Harvard professor and used to work as economist (research) at IMF.

    Maybe i should start to read economic as well :)

  2. I think it works the other way round. Strong chess players can succeed in other fields. Sadly, it is not so much the case great economists can play good chess. I have empirical evidence for this.

    But if your intention is to quit chess, I have no issues with that :P Clearly :P