Just Got Good - Because of Training Systems or BOTS?
"I just got good" - Bobby Fischer
Fortunately for Bobby Fischer his "late" blooming talent for chess was not in an era where the was a proliferation of chess bots (chess engines that can run autonomously or manually directed engines to solve chess puzzles or play online games or individual positions during a game and therefore used to cheat at Chess).
Fischer's rapid chess improvement could be explained because he was sat there beating chess masters many years older than him who had a lifetime of chess experience and were masters at Chess.
Before Borislav Ivanov competed in the 2012 Zadar Open chess tournament in Croatia, did he perform some kind accelerated chess training system or was he using a bot? Borislav was accused of cheating because his stellar performance at the tournament. He was subsequently hounded by accusers that he cheated every time he performed well. His story is here.
The question keeps coming back and recently the puzzle rush scores of several young titled talented players were removed from the puzzle rush leaderboard by chess.com for a period of time as they investigated for any irregularities as they saw it, one of them even had his chess.com account suspended but it was since restored and they were all exonerated of cheating. You can read about this here.
The problem with improvement because of training systems or BOTS is that you don't know what the measure of acceptable change in performance is. Someone can use a training system as a rank amateur and come out a master. Look at Neo in the Matrix, he went in clueless and came out knowing Kung Fu and Zen and feeling the force and tons of other stuff including that bending backwards in slo mo thingy.lol
The irony of using a normal distribution to judge if someone is performing at the right level when performance improvement is not linked to a normal distribution (or deviations from it, 3 or more standard deviations was the accepted measure) and is more akin to the performance of highly valued stock in stock market (see Chess Futures) . We see this happening all the time when you see untitled players or IMs performing at super grandmaster level.
In the movie limitless the character Edward Morra gets good by taking performance enhancing pills and his improvement in work and social life in general is so drastic it changes things beyond all comprehension. We could theorize on an accelerated learning system like Chess Master Cube for chess or brain trainers like N Back for general intelligence which could do the same and cause just as much upheaval.
Ultimately the question is do you take the red or blue pill? , as in the Matrix, do you believe there are systems than can without foul play improve someone's performance beyond all recognition or do you not or at least know the difference between cheating and unleashing potential?