I have never considered myself to be particularly intelligent.
Though I have not had myself clinically diagnosed, anecdotal evidence and day to day activities amply demonstrate how stupid I am.
Now wait. This does not mean I am indulging in self pity.
No. Far from it. I have had successes in life. I continue to do well in things that I love to do. I have no complaints there. It is just that I do feel my intelligence lacking. My success is, therefore, despite my stupidity and I take some pride in it.
Of course defending the statement - 'I am stupid' is difficult. Especially without a test that ascertains the fact for certain.
I will make a more nuanced statement as a result. I have less intelligence than the average person around me. That is a more defensible stance and there are tests (even other than IQ) to confirm it.
Aptitude tests are a good example.
I do horrible in them.
Okay, there is an exception - I got into IITB. But that was me trying for a third time. In any case, that is an outlier and I can't consider one or two cases to justify anything. Statistically that would be a crime on my part.
Also, do note that there is a difference between being educated, skilled and wit. I lack the last not the first two. So, if I have some time to ponder over a decision, chances are I will arrive at the correct decision. But split second is not enough. Or, less enough than the average person.
Chess brings this out CONSISTENTLY. I have the knack to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory (in the best cases). In the worst scenarios, the match does not even progress anything beyond the first 20 moves. I sit comfortably in the 40 percentile bracket (below average) out of players numbering more than a million. And I have played over four thousand games. What is interesting is that (all matches are timed) for matches that are timed over 10 or 15 minutes, I end up with a higher ELO rating, something close to even the low level Grandmasters. Which means that I have the skill, just that in lower timed matches my brain is not able to keep up with the requirements.
That is interesting.
I intend to put this to the test and will play 10 matches with 5+3 minutes on the clock and put the results down herein for analysis. I will share my lichess profiles for your analysis if you consider I am bluffing!
Game 1: DEFEAT
This was a good example where I was on the offensive and still managed to lose comfortably. Both of us were making minor mistakes, till I moved my queen to d6 and ran towards defeat. I can guarantee that almost no one with a sane mind will make that move in that position. Except me.
This was totally one sided. I was outplayed from almost the first move. Not much to see here.
Game 3: DEFEAT
This is one of the best example of my stupidity shining through. Few games can actually beat this.
Game 4: DEFEAT
Pretty much whitewashed in the end. Not much of a contest.
Game 5: DEFEAT
Pretty much whitewashed in the end. Again, not much of a contest.
Game 6: VICTORY
I was nowhere near victory, however, the opponent FELT that he was in a tough spot and simply gave up. I did not do very badly here though. But I won this because the other guy just gave up.
Game 7: VICTORY
I kind of distracted the opponent in this game. He made a number of blunders in the end game that allowed me to snatch this win.
Game 8: VICTORY
I fooled the opponent. This I can consider as a sweet victory that I did well.
Game 9: VICTORY
Again, fooled the opponent. This was a pretty smart move from my end. I baited the opponent to take my rook while did a classic Van't Kruijs opening.
Game 10: VICTORY
I kind of dominated the game. I will not make excuses here. The opponent was outplayed in almost every move. I will not say he was outmatched though. So yeah, credit goes to me.
Conclusion: I cannot come to a definite conclusion yet. Suffice to say that the outcome does go 50:50. Perhaps over a period of time, the ratio may skew towards either side. However, the percentile level shows I am slightly better than 13.3% of Blitz players. That is pretty bad.
Even considering cheating, mood to play, form and so on. This shows I am well below average.
The final verdict is not out on this one. But till then, if I have to play and win in Chess, I have to go the extra way.
Is it worth the time and effort (that is how I compensate for my lack of intelligence)?
I don't think so.