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Do You Need a High IQ to Be Good at Chess?

Chess started in a straightforward manner. Over the years, it has become an extremely complex sport. This is a mind or cerebral sport. It is a fight of minds, wills, and wits. Therefore, it ought to follow that if you are already relatively clever, you must be rather good at playing chess, right?

The question, “do I need a high IQ to be good at chess?” has puzzled everyone for years. Many would say yes, while some argue that you can master this sport with effort and practice.

There is a myth about players of chess and chess as a whole, and that is the notion that becoming an excellent chess player needs a high or even a higher-than-average IQ. This article will drive this myth out.

You don’t need to be clever or possess a high IQ to do well in chess. There are GMs or grandmasters out there with a high IQ and grandmasters with a low IQ.  There’s a lot of proof that points to the conception or belief that chess does need a high IQ, as many renowned chess grandmasters in the world do have high intelligence. For instance, the very popular Bobby Fischer had 181 IQ, and today’s reigning chess champion Garry Kasparov has 190 IQ. If you consider that 100 is the average IQ, this is relatively superb and extraordinary. On the other hand, having a high intelligence to be superb and excellent at chess isn’t needed.

For the point of this blog, we will go in-depth as to why chess does not inherently need a high intelligence and why it does seem that possessing a high intelligence might still assist with chess performance.

What Determines My IQ

IQ or intelligence quotient is a vital factor in a lot of areas. An individual IQ usually is measured utilizing the IQ test’s standard assessment.  This test used to determine the IQ level of the person is called the WAIS or Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale or the S-B or Standard Binet Intelligence Scales.

Different IQ tests can be utilized for varying purposes. For instance, other people might require intelligence tests with varying questions because of their background in education and job field. Intelligence tests, in general, takes account of questions that measure non-verbal and verbal skills, short-term memory, fluid thinking, visual perception, and abstract reasoning.

It is vital to keep in mind that intelligence tests can just be utilized to measure a person’s IQ for the time being. In short, someone with a high intelligence at one point in their life might not essentially have a high intelligence at another point in their life due to the ever-changing nature of our minds.

IQ System Flaws

Intelligence tests seem to be a superb approach to measuring someone’s cleverness, but they have a lot of cons in the way they’re administered. For instance, the intelligence test is an extremely subjective test, and the score can change; it all depends on who is supervising it to you. Also, they are likely to emphasize speed when replying to questions that might skew outcomes.

What is more, the intelligence test depends on the interpretation of what is a smart answer to questions. So, it means that the score you get might not essentially reflect your real aptitude.  The major flaw with this test is that they do not measure if a person is able to use their smartness in a practical setting. For instance, somebody might have scored well on the test but could not utilize it in a real setting.

High Scores on Intelligence Tests and Skills in Chess Are Different

Scoring high on an intelligence test and chess skills need different sets of abilities and skills. Not all GMs possess high intelligence, and not all with high intelligence will instantly do well in chess. This is a game that needs hard work, many years of practice, and studies like other skill sets.

Even if IQ tests measure aptitude, they can really be somewhat of a flaw. Someone can have high intelligence but still have awful logic, and vice versa. This sport is complex that needs both expertise in math and logic and knowing the rules and tricks. Chess skills are far different from the kind of chess questions on intelligence tests.  

Players generally don’t learn moves and methods by reading books and studying diagrams. Instead, they learn through playing with computers as well as other human players. Then, players can devise techniques by representing them with symbols and patterns stored in their minds.

Chess is also not something that you can simply memorize, and it needs creativity. You need to think outside the box as well as look at the thing from a different viewpoint while still keeping the mind or thinking on the game. What is more, chess needs patience if you like to be successful in due course. All these are things that an intelligence test may miss.

Does high intelligence mean good performance at chess?

I would say that having high intelligence is perhaps a requirement for becoming a professional player; however, not to be an excellent player. Probably, you can get to at least the ninetieth percentile of players only by grinding harder than everyone else. Probably this is also self-evident; however, having a high intelligence doesn’t mean you’re good at playing chess. 

Can I be good at chess even if my IQ is low?

Some people with low intelligence can often seem to have a good grasp of things that are vital, like compassion and love. If somebody loves chess and wishes to spend the time to be a GM, that is fine, as they’re doing what they love and enjoy. 

To Sum Up 

As a whole, chess doesn’t need you to become smart or possess a high intelligence to do well in this sport. Always remember that not all grandmasters out there possess high intelligence, either. It is just a matter of practice.