Chess is a sport that requires a lot of thought. Isn’t it a battle of the brains, wits, and wills? So, if you’re already intelligent, you should be very excellent at chess, right?
Is it possible to be both smart and poor at chess? Yes, it is possible to be both smart and awful at chess. Being intelligent does not guarantee that you will excel in chess. It just implies that you have the potential to excel at it. Without practice, learning, and dedication, no matter how brilliant you are, you will be a poor chess player.
it’s interesting to consider the relationship between chess, talent, and intelligence. Let’s take a closer look at what science has to say.
Is It Possible To Have A High IQ And Play Bad Chess?
Yes, even if people with high IQs don’t want to brag about their shortcomings, it’s straightforward to deduce that many people with high IQs aren’t excellent chess players.
If we suppose that persons with a high IQ make up 1% of the world’s population, there are 7 billion people on the planet, and hence 70 million people with a high IQ.
Let’s assume that individuals who are “excellent at chess” are delighted to join FIDE in order to compete in their sport. Only about 780,000 FIDE-registered chess players exist.
Even if we assume that the entire group of FIDE was drawn from that pool of the top 1%, we still have the equivalent of 1% of all high IQ individuals in FIDE.
As a result, at least 99 percent of high-IQ people aren’t good enough to play competitive chess. Many people play chess as a pastime and don’t wish to compete, therefore some of these players are simply good players anyway.
But every single one of them? That’s extremely unlikely, and as a result, there are some people with a high IQ but are terrible at chess.
Is it possible to be both smart and poor at chess? Although there appears to be a link between intelligence and potential chess competence, this is not a black-and-white relationship, and research suggests that some brilliant people struggle with the game. However, having potential and realizing that potential are two very different things, and it is very conceivable to be brilliant and awful at chess at the same time.
In fact, we’d argue that it’s not just plausible, but also very common. Despite the fact that there are millions of people who play chess (almost a million of whom are registered with FIDE), there are far more people who do not. Many of those people are intelligent, but if you asked them to play a game, they would be dreadful because they lack the necessary ability and knowledge.
If you wish to become a pro chess player, this may be good or bad news. It means that education through a chess tutor alone is unlikely to make you a great player; you’ll also need a natural affinity for the game, which seems to be measured in intellectual ability.