Is chess good for your health? Does playing chess increase IQ? These are very good questions because of a simple reason: chess is a battle of intelligence. It’s a battle between the minds of two individuals to see who can come out on top. Of course, it has its limit, where it can always reach a draw if both players play perfectly, but no players has ever achieved this status as of yet. Intelligence and the brain in general is like a muscle; the more you work it, the stronger it gets. With this information headed into our discussion, let’s see if chess really is good for you and if playing chess can increase your IQ.
This post here outlines the basics of IQ vs intelligence and chess’s impact on the brain. It starts off with explaining that IQ and intelligence are not the same thing. This is because IQ (intelligence quotient) is simply a number taken from a test that only addresses parts of the brain. This means that it doesn’t test all aspects of intelligence, therefore can’t be a test to measure overall intelligence. Overall intelligence simply isn’t measurable right now for a variety of reasons, mainly because we don’t fully understand what intelligence really is.
The post then goes into explicit detail about how neurons connect with each other as a chess player trains themselves. Essentially, as more games are built into the memory, more neurons connect, allowing more possibilities to be achieved in chess. It also talks about how chess improves IQ more when played blindly. It also discusses how chess rating should be specifically attributed to one’s ability to have the most games built into the memory and the most neurons connected. This is where chess and IQ collide.
IQ is made up of many different things, but even then, it isn’t a representation of overall intelligence (as mentioned). However, IQ is still a great measure of one’s intellectual performance. Chess is won by having the most connections built up in your brain, then executing these connections better than your opponent. These connections and the ability to make these connections (both in quality and quantity) are based off of one’s IQ. As positive connections are successful, they are encouraged by the brain, whereas inefficient connections (blunders, etc) are discouraged/ignored.
Chess uses almost all of the factors that IQ is calculated with. Given this fact, it’s obvious that chess does have an impact on IQ. Not only are IQ factors used with chess, but studies have also suggested that chess can improve IQ functions itself.
Maximum Chess Rating Equation based off of IQ
The Levitt Equation tells us that our maximum potential for chess elo can be calculated with (10 x IQ) + 1000. For example, if my IQ was 150, the maximum rating I could ever achieve would be 2500. You can read more about the Levitt Equation here. Try the equation for yourself (if you have taken an IQ test) and see if it’s accurate for you!
There’s a few things that we can take from this. Firstly, if this equation is accurate, all grandmasters should have an IQ above 150. I suppose this doesn’t seem that hard to believe, but it’s somewhat of a stretch to make this claim. Secondly, it’s hard to confirm this equation as 100% legitimate because of many case studies, such as players being higher than the rating calculated, players who don’t have any chess knowledge, and so on. This equation can only potentially be accurate if you have obtained all the chess game knowledge out there so that even without the equation, you are able to achieve your highest rating possible.
Conclusion: Is Chess good for you?
From these findings, we can confirm that chess is indeed for you and your brain. Chess and IQ have a clear correlation, and it’s also possible for chess to improve one’s IQ. It works as a muscle; the more you work on it, the stronger it will become. Chess is a great mental exerciser because it addresses most of what IQ consists of, and uses it efficiently. It’s one of the few games that have an almost endless skill capacity, making any and all chess games always mentally stimulating. Whenever you go to play a chess game, try to learn something new each time without losing anything else you’ve learned in the past. Keep practicing. Before you know it, you will see results, both in your chess rating and intellectual performance.
If you want to get started playing and practicing your chess game, visit here to get started!