Intelligence or practice: what is more important for success in chess

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Chess is considered to be an intellectual sport – and in fact it is. But can regular practice improve results? And so that even high intelligence will not be able to withstand it?

So far, different experts have different opinions. But now the situation may change, as a new study by a group of German, British and Swiss scientists found that intelligence and practice are equally important in chess.

Moreover, this is true for athletes of all ages.

Although the results published in PNAS suggest that people with higher intelligence will receive more bonuses from regular practice than people with lower intelligence.

By the way, the study was the first to undertake to study the development of gaming abilities throughout a person’s life – 90 chess players aged 10 to 77 took part in it . The authors of the study explain that at first they wanted to see if intelligence and practice at a particular age have advantages. But no, no significant distortions were found in the analysis.

“We noticed that both factors play a significant role both at the beginning of a chess career, and at the peak of 30-40 years and during a period of natural cognitive decline. The higher a person’s intelligence was and the more often a person took part in competitions, the higher his playing power became,” explains Roland Grabner, co-author of the study.

Scientists have also found that the ability to recognize “patterns” on the board is especially important for success in chess. So, the faster a person remembered combinations , probable moves and sequences, the greater his chances of winning became.


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