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IQ and Chess

Playing chess is one operation that fully exercises your mind. Chess is quite like a brain tonic which enhances concentration, patience, and perseverance, as well as develops creativity, intuition, memory, and most importantly, the ability to process and extract information from a set of general principles, learning to make tough decisions and solving problems flexibly. Most importantly it teaches one, a golden virtue -- the virtue of Patience.

Concentration, Patience, and Perseverance

You require immense concentration to play chess. Some of the world's ace players, appear distracted, sometimes scratching their heads, taking a break between moves to walk around. However a closer look reveals that most of these players are actually absorbed in thought, relying on strong visual memory to plan and calculate even when they are away from their game. Chess is a teaching tool that instantly penalizes you for any lapses. One slip in concentration can lead to a blunder, costing you the game.

Analysis, Logic, and Problem Solving

Playing chess well involves multiple aptitudes. Dr Albert Frank found that learning chess, even as teenagers, strengthened both numerical and verbal aptitudes. Some studies have even claimed that playing chess can strengthen a child’s memory.

A 1990-92 study in New Brunswick, Canada, found that by integrating chess into the traditional mathematics curriculum teachers were able to raise significantly the average problem solving scores of their students. These students fared much better on problem solving tests than ones who just took the standard mathematics course.

Verbal skills

How could chess possibly improve English skills? The young students learned to make connections based on chess moves; This helped them connect different aspects of what they read in English courses & texts. Thus, the ability to make connections improves the overall IQ score.

Spatial intelligence

The ability to perceive possibilities for movement is particularly crucial to chess thinking, as is the capacity to build up a system of knowledge and experience. Chess thinking often involves a complex, hierarchical structure of problems and sub-problems, and the capacity for retaining and manipulating such complex structures of data concurrently never deviating from the goals, all correlate with having a high IQ.

Chess and IQ

Chess has been shown to raise student's overall IQ scores. A Venezuelan study involving 4,000 second grade students found a significant increase in their IQ scores after only 4.5 months of systematically studying chess. Tournament chess games, which bind each player to make his move within the stipulated time, hone one's ability to perform under pressure, mimicking environments of most school and competitive exams.

From gifted to retarded chess have benefits for all

Dr Ferguson's four-year study reported that after spending 60-64 hours playing and studying chess over 32 weeks students exhibited significant progress in critical thinking. He further found that chess enhances "creativity in gifted adolescents." Chess benefits are not restricted to gifted children. Chess teacher Michael Wojcio notes that "even if a slow learner does not grasp all of the strategies and tactics in chess, he/she can still benefit by learning language, concepts, and fine motor movement." This often ignites in them a passion for learning.

Age no bar

Chess tournaments are not divided by age but by ability (unlike other sports). Young players can many a times outperform seasoned ones. In 1999-2000 in Australia, for example, a thirteen-year-old won the New South Wales championship, a fourteen-year-old won the South Australian championship and a fifteen-year-old won the Queensland championship.

From gifted to retarded chess have benefits for all

  • Visual-spatial processing
  • Quantitative reasoning
  • Working memory
  • Fluid reasoning
  • Nonverbal IQ
  • Knowledge

Chess studying and playing involves six out of seven factors of the modern IQ test model. Hence subscribing to it would warranty improvement in your performance in IQ tests as per the verdicts of researchers. So if you have never felt the chessboard its time you start arranging your pawns!

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