Does Playing Chess Make You Smarter? Let’s Find Out

Does Playing Chess Make You Smarter? Let’s Find Out

There is a saying in Chess that goes like this, “If you lose a game of Chess, it means you made a mistake somewhere”. What this means is that there is no luck in Chess, and you have to bear the consequences of your choices. If this ain’t wisdom, we don’t know what is. But, is it true? Does playing chess make you smarter? This blog has the answer. So sit tight and keep reading till the very end. Now, before delving into the topic, let’s just brush up on a few facts about chess first.

A Brief On The Game Of Chess

The game of Chess has been around for thousands of years. The game of chess is as old as human civilisation itself. Although there is no documentation as to who invented Chess, there are many assumptions. Some people think that chess was invented in the Persia region, but that can’t be true because there is evidence that chess was played in India way before Persia. From the beginning, Chess was used to strategise military confrontations, but it quickly became a household game. Now that we briefly know about the history of chess, let’s talk about the elephant in the room, does playing chess make you smarter? 

Connection Between Chess And Intelligence 

Does playing chess make you smarter? To know that, we first have to take a look at the connection between Chess and intelligence. Today, chess is definitely associated with intelligence, but that wasn’t the case in the beginning. After the game spread into Europe, it was mostly played by the royal family and other officials as it was seen as something a leader or a military personnel might play. However, this changed in the 1300s when people started organising chess tournaments. This is when many skilled chess players started making a living out of playing Chess, and Professional Chess was invented. Around this time, having a good brain and winning Chess matches started co-relating. 

Does Chess Help Our Brains?

Before knowing does playing chess make you smarter, we first have to take a look at what chess does to our brains. It is scientifically proven that playing chess increases brain activity, and people who play chess have more active brains than people who don’t play chess. But the question is, does playing chess make you smarter? Well, playing Chess increases activity in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of our brains and these parts are associated with intelligence and memory. This means that playing Chess increases your intelligence, memory, concentration ability and problem-solving skills. 

Does Playing Chess Make You Smarter?

It is fairly safe to say that playing chess does make you smarter. Playing Chess improves the brain’s executive functions, which allows us to:

  • Make better decisions by organising our thoughts. 
  • stay focused and come up with appropriate defence and offence strategies. 
  • increases memory which has numerous applications in an array of situations. 

However, many people claim that the reason many chess players have a higher intellect is that only people with higher intellect get attracted to the game. This can be debunked as there have been quite a lot of studies that show that many people enhance their intellect or their executive functions after regularly playing Chess. 

Can Chess Increase Your IQ Levels?

Yes, especially if you’re playing chess from a young age. As mentioned above, Chess is a very good way to keep your brain active and improve the cognitive and executive functions of the brain. According to a study published in the National Academy of Sciences, playing chess improves spatial skills, planning, and overall intelligence. Another study showed that children who play chess tend to perform far better in school than children who don’t. Chess allows you to make creative moves and decisions based on a given set of rules and it also teaches us that every action has consequences and to think twice before taking any step further. This answers your question of does playing chess make you smarter. 

Bottom Line

So, we answered your question of does playing chess make you smarter. Upon reading the article you can understand why Chess is considered a sport that improves your intellect. The sheer amount of moves and possibilities in a chess match is unparalleled in any other game. This is why a chess world champion is considered one of the smartest people in the room. The current Chess world champion, Magnus Carlsen, has an estimated IQ of around 190, which is much higher than that of most scientific geniuses like Albert Einstein. So this gives a good understanding of does playing chess make you smarter.


Candidates tournament is the biggest tournament in Chess. 

Yes, India has a total of 84 Chess grandmasters. 

 If you regularly play Chess, chances are that you will get better in the cognitive and executive functions of the brain.

Polish Chess player, Emanuel Lasker has won the most chess world championships in history. He was the undisputed chess world champion for 27 consecutive years. 

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