I would say people who like to play chess would tend to be more intelligent then the rest of the population that has no interest in chess. Also as for the people who say IQ scores dont matter you are absolutely wrong and IQ tests are very good at measuring someones overall intelligence. Also when it comes to criminals it is a fact that 90% of criminals have a IQ between 75 to 90 and I really dont think your going to find a lot of chess playing criminals.

One thing and not to offend anyone but after reading some of your comments I almost reevaluated my feeling of chess players being more intelligent then average but I still do think you are.

As I stated before my IQ is 110 which puts me in the top 25% and I can tell you this actually makes me feel bad about humanity because I would say most of us have absolutely no ideal how things work in this world which makes me realize that most of us are just followers in life.

I wish my chess playing matched my IQ and I was in the top 25% but I am almost at the top 33% all I need to do is get rated above 1600 and I play in the mid 1500's now so that is possible but getting to 25% in chess seems like something that I may never do which again is the reason why I think chess players tend to be smarter then average.

Bottom line a person like me with a 110 IQ more intelligent then 75% of the people in this world should be able to be rated in the top 25% in chess if the average chess player has average intelligence. In other words if I am smarter then 75 % of the people on here then why am I playing at such a low level? My guess is that the average player on here probably has a IQ more towards 110 and not the average which is 100.

@rmilin This question is for you as you started this thread.
My rapid rating shows that I'm better than 97% of the chess players. So what do you think my IQ is? I've been playing for 3.5 years.

chess teaches that there are consequences for every action in an easy way. other than that it can be used to practice spatial reasoning and memorization, but so can a lot of things. The 10,000 hours thing is BS

@ All who think, "the 10.000 hours thing is BS".

What is wrong with it in your opinion?

Putting 10,000 hours of serious work into chess (or any other activity) does not make you a master.
But it would be close to impossible to reach master levels without putting 10,000 hours of serious work into it. So there is a point to the 10,000 hours rule, but there is no automatism - not even close.
The most important deciding factor is age, by far. Others are work ethic and stamina. And yes, there is "talent", but that's impossible to measure.

AFAIK it's still not really clear why it is impossible for the adult brain to get massively better at chess. But it is. If you are, say, 1800 ELO at the age of 30 you are not going to reach master ranks. No matter the work you put into it. In fact you would be hard pressed to even reach 2000. This is frustrating, but it is what all evidence shows.

And yes, it has surprisingly little to do with intelligence. :-)

Maybe a solution to this is to grab a valid sample of players of all levels of chess abiity and measure their IQs under test conditions. As long as the sample is large enough we should be able to see if there is any relationship between modern theories of intelligence and chess playing ability.

It may be that having high intelligence is a pre-requisite for high chess ability, in which case we would only need someone's IQ and we could predict with accuracy the level of chess they could play if other factors are taken into account. This doesn't sound right to me.

Whilst I do think that most evidence shows there is a link between IQ and intelligence. I am not sure whether measurement of one aspect of complex human cognition/interaction is enough to preydict success in any complex activity, including chess.

Laszlo Polgar, father of the three famous chess playing Polgar sisters, believed, genius was made and not born - he made no mention of IQ - but his otherwise ordinary girls were all fantastic chess players as a result of early intervention on the part of their teacher parents.

Just to make this more personal and at the risk of sounding egotistical, I have been a member of MENSA for 35 years and can honestly say I do not have high level chess ability. In my case there is no link. I do enjoy playing and learning about the game immensely though.

Human cognition is complex with complex neurological underpinnings.

First of all, it's not even physically possible to put 10,000 hours into chess. I understand that this is an exaggeration, however. I will say, that pure practice is not indicative of actual skill. You need a certain capability of spatial intelligence, you need a certain level of memorization ability, and you need to also have a healthy level of creativity to really excel at chess. Chess is 100% dominated by people who are smarter. You think there's any GM walking around with an IQ of 100? An IQ of at least 120 is required to be a grandmaster, and even then you'll struggle. On the other hand, having a high IQ does not directly translate to immediate chess skill- it just means you learn faster. Every single Grandmaster in the world has a genius IQ. Think about this: there are more people with PhDs in one topic than there are people who have played at the grandmaster level in the history of chess. That's saying something. I hate to burst the bubble of somewhat above average people who want to be grandmasters (myself included), but it's not going to happen. The most someone slightly above average can accomplish is a very low-rated title, i.e, NM or FM. Certainly not IM or GM.

This could correspond for me in bullet : I am better than 98.2% people in bullet, i have 140 QI (better than about 99% people)