Chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a chessboard, a checkered gameboard with 64 squares arranged in an 8x8 grid.[1] The game is played by millions of people worldwide.

Each player begins with 16 pieces: 1 king, 1 queen, 2 rooks, 2 knights, 2 bishops, and 8 pawns. Each of the six piece types moves differently, with the most powerful being the queen and the least powerful the pawn. The objective is to checkmate[note 1] the opponent's king by placing it under an inescapable threat of capture. To this end, a player's pieces are used to attack and capture the opponent's pieces, while supporting each other. In addition to checkmate, the game can be won by voluntary resignation of the opponent, which typically occurs when too much material is lost, or checkmate appears unavoidable. A game can also in several ways end in a draw.


Although the link between performance in chess and general intelligence is often assumed, researchers have largely failed to confirm its existence. For example, a 2006 study found no differences in fluid intelligence, as measured by Raven's Progressive Matrices, between strong adult chess players and regular people.[131] There is some evidence towards a correlation between performance in chess and intelligence among beginning players. However, performance in chess also relies substantially on one's experience playing the game, and the role of experience may overwhelm the role of intelligence. Chess experts are estimated to have in excess of 10,000 and possibly as many as 300,000 position patterns stored in their memory; long training is necessary to acquire that amount of data.

A 2007 study of young chess players in the United Kingdom found that strong players tended to have above-average IQ scores, but, within that group, the correlation between chess skill and IQ was moderately negative, meaning that smarter children tended to achieve a lower level of chess skill. This result was explained by a negative correlation between intelligence and practice in the elite subsample, and by practice having a higher influence on chess skill.