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Chess has a limited scope and mainly the art of recognising and building patterns in a well defined system. Mathematics is unlimited in scope and can expand in any direction that the mathematical mind wants to go. I think mathematics are much harder than chess.
Chess and math have a lot similarities in the way you are thinking ! Eg, if you have to solve a problem or to find the best move, the way you are thinking !!
As you've said in your opening post, gotta have love in order to succeed in either. But i'd say Math is harder (Analytical Geometry is the highest math i'd achieved in high school) as studying Rueben Fine's Practical Chess Openings-in Descriptive Notation-was definitely easier.
Thanks for the comments...
Chess is 2 dimensions, math studies infinite dimensions. Both uses visualization in mind. Try to visulaize this 6 dimensions thing :5x2x4x1x8x10. What do you see?
Chess is easy to learn but hard to master, Math is hard to learn and impossible to master.
Chess is math at its heart.
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