Is there a rating limit for my average brain?


I guess you could just work hard, and keep working hard, until your rating levels out in spite of your hard work.  At that point, you've probably found your limit.


The only way to improve is to be consistent. If you want to know more, please feel free to check my blog from my profile page. Thank you!


I don't really think an average person could reach 2000.  This is a difficult question because most people don't play chess.  I think the average club player is around 1400, but are club players average on the whole?  I think that chess players are drawn to chess because they're pretty smart to begin with.  So I'd also guess that chess players have above average IQ as a group.  So if the average member of an above average group is rated 1400, I find it difficult to believe that people with 100 IQ can all become experts if they study enough.  One thing I can say with certainty is that psychology grad students don't seem to be smart enough to put this question to bed. There have been a lot of studies that I've found on chess and general intelligence, and they all seem to be utterly incapable of answering this sort of question.       


Yeah, those interested in chess are above average IQ or they wouldn't be interested in the game.  I think that's true.  The average person MIGHT be able to hit 2,000 with hard work; but they would never be interested enough to do the hard work.

Micah57 wrote:

I'm not sure IQ tests really define intelligence or lack thereof.  I'm somewhat familiar with the debates.  However, ALL GMs ever tested score extremely high on IQ tests.   That's how the one GM came up with his general rule of thumb posted above.

Not remotely true.  Are you one of the many who believe that Fischer, Kasparov, or Carlsen all have IQs over 160 (or 180...or 190), for example?  These are all completely false claims. 

P.S. There are ~1500ish GMs worldwide...they represent a vast range of people whom you should not respect any more or less than any other amateur posting their opinions.  A GM making any claims about IQ is like a lawyer writing an article about brain might think the lawyer is smart, and you might be right...but his opinions on practicing brain surgery are garbage.


Carlsen says he thinks he dumb,Fischer was riddled with conspiracies and Kasparov was smart but not IQ160 smart.

The real question should be "Whats the ugliest part of your body" your mind thats why you will never be GM


False claims about GM IQs?  Very interesting....I will certainly look into that.  As for the lawyer/brain surgery analogy....very good point!   False claims about GM IQs...interesting.

@EnergizeMrSpock, I believe you've answered the OPs question quite well.


You reach your limit when you quit learning. Maybe if you did not quit, you would reach a tiny little bit more higher rating that month. And then again, a tiny little bit higher rating that year. Still improving, just because you did not quit, but at a much slower pace than before. But that does not mean that you reached your maximum. It just means your further improvement is slower. There is no maximum rating per person in my opinion, it is just the speed of further improvement.

ArtisticLumber wrote:

@GearWound : That's very impressive, if true. Could you share your learning methodology? Did you have a personal tutor, or was it all self study? What helped you at each rating level? What books, whether you did a lot of tactics training, whether you learnt a lot of strategy from books, and so on?

800-1100: Pure trial and error playing

1100-1300: Learned some basic opening principles and common tactics (pins, skewers, forks, etc.)

1300-1400: Read a few of the "Wining Chess" series by Yasser Sierawan

1400-1700: Private coaching for a few months with an NM, meeting twice a week. Emphasis on opening principles and identifying tactics.

1700-1800: Playing a lot more frequently, reading more positional books, like "My System" and "Excelling at Chess"

1800-1900: Mostly playing, and now consulting engines to identify mistakes I missed

1900-2000: Same as above, only now I began browsing GM databases to try to recognize common ideas in specific openings

2000-2100: Began narrowing my opening repertoire and focusing more on playing "precisely" in the openings, rather than vaguely. Also began paying closer attention to endgames.

2100-2200: Same as above, though now looking at GM games to identify common middlegame plans

2200+: Same as above, only now beginning to recognize the importance of certain squares in certain middlegames. Also learning (the hard way) how crucial it is to play accurately in the openings at this level, as 2200+ opponents really begin to show a strong amount of knowledge, and a readiness to punish you for even the slightest inaccuracy.


Wow GearWound!  That's a great outline of the boatload of work involved.  Thanks for taking the time to post that.


I declare, with absolute scientific certainty, that the rating limit for your average brain is between 2145.7 and 2281.5 FIDE, There are those who might tell you that the lower limit is actually 2143.65 and the upper limit is 2284.3, but don't listen to them! They are all unscientific frauds


this "kinda wanta maybe can i?" attitude has got to go, wow

you need motivation, not intellect

the big difference between the 1200 and the 2000 is discipline

repeated focused concentrated consistent effort



I'm really glad you cleared that up for us Laskersnephew.  

Laskersnephew wrote:

I declare, with absolute scientific certainty, that the rating limit for your average brain is between 2145.7 and 2281.5 FIDE


I think your information is absurd because there are no decimals in fide ratings.

p.s. Do that limit apply for the average brain or the true average brain, as someone mentioned in this topic?

jk_2017 wrote:


 I think your information is absurd because there are no decimals in fide ratings.


There are, but they’re not published (but yes it’s absurd lol)

When I started playing, ratings were even rounded to the nearest 5 - so you could be 2295 or 2360 or whatever, but not 2267 etc.


I meant that his rating range was absurd, like I believe in it. Ratings in decimals? Guess mathematicians have to do something as well. Personally not interested.


Of course it's absurd! And yet is is far less absurd than all of these numbwits who pretend that they know the answer--and that they have special knowledge of every chess champion's IQ


Passion, the ability to focus the mind, some creativity and good intuition will take you further than any high IQ score, in any endevour you may choose in life. A high IQ will help im sure, but not so much that cant it be matched with dedication and hard work. I dont think IQ is a defining factor in determining a limit to your success at anything, and without some degree of the other qualities, it counts for very little. Never let anyone set your limits for you, no matter what their expertise. You may surprise yourself, and them.


Sky is the limit.