Practice, intelligence, and enjoyment in novice chess players: A prospective study at the earliest stage of a chess career

Anique B. H. de Bruin*, Ellen M. Kok, Jimmie Leppink, Gino Camp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Web of Science)


Previous studies have generally found no relation between IQ and chess skill in chess experts. This lack of a relation could be due to the influence of practice being more important than IQ in chess expertise. An alternative explanation is that IQ is relatively high and might therefore be restricted in range in chess experts. The current study investigated the contribution of practice, IQ and motivation to chess performance prospectively in a group of young, novice chess players in which IQ restriction of range did not play a role. Children who entered their first chess course were asked to complete weekly diaries indicating the amount of practice and their enjoyment of the course. IQ and motivation were measured using standardized tests. Using pith analysis, we found that IQ and practice independently predicted chess performance on a chess test at the end of the course: Motivation influenced performance indirectly, by moderating the amount of practice that was undertaken. The results indicate that, at the early stages of expertise development, IQ and motivation influence chess performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-25
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Intelligence
  • Chess expertise
  • Motivation
  • Novices
  • Practice

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