Magnus Carlsen continues to take the chess world by storm. One of the youngest chess grandmasters of all time, the reigning five time World Chess Champion, a three-time World Rapid Chess Champion, and five-time World Blitz Chess Champion.

While Magnus Carlsen has never taken an official IQ test, it is estimated that he has an IQ score of 190. This places him well ahead of some of the smartest people in history, including Albert Einstein and possibly even the great Bobby Fischer.

While chess is more than IQ score, it undoubtedly a part of why Magnus Carlsen has had such a successful career. People with high IQ scores are able to complete tasks more efficiently and effectively and put together innovative strategies where others cannot.

Chess is considered to be one of the most complicated games in existence. One reason for this is due to the number of moves that are available within every game. It has been estimated that there are approximately 10^120 possible positions on a chess board, because there are nearly infinite options when it comes to single moves.

That’s a 1 with 120 zeroes after it, or 10 duotrigintillion in scientific notation. That number is greater than the estimated number of atoms in the entire known universe.

Given these statistics, it is extremely difficult to play chess at a high level, even for Magnus Carlsen where there are thousands of world-class chess players that have dedicated their professional careers to the game. But when you combine his smarts and chess abilities together, there’s no question that Magnus Carlsen has one of the highest IQ scores in history.

About Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen is a Norwegian five-time chess grandmaster and the current World Chess Champion. He became the youngest person to become a chess grandmaster in history at age 13 years and 148 days, breaking Sergey Karjakin’s record nearly 10 years later on 26 March 2010, when he qualified for the title at age of 22 years and 32 days.

In 2000 he finished 1st equal at the World Under-12 Championship with 6 out of 7 points (drawing both his games against Sasikiran) and won the title on tiebreak . In 2001 he became the youngest player to earn the title of chess grandmaster at 13 years, 148 days , breaking Vladimir Kramnik’s previous record by three months .

Carlsen’s play continued to improve and by 2007 he was one of the top 30 players in the world. In 2009 Carlsen won Corus Chess Tournament, securing his first victory against elite competition. The following year he competed in the Bilbao Chess Masters Final, finishing in the top four. During this time Carlsen was out on top in nearly all of his games and had defeated elite opposition.

In 2010 he qualified for the World Championship Candidates. He won the tournament with 2½ points ahead of joint second place-players Boris Gelfand, Vassily Ivanchuk, Gata Kamsky and Alexander Grischuk. Carlsen then won the Candidates Tournament 2012, which resulted in Carlsen’s challenge to reigning world champion Viswanathan Anand for the title .

Carlsen was appointed Grandmaster at age 13 years, 148 days, making him the third-youngest grandmaster in history behind Sergey Karjakin and Guðmundur Ólafsson.

He won the national junior chess championship in his age group in ten consecutive years from when he was eight years old until he was eighteen, with a score of nine wins and one draw. He has also won the Norwegian under-18 championship four times, with scores of 7/9 in 2002, 8½/10 in 2003, 9/10 in 2004, and 7/9 in 2005.

About IQ Tests and IQ Scores

  • IQ scores tend to be used in schools and workplaces to give an overall idea of what someone can do.
  • People who score higher than average on IQ tests tend to be good at tasks like reasoning and mathematics, but this doesn’t mean they’re necessarily more intelligent in other ways.
  • An IQ test isn’t the only way of measuring intelligence, although it is considered to be one of the most accurate.
  • People who score higher than average on IQ tests are good at reasoning but this doesn’t mean they’re necessarily more intelligent in other ways.
  • IQ scores are not ratio measurements, which means that there is no perfect or better answer. If someone got the same score as another person then that would just mean that they both have some strengths and weaknesses.
  • The results of an IQ test only give a very basic idea of what a person can do, so we usually use it in groups to get a full picture of someone’s strengths and weaknesses.

Improving your IQ Score

If you want to try to improve your IQ score, the best way to prepare yourself for an IQ test is by understanding what kind of questions there are on an IQ test, and how to prepare yourself so you will be more likely to do well on the test.

The first step is knowing what kind of questions that are asked on an IQ test. There are three basic categories of questions: verbal, performance, and numerical questions. Verbal questions ask about sentences or words and require you to determine if they make sense and to find the meaning of words.

Performance questions require you to complete a task like arranging blocks in ascending order or finding the missing piece of a puzzle. Numerical questions ask about quantities or require you to calculate or estimate numbers. A lot of the numerical questions also involve geometry, such as those that might be found on a standardized math test.

The second step is knowing what kind of things to study so that you will be more prepared for the questions on an IQ test. These are some of the topics that may appear on an IQ test: general knowledge, mathematics, geography, physics, chemistry, biology, logic and puzzles/games. You can prepare by studying these topics and practicing problems that test your knowledge of these topics.

Image credit:

Lennart Ootes, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons