What is Viswanathan Anand’s IQ?

Viswanathan Anand's IQ

Indian chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, also referred to as “Vishy” Anand, is well-known worldwide. He is recognized as one of the all-time great chess players for various reasons. Thus it makes sense that one of these many criteria is his Intelligence.

Viswanathan Anand’s precise IQ has not been made public or generally reported. Yet, based on Viswanathan Anand’s Chess Elo of 2754, a formula created by chess players for fun determines that his IQ is 187. If we relied on his IQ peaked in his career at 2817, then his IQ is 191.

There’s a lot to learn about this brilliant Indian mastermind in this article. Keep reading!

What makes Viswanathan Anand remarkable?

Viswanathan Anand is one of the all-time great chess players. 

At a young age, Anand won the title of Grandmaster and has regularly played at the highest level. He has established himself as a dominant force in the chess world by winning the World Chess Championship. He also won in both traditional and quick chess, among other styles.

Ageing has nothing on him as well, as he managed to maintain a high Elo rating and continued to compete at a high level well into his 40s and 50s. Anand is renowned for his intelligence, analytical abilities, and speedy calculations in areas other than chess.

The incident that occurred at one of the Indian schools serves as a powerful testament to his intelligence, which was evident from an early age. He visited a school one day and simultaneously played chess with 100 kids in the tenth standard. He continued to move quickly from one board to the next, giving each one a quick glance before moving on. He took them all down in less than 4 hours.

What is Viswanathan Anand’s rating?

According to the FIDE, Anand’s rating as of September 2023 is 2754. That is hardly the pinnacle of his career achievements, as Anand achieved a career-high Elo rating of 2817 in 2011, which remains a testament to his prowess as a chess player. It’s worth noting that maintaining a rating above 2800 is a feat accomplished by only a select few in the history of chess. 

One of the most significant milestones in Anand’s career came in April 2006 when he became the fourth player in history to surpass the 2800 Elo threshold on the FIDE rating list. This accomplishment placed him in the elite company of chess legends such as Vladimir Kramnik, Veselin Topalov, and Garry Kasparov, all of whom had previously reached or exceeded this remarkable rating milestone.

Anand’s ascent to the 2800 club was a reflection of his consistent performance at the highest level of chess, his deep understanding of the game, and his ability to compete successfully against formidable opponents from around the world. This achievement further solidified his reputation as a chess icon and a true ambassador for the sport.

While his rating may have fluctuated in recent years, Viswanathan Anand’s legacy as a chess legend and a global ambassador for the game remains firmly intact. His achievements continue to inspire chess players and enthusiasts worldwide, serving as a testament to the enduring brilliance of one of chess’s greatest champions.

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What is the formula used to determine chess players’ IQ?

You might wonder why the chess community is so interested in learning each player’s IQ level. It’s a common thing among chess lovers due to the common understanding that chess players are actually smarter than most people.

However, not all players have actually disclosed this kind of information. So, the chess community has come up with a formula that can measure an estimated player’s IQ based on his ELO rating. 

The formula is:

Potential IQ = 100 + 0.06 x (ELO – 1300)

Here’s an explanation of the components of this formula:

  1. Potential IQ: This is the estimated IQ score the formula is trying to calculate.
  2. 100: This is a constant value that represents the average IQ score in the general population. In most IQ tests, the average IQ score is set at 100, with a standard deviation of 15.
  3. 0.06: This is a constant multiplier used in the formula.
  4. ELO: This is the chess player’s Elo rating. Elo ratings are used to estimate a player’s relative skill level in comparison to other players. The formula subtracts 1300 from the player’s Elo rating, which is a reference point.

So, if we were to measure Vishy’s IQ, the formula would be 

IQ = 100 + 0.06 x (2754 – 1300)

IQ = 187.24

It’s a simplified and unofficial formula that attempts to estimate a chess player’s potential IQ based on their Elo rating, a measure of their chess skill. It’s not the most accurate way to determine as it relies on a changing number which is the ELO.

That’s why it’s important to note that this formula is not scientifically validated or widely accepted in the field of psychology, and its accuracy in estimating a person’s IQ is highly questionable.

Does playing chess affect your IQ?

Chess doesn’t directly affect IQ. While playing chess can improve your cognitive skills, it’s crucial to keep in mind that IQ is a measure of intellect that takes a wide range of cognitive abilities into account, including verbal comprehension, mathematical skills, logical thinking, memory, and more.

Chess primarily concentrates on certain cognitive skills related to strategy, pattern recognition, and problem-solving, so it does not address all components of intelligence measured by an IQ test.

Grandmasters usually possess above-average intelligence and strong cognitive abilities, but their success in the game largely results from their specialised knowledge, dedication, and experience in the game. So, while IQ is a measure of their cognitive ability, it does not capture the depth of their strategic brilliance.


In the grand narrative of chess, Viswanathan Anand’s exceptional journey stands as a testament to skill, dedication, and unwavering passion. With five World Chess Championship titles and a legacy that spans decades, he embodies the brilliance and artistry that chess can offer. However, his IQ, which hasnt been officially declared, is not the only thing that led him to where he is.

Harikrishnan A

I am an International Fide Rated player with 10+ years of experience. Played many International Chess Tournaments and Commonwealth games.

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