IQ and Go ranks

And I guess that this GIQ would be… one’s rank! (correcting for time spent)

With not even a dozen of answers, the result is obviously irrelevant, but here is the summary of it

As a matter of fact I can conclude that if you have am high IQ you will be an DDK, since none those who answered with over 140 did not reached SDK. :slight_smile: Obviously this is just a coincidence, and is an conclusion like that from the joke where the savant concluded that fleas does not hear anymore after you cut their legs. He asked a flea to jump, and it did it in the beginning, but not anymore after he had cut its legs.

Obviously there is need for a lot more answers, for a graph to take shape. And I am not sure that I am able to dig so much for so many answers, so for now I will stop here.

I wonder if high IQ players are not interested in the “study time” required to get into the higher levels. Personally I enjoy the uncertainty of DDK games and have self proclaimed myself “DDK for life.” Not that I don’t learn, but I do so passively, I’m not actively trying to get better; I’m a casual Go player at the moment and enjoy the people and the personalities more than the game itself. It’s a means of social interaction with intelligent people… self filtered.

So there might be some connection between IQ and rank. I think I would be a better sample if I had started playing seriously before age 50.

  1. 147 on the linked test.

  2. The vast, vast majority of my Go playing has occurred through correspondence OGS games, and from my history, it looks like I took about three years to hit a peak of 1d, though I’m currently at 2k.

Oddly, though, I don’t remember ever being ranked at 1d. Maybe this is a result of the change in the rating algorithm being applied retroactively. (If it was.) 2k, where I am now, is as high as I remember ever getting. I also feel like it took longer to get to 2k than the history shows.

Either way, I should also note that I believe my rank is inflated because I spent way more time thinking over my correspondence moves than most of my opponents seemed to. I base this on how many games many of them had going simultaneously and how quickly they often replied to my moves despite complicated situations. It seemed to me that for most other players, correspondence was a way to play lots of very casual games at once, rather than to think more deeply about your moves as I was doing. (This might make a good topic for an informal poll of players here in the forums.) But I won’t know this for sure until I’ve played a good number of live games, which I haven’t done here at all yet.

  1. I scored a 124 on that IQ test you linked.
  2. I peaked at 13 kyu so far with about 3 years of playing (maybe 400 19x19 games against humans, 650 games of 13x13+9x9 against humans, and maybe 300+ games against AI.

I’d like to think IQ has nothing to do with really anything in life. It’s just one measurement. You might as well judge your intelligence by your go rank. IQ really does not make much more sense in my opinion.

But what I see from this thread it seems as if higher IQ players improve faster with less games.

alot of the iq tests are based on logic, reasonings, mathematical skills, spatial ability and memory
and Go reading requires a lot of logic+reasoning, Go experience requires memory, patterns recognition
Hence we can easily conclude Go skills and IQ are somewhat related

some people with high IQ but have low rank in Go usually means the time they’ve spent in Go are inefficient
the first couple months i learned Go i gained ranks pretty quick eventually reached around 3-5kish, then afterwards, my efforts to study went downhill, it seems i was satisfied with the results eventually stablized around 1-3k(was like a 1dan for a super short period)
in actuality when i started i have put all the efforts into improving and studying Go
then eventually once i felt i got “decent”, i felt i didn’t need to study anymore, plays go as a casual thing, reading ability deterioates once i stopped reading and played more from experience
this is a thing for most people, if you’re motivated enough, you can improve a lot…

back to IQ and Go ranks, even if you have a higher IQ than average, you’ll still need to study and put all the efforts into it to improve
if you’re just playing for fun then sure you won’t improve
though, higher IQ will do improve better than lower IQ with the same amount of time and effort into it
and last but not least
if you started Go at an early age, then improvements will be much more than those who started later in life

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I like how everyone is somehow in the top 98% of the world after taking one of these nice free online tests.


Absolutely is just one measurement, height is, or your vision diopter. But for sure, often has to do with many things in your life even some individualșs will break the rules, like a short basketball player. And you do not quite can measure your intelligence by Go rank. Your intelligence is native (even you can ruin or improve it with training), but the Go rank depend heavily on training. I just wanted to see how much these two are related. And for sure IQ test are not quite reliable, and some online tests are pure bullshit, but IQ is something that makes a lot of sense even the subject is not enough studied. And this is what I wanted. To study it a little more.

I agree, some of these free tests IQ or just trivia are bullshit, super easy, to trick you to share and brag, and be an easy buck for those who made them. But at those more realistic, I rarely see somebody to be on top 98. and for sure we see more often big scores since the ones with lower scores avoid taking tests, or share the result because of that false interpretations of self esteem. Height, skin texture face features are something that you are born with, so no reason to brag or be ashamed. But studying these features for a better use in the activity is useful. You can orient better in choosing your activity.

Although maybe IQ is not a good indicator for success in real life, I think it could be a good estimate of how far you can reach in GO.

Legitimate IQ test is heavily based on pattern recognition and logic deduction, which is also very important in GO. If you score low on IQ test, you won’t go too far in GO either.

Given some high dan player can play on “sense” and “intuition”, it’s just years of counting and experience distilled. Without a solid base, beginning cannot rely on intuition.

seriously, no legitimate IQ test will involve language and vocabulary. it should be purely numbers and figures.

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This thread was only for answering those two questions from the first post. Anyway, the thread id dead so we may kill it further with discussions that belong in the other thread mentioned in the first post.

I see that you really hate IQ tests. Why do you think that intelligence is related only to visual and math? Language is an important part of intelligence. Yes, it ruins the score for those who take a test in a second language, but this can be avoided with tests dedicated for your base language.

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From the link provided: 131
Current rank: 5k

Comment: I am 73 years old; for people of my generation, the main passive entertainment when we were young was reading books, so we have much larger vocabularies than most younger people. This boosted my score on the vocabulary parts of the test. I am probably not as smart as a younger person who scored the same as me.

I reached 10k just by playing go occasionally. At age 61, I started to take it more seriously (studying books, mainly the Elementary Go series) and got to 6k on KGS in less than a year. Since then, progress has been very very slow, perhaps partly because an old brain is less flexible than a young one.


Is this test different from a regular IQ test you might find on a search engine? I seemed to get a higher score on a regular IQ test than this.

I’ve never taken any serious IQ test, however I tried the one in the link of the first post. I had to skip a couple of questions since I didn’t understand some words (I’m not a native English speaker).

My “IQ”: 131
My rank: 1d on OGS (mostly correspondence games now), 2k FFG after 7 years of practice.
Age: about 51.

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It has been clear for a long time that IQ scores are not very predictive for success at anything other than IQ tests, and unofficial online IQ tests are even unreliable at that.

My “IQ”: ~140 (two different unofficial online tests that I took some 20 years ago, score 138 and 141)
My rank: 3d EGF, reached after 4 years of practice around 1990

Perhaps a more reliable metric (at least in the West) is the education level of (strong) go players compared to the general population.

About a decade ago the Dutch go association surveyed its members.
Some 60% of respondents (predominantly adults) had completed tertiary education (ISCED level 6+), compared to only 30% of the overall Dutch adult population at the time.

IIRC the published survey results didn’t separate out different levels of play in relation to education level, but extrapolating from the above, I assume that a higher level of play correlates positively with a higher ISCED level.

I have ISCED level 6 (bachelor), noting that I was an underachiever in school during my late teens and my go studies interfered significantly with my formal education from 18 till 22 years old. I dropped out of university 3 times during that time. Perhaps many stronger go players had a similar “career” where their go studies interfered with their formal education. That may invalidate my assumption above.

Everyone needs to read Stephen Jay Gould’s The MIsmeasure of Man.


There is much more as IQ, why not running a kindness test for example?


Why? People do what they like to, low IQ or not.
Should low IQ be discouraged to play go?
Besides other human qualities may prove to be more important.

That’s very confusing sentences. How important is the native if you can make it better? What is the exact place and what is training? Do you infere that disposition to the game doesn’t really matter?