Ashkenazi Jews are smart. Shockingly brilliant, in general. Impressively greater in brain power than the bulk of the human population. How did they get that way?
Ashkenazi Jews, aka Ashkenazim, are the descendants of Jews originally from medieval Germany, and later, from throughout Eastern Europe. Approximately 80% of the Jews in the world today are Ashkenazim; the remainder are primarily Sephardic.
Their median IQ is calculated at 117 in From Chance to Choice: Genetics and Justice (2000), published by Cambridge University Press. This is 10 points higher than the generally-accepted IQ of their closest rivals—Northeast Asians—and almost 20% higher than the global average.
Other researchers who study the Ashkenazim have asserted an IQ number a trifle bit lower than 117, but all have agreed that these children of Abraham are on top of the IQ chart. Plus, contemplate this astounding tidbit: Ashkenazi “visual-spatial” test scores are typically lower than the norm; this means their abilities in the other two categories, language and math, are absolutely astounding.
…Check Mate: Chess historically has been a highly-favored activity among Ashkenazim; a 1905 magazine described it as the “Jewish National Game.” Almost 50% of Grandmasters have been Ashkenazi. The visual, organizational, and strategic skills required for chess build up the precuneus in the superior parietal lobe, and the caudate nucleus, a part of the basal ganglia in the subcortical region.
More of the extensive article here.