Top 5 Benefits of Playing Chess: How does playing chess benefits the brain?


Benefits of Playing Chess: How does playing chess benefits the brain?

How does playing chess benefits the brain?

Highlighting the complexity of chess, Mikhail Tal, a Soviet Latvian chess player stated, "you must take your opponent into a deep dark forest where 2+2=5, and the path leading out is only wide enough for one". Chess is loved and revered by innumerous people across the world. Chess is everything a brain needs from improving memory to preventing neurodegenerative diseases.
In this article, 'Top 5 Benefits of Playing Chess: How does playing chess benefits the brain?', we shall look into the incredible, lucrative benefits of playing chess.

While some may see chess as simply a board game, it actually contains a multitude of real-life benefits! Chess teaches basic logic, patience, humility, determination, restraint, respect, and self-reliance. A good chess player exhibits all of these traits. Computers have played chess as long as they have been in existence and quite a lot about them can be learned through the lens of chess. For instance, chess-playing computer programs weren’t able to defeat the best human players until the historic match Gary Kasparov vs Deep Blue. 

One of my favorite aspects of chess is its history; chess is a game that has existed in its current form since the late 1400s and has its roots in India going back to the 7th century. “If you can use a board game to teach your kids about feudalism and The Cold War at the same time, then there should be no doubt that that game is the embodiment of versatility! Not to mention it's a fun game; easy to trick kids into learning with” said Kyle Barry, Chess instructor at Take lessons and class A player.

Schools in various countries (e.g., USA, France, Argentina) offer chess as an optional subject, and some countries even propose compulsory classes. It is now a popular sport that benefits both adults and children. "Playing chess trains the brain to learn to win and accept defeat with dignity” quoted Andrey Onopriyenko who claims himself ‘the biggest chess fan’. 

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The fact that an easy game could be so complex makes chess really interesting. The appeal of deeply getting into a state of flow is what draws many people to chess. Getting into the state of flow requires you to have a basic level of skill, but be challenged slightly above your current level. This is comparably easy to achieve with chess, as you are very quickly at a basic level to be able to play, but you will always have to stretch a little more to reach the next level. Being in a state of flow is linked to increased happiness and I think that's an often overlooked appeal of chess", said Bernie Hubble from the Chess blog.

Improves memory and cognition

The most remarkable benefit is the wonders it can do for your memory. It seems surprising but even an intermediate player that may have never played an official chess game may notice a steep improvement in memory and recognition pattern. It’s a common phenomenon that chess players begin noticing patterns once they’ve played a certain line enough time. "This not only allows them to foresee future moves but allows them to tailor their own moves accordingly. As you may have probably guessed, this is a highly useful trait in the real-world” quoted Yasir Nawaz, a Digital content producer.

Cognitive effects of chess instruction on students at risk of academic failure was examined. Thirty-eight students, from three elementary schools, participated in this study. The experimental group received a ninety-minute chess lesson once per week over a three-month period. This study suggests that chess skill rating is a key predictor for the improvement of student cognitive skills. It was also demonstrated that playing chess, also,  helped students with their academic performance.

Improves problem-solving skills

Another study was conducted to find out if chess players are better problem solvers than non-chess players using a standard psychometric planning task. Fluid intelligence, verbal, and visuospatial working memory were also assessed. As expected, chess players showed better planning and performance than nonchess players. Nothing forces you to take a deep breath and center yourself like losing a game you were winning just the move before. Chess is a wonderful game for adults and children alike; while having fun playing a creative board game, the mind is hard at work absorbing a plethora of practical and rewarding benefits. Not only that, chess can develop your intelligence quotient too. 

It also develops logical thinking, since it is assumed that the player must think over their actions in several moves ahead. Cheese also teaches problem-solving, communication, and helps to focus.

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Exercises both sides of the brain

According to studies, if you play chess well, you must develop and utilize both the left (which deals with aim recognition) and the right hemispheres (deals with pattern recognition) of your brain equally well. “Just learn rules and the techniques involved in the game and be grateful to the sport for developing both sides of your brain,” said Darren ward, CEO of Ward Hygiene. Chess activates both the hemispheres of the brain; left and right. According to the brain hemisphere dominance theory, the left brain controls some activities while the right brain, the others. This explains why chess players are smarter than many of us: due to the effective and coordinative function of both the left and right sides of the brain.

Reduces risk of Dementia

Often, when we talk about the benefits of chess, we talk about how wonderful it is for young minds, but chess has various advantages for adults as well. It’s an excellent way to keep your mind sharp. There’s even some research that suggests chess can help prevent dementia. Besides, playing chess reduces the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Research shows that people who play the board game consistently are 35% less likely to have dementia than people who play only occasionally. It is an extensively known fact that playing chess promotes the growth of dendrites which is directly linked to improved cognition. Challenging activities are known to promote the growth of dendrites. And when it comes to that, nothing's better than chess. It can be rightly claimed as the greatest antidote to neurodegenerative diseases.

Illustrates lessons of life

Chess teaches humans that their choices have outcomes; both good and bad. One can make mistakes while stepping too quickly in a hasty manner. Chess teaches us to stay calm, thoughtful, and then plan the move. Chess also preaches prerequisite skills like predicting your competitor's moves and preparing ahead of the impending combat. Chess also teaches critical thinking: many players learn early on that they should be constantly trying to poke holes in their opponent’s reasoning and think for themselves (the ability to do both comes with endless benefits). Often in life, we desperately crave for a second chance to undo what we once did, probably in the heat of the moment. Chess illumines that never can any move be undone. Rushing your decisions can have negative repercussions both in chess and in life. As the famous proverb goes, slow and study wins the race. If you learn how to take the next step in chess, you could make the right decision in the future outcome. "It is significant for children too who are unsure of their ways to progress in life thoughtfully" quoted Shiv Gupta, CEO of Incrementors. As rightly stated by Jose Capablanca, "You may learn much more from a game you lose than a game you win. You will have to lose hundreds of games before becoming a good player". And sometimes you must take a step back just to ensure that your future move beats your opponent be it human or destiny. 

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Concluding: 'Top 5 Benefits of Playing Chess: How does playing chess benefits the brain?'

Your brain is the most important organ of your body which can be nurtured and developed through proper care and healthy habits. Chess is a complete package your brain needs. After reading the article, you must be aware of the exquisitely wondrous benefits chess offers. Avail of the opportunities you can, to turn the IMPOSSIBLE to I'M POSSIBLE. The best is yet to come!

If you liked my work, you can also buy my ebook, 'Resuscitate yourself', by clicking here or you can get it from Kindle and Amazon. It is a self-help book, which is mainly focused on an effectively efficient approach in improving brain power and beating stress, depression, and other mental ailments. 

I hope you liked my article, 'Top 5 Benefits of Playing Chess: How does playing chess benefits the brain?'. Subscribe to our newsletter to get all articles delivered straight into your inbox.


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