“What gym is to the body, chess is to the brain.” We often forget that just like our muscles, our brain also needs exercise to stay healthy. Games like Chess, Scrabble and Sudoku are some of the most popular games that fall in this segment. This article here, elaborates on the health benefits of chess, for kids and adults both.
Chess improves logical thinking and planning: This is one game where planning is of utmost importance and the first move has as much impact as the last one. Playing chess regularly helps an individual take the same approach of planning everything well and not making any rookie mistakes. Can one ever over-emphasize the importance of planning and foresight in life?
Chess improves memory: Chess needs you to remember all the complex game rules from the movement of the coins to their limitations. In order to get better, you also need to remember your opponent’s playing style and grab their tips and tricks to win. The simple process of learning the game helps improve memory in children. Recently, in a meet, when Bhavya Gohil, the CEO of ‘Square off’ which is the world’s smartest chessboard mentioned “It’s the time we introduce chess as a part of the school curriculum”, I couldn’t agree more.
Chess helps improve concentration: The complexity of the game makes sure that when you play, you can’t be thinking of anything else. It requires your one hundred percent focus, whether you’re a newbie or a regular player. This improved concentration helps everyone from a child to an adult in other areas of their life.
It improves problem-solving abilities: At many stages of the game, the player needs to think strategically and get out of a tight situation. This habit of dealing calmly with the difficult times and getting out of them through a strategy helps the chess players do the same in the outside world too.
It prevents degenerative brain diseases: Chess needs your brain to be super active throughout the gaming session. This activity helps prevent diseases like Dementia and Alzheimers in elderly people. One study in The New England Journal of Medicine confirmed that people above 75 who played chess had better mental health than their non-playing peers.
It activates both sides of the brain: Chess promotes development of both the hemispheres, the left one, which is affiliated with object recognition and the right one, which is related to pattern recognition. The simple reason for this being, chess involves shape identification, understanding of the opponent’s pattern of playing and strategy devising at the same time.
Helps develop patience: Chess is a long game and needs you to keep calm until the very end, as the game can flip around any time. Playing a game like this since a very young age helps one develop the art of patience in other non-chess areas of their life too.
Teaches kids how to lose and win: Chess is an intense game and you win some and lose some. This attitude of facing the forfeit and the victory with a positive attitude goes a long way in helping them deal with the successes and failures in life.
It unites the family: Apart from all the health benefits, it also strengthens the family. Chess is a two-people game and thereby helps you bond with the other player. It needs you to spend the much-needed time together while you rack your brains and get your dose of mental exercise.