10 Surprising Benefits of Playing Chess Daily

Check out this article to learn how Chess improves your mental health and your overall well-being with its brain-stimulating activities.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  29 Nov 2021 5:30 AM GMT
10 Surprising Benefits of Playing Chess Daily

Chess is one of the most popular games in the world, which is often known as the "Game of Intellectuals". The 64 square board game involves strategy, concentration, and tactics to beat the opponent. Because of the sheer number of calculations and analysis involved in playing the game, there are stereotypes that Chess is only for 'brainy' and 'nerdy' people. However, this assumption is far from true! Chess is a highly entertaining and educational game for children and adults, irrespective of their natural intelligence.

From improving your memory to curbing anxiety, there are plenty of benefits of playing Chess regularly. In this article, we shall look into the Top 10 health benefits of playing Chess which will inspire you to start learning the game, if you haven't before.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Playing Chess:

Check out these 10 ways in which Chess can improve your mental health and overall well-being:

1. Improves Memory:

If you are struggling to memorize your lessons or even simple everyday things, then it's time to start playing Chess. Chess involves remembering and estimating the moves to predict the outcomes of the game. This process will inturn sharpen your memory and increase your absorption capacity. Studies also show that professional chess players have better auditory memory to recollect what we learned from hearing. By playing Chess regularly, you will also be able to recall the previous moves or mistakes to improvise your game, a skill that will greatly help you in your everyday life. Additionally, Chess involves recognizing visual patterns and complex chess positions, which will improve your visual memory.

2. Develops Problem Solving Skills:

A game of Chess involves responding and reacting to the opponent's moves. We need to be cautious of our decisions, outweigh the positives and the negatives before moving a pawn. In a way, the game represents our real life in which we face numerous challenges, often without warning. Chess teaches us how to respond to these situations with a calm mind and overcome the challenges with our problem-solving skills. The game also teaches us the importance of making the right decisions to achieve success in our life.

3. Raises your IQ:

IQ, meaning Intelligence Quotient is a measurement of the person's reasoning and problem-solving abilities. Playing Chess regularly is known to increase the IQ levels of students, thanks to the complex moves and strategies involved in playing the game. A Venezuelan study conducted on 4000 students shows that girls and boys who underwent a 4-month chess training reported higher IQ scores than those who did not. Other studies also show that professional players record higher IQ scores due to their improved ability to play under mounting pressures. This experience is very likely to prove helpful while attempting competitive exams in the future.

4. Exercises Both Sides of the Brain:

One of the surprising benefits of playing chess is its ability to improve our brain utilization capacity. A German study conducted on a group of novice and expert chess players reveal interesting results on this subject. As part of the research, experts and novices were shown simple geometric shapes and chess positions and asked to identify them. While both the groups were able to recognise the patterns visually, the expert group were able to do it much faster than novices. MRI scans and other examinations revealed that the expert group was using both the sides of the brain to retrieve information much faster. This research shows that regular practise of Chess can activate the brain better and enable you to function with more efficiency.

5. Prevents Alzheimer's and Dementia:

Playing chess regularly is a best way to exercise your brain. Just like your muscles which need a workout to stay strong and active, your brain needs an activity like Chess to work better. Many studies show the link between Chess and prevention of brain disorders like Alzheimer's and Dementia. It is known that engaging in brain-stretching activities like Chess can improve the cognitive abilities in a person and work like a protective factor against Dementia. Playing chess can benefit the elderly people who are at a risk of Alzheimer's and Dementia by stimulating the brain with complex moves, patterns and calculations.

6. Develops Creativity:

The wonderful benefits of playing Chess regularly are its ability to develop our creativity. As mentioned earlier, Chess stimulates the right hemisphere of the brain which is the centre for creativity. Studies show that experienced chess players draw better advantages from the game by using their creative side of the brain. This makes them come up with original moves and patterns that a novice player cannot predict or solve. Also, Chess is a game for all types of players as it offers them innumerable ways to be creative on the board and win the game.

7. Improves Concentration:

It is no surprise that the Chess players gain the ability of concentration by playing it regularly. A game of chess demands intense concentration from the players as you need to watch and remember every move the opponent makes. Losing your focus from the board for even one second can put you as a disadvantage, as the opponent need not tell you about his move. So, it's important to watch his every step with focus, establish a pattern and come with up a game-changing move to beat him. This ability will prove helpful in everyday life where children and adults will be trained to focus better on their work and deliver faster results.

8. Teaches Planning and Foresight:

The most important lessons we can learn from Chess are planning and foresight. To win a game of chess, you must be able to carefully plan and strategize your next move based on your opponent's behaviour. This ability is known to develop the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is linked to planning, judgement and self-control. Studies show that adolescents who play chess regularly develop pre-front cortex earlier than those who do not. These individuals have shown more maturity while planning and making better decisions in their real life.

9. Grows Neuron Dendrites:

Learning a new activity like Chess helps in the growth of dendrites, which are tree-like branches that grow in your brain. These structures work like antennas in picking the signals from one neuron cell and transmit them to the neurons that they are attached to. The more dendrites you have, the better will be your ability to communicate and respond to a situation. The best part is that, even after you decide to take a break from the game, these dendrites don't lose their efficiency or reduce in numbers. So, if you are willing to pick up a new skill to improve your mental ability, Chess is the best one!

10. Builds Confidence:

Chess offers several benefits to us including, boosting our confidence levels. By playing Chess regularly, you will be able to master the skills of planning, strategizing and problem-solving better than others. Also, chess helps you perform well under pressure, thereby improving your resilience and mental strength. It will make you a better person and builds confidence to face any problem in real life.

Those are some of the best benefits of playing chess regularly. Since the game of Chess has many similarities with the game of our life, every move you learn on the board will prove useful to solve your everyday problems. So, how many of these advantages have you gained by playing chess? Do let us know!

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