There are many benefits of playing chess. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a newcomer, this board game (which can also be played online!) has a lot to offer.
From mental acuity to better memory functioning, and even problem-solving abilities, the list of benefits is a long one. But we’ll keep it to the top 10 most important ones.
Top 10 Benefits Of Playing Chess:
1. Chess Improves Memory
Skilled chess players are very good at recognizing patterns. Their memory is sharper than an average human’s.
Chess constantly puts them in a situation where they have to solve a certain pattern. This mental involvement is very good for memory.
World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen remembers more than 10,000 games:
Also, check out how good he is at remembering Vishy Anand (former world champion’s) games:
2. Chess Improves Intelligence
Playing chess has a link with intelligence in many forms.
These forms include, but are not limited to:
- Logical intelligence: Chess requires players to think logically and critically, analyze patterns and make strategic decisions.
- Spatial intelligence: Chess requires players to visualize the board and imagine potential moves, which can help improve spatial awareness and visualization skills.
- Mathematical intelligence: Chess involves mathematical concepts such as probability, risk assessment, and pattern recognition, which can help improve mathematical skills.
- Linguistic intelligence: Chess has its own terminology, which can help players expand their vocabulary and improve their linguistic abilities.
- Memorization and concentration: Chess requires players to memorize patterns, sequences, and strategies, which can help improve memory and concentration skills.
- Emotional intelligence: Chess helps players develop emotional control, as well as the ability to handle stress and frustration in a healthy way.
Regardless of one’s skill level, emotions will be experienced during the game, and if a loss occurs, the player must learn from their mistakes and be better prepared for similar situations in the future.
This can be used as an analogy for real world problems where if you make a mistake once or fail at something, you can learn from that mistake and not repeat it again.
Intelligence is not only about avoiding mistakes, but also about learning from them and making positive changes for the future.
3. Chess Enables You To Enter A Flow State
Flow means giving your utmost concentration to a single task at a time.
According to research, theta waves are heightened in electroencephalograms (EEGs) taken when people are in a state of flow.
That flow is important to build a habit of focus. Which as a result, can bring a significant improvement in whatever your profession is.
That flow is equally good for athletes, students, artists and everyone else.
Successful people are more focused. They don’t only know their goals but also are constantly focused on how to make those goals turn from dreams to reality.
Play chess to improve your focus and become a more successful person.
4. Chess Elevates Creativity
One benefit of chess that many people may not be aware of is its potential to improve creative thinking.
Chess is often thought of as a highly structured and rigid game, but in reality, it requires players to constantly come up with new and innovative strategies.
Chess players need to think outside the box and find new ways to approach the game in order to succeed.
Through playing chess, people can learn to embrace uncertainty and see opportunities where others see obstacles.
By encouraging players to think creatively and take calculated risks, chess can help players develop a more flexible and adaptable thought process that can be applied to other areas of their lives, such as problem-solving, innovation, and decision-making.
5. Chess Improves Planning Skills
Planning is a process used in all walks of life. It gives you a direction and goals to strive for.
No business can survive without an action plan. And chess is a proven solution to help in improving planning skills.
Right from the beginning, both players are in a constant struggle of controlling the important squares and the center.
Then comes the middle game phase, where both the players are constantly looking for checks, threats, and captures.
Plus keeping an eye on where the opponent is going and what his plans are in each passing move.
That awareness of position is required right till the end of the game.
And you constantly have to look for and plan moves based on threats and initiatives.
All this power struggle leads to better planning skills.
6. Chess Is Helpful Against Dementia
A National Library of Medicine’s study suggests that people who play chess are 35% less likely to suffer from dementia.
The assumption that chess may have protective effects against dementia is largely based on its cognitive benefits.
However, further research with stronger evidence is needed to definitively prove that chess can serve as a protective factor for individuals already diagnosed with dementia.
7. Chess Is Helpful Against ADHD
ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
According to this sapup study, chess has been shown to have a positive impact on children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
The study found that playing chess improved attention span, concentration, and cognitive flexibility in children with ADHD.
In addition, the study found that playing chess also helped children with ADHD develop better social skills and self-esteem.
The competitive and social aspects of chess can help children with ADHD learn to manage their emotions, improve their interpersonal relationships, and increase their overall sense of well-being.
It’s important to note that while the study showed promising results, it is only one study and more research is needed to fully understand the impact of chess on ADHD.
Nevertheless, the study suggests that chess can be a useful tool in addressing some of the challenges faced by children with ADHD.
8. Chess Improves Mental Endurance And Resilience
One underrated benefit of chess that is not well known is its ability to improve mental endurance and resilience.
Classical chess games can last for several hours, requiring players to maintain focus and concentration for an extended period of time.
This can help improve mental endurance and increase a person’s ability to handle mentally demanding tasks.
In addition, chess can also help players develop resilience in the face of setbacks and losses.
The game teaches players to persevere through difficult situations and to not give up even when the outcome seems uncertain.
This can be a valuable lesson in life, as it helps individuals learn to maintain a positive attitude and keep working towards their goals, even in the face of adversity.
9. Chess Is Good For Kids
Curiosity is the desire to learn and kids are no short of it. To a certain age, they want to taste anything and everything. Then comes the age of observing, looking at, and testing things. That is where you can introduce chess into their lives.
Bobby Fischer, the greatest US chess player ever was not a kid from a chess family. In a way, he became the accidental genius who was introduced to chess by his Mom gifting him a chess set as a Christmas gift.
If you are looking for gift ideas for kids, a chess set from here can be a good option.
By encouraging kids to play chess you will enable them to think creatively and take calculated risks.
Chess can help kids develop a more flexible and adaptable thought process that can be applied to other areas of their lives, such as problem-solving, innovation, and decision-making.
10. Chess Is Good For Brain Rehabilitation
To recover from brain injury, there is a need for three kinds of rehabilitation exercises:
- Exercises for memory skills
- Exercises for problem solving skills, and
- Exercises for attention and concentration skills.
Chess is a recommended memory exercise for all these skills especially the problem-solving skill.
Concentration is very important to memorize something and in chess, the whole focus is on a single 64 square board. Leading to improved memory and concentration.
That’s all in the top 10 benefits of playing chess. There will surely be more, but I think this much is enough for a starter. If you liked reading this article, please do share it on your social media.
Before you go…
I’d like to encourage you to read our article on the potential disadvantages of playing chess.
While there are many benefits to playing this game, it is important to understand the potential drawbacks as well.
This will help you make an informed decision about whether or not chess is the right activity for you or your children.
By understanding both the benefits and the drawbacks of chess, you can make the most of this timeless game and enjoy all that it has to offer.