What Is Chess Addiction? | How To Deal With It? | A Detailed Guide

Chess addiction is a condition where an individual becomes compulsively fixated on playing chess and may prioritize it over other aspects of their life. This can lead to negative consequences such as neglecting responsibilities and social relationships.

Have you ever felt that playing chess is a waste of time? Are you worried that the time spent on a chessboard or playing the game online can be utilized in a much more productive activities?

If your answer to both these questions is a yes then don’t worry! By the end of this article you’ll still be playing chess but it will be in a much more controlled and productive way.

Why Is Chess So Addictive?

Chess is addictive because it provides a mental challenge that requires strategy and intelligence to solve.

The thrill of outsmarting an opponent, the satisfaction of making the perfect move, and the endless possibilities of the game make it enjoyable to play.

Additionally, the game does not rely on luck and it is accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds which makes it appealing for many.

At first glance, the rules of chess may seem simple, but as you dive deeper, the complexity of the game will keep you on your toes, always planning your next move.

Recently chess has seen a surge in popularity. And it’s not hard to see why.

How To Get Rid Of Chess Addiction?

Below are some of the tips that can be helpful in getting rid of chess addiction:

  1. With every game you play online, do 5 pushups, and do it after every game immediately. It will be a smart way to both enjoy chess and exercise.
  2. Find an alternate hobby that can replace chess, it can be any other sport (preferably an outdoor sport).
  3. Don’t listen to your triggers, if you are feeling a need to play chess, skip the urge to as long as you can.
  4. Replace chess with something else that you love to do.
  5. Go for a walk.

The Science Behind Mental Addiction To Chess

Chess is a board game that naturally attracts a player’s attention. And it’s a fact that wherever the attention goes, the whole brain follows.

If your brain is craving for it, then it doesn’t matter if you are in a room full of people or walking down the street, your brain will constantly think about chess.

Check out the thoughts of World Champion Magnus Carlsen and 5 times US champion Hikaru Nakamura talking about chess addiction:

Why Is Controlling Chess Addiction Important?

Chess is not the bread and butter for most people and it’s essential to limit it to a hobby and mind refresher. When chess addiction is not controlled, it can consume a lot of brainpower and time, and it can lead to negative behavior.

For example, if one can’t stop thinking about chess and it’s impacting the person’s daily life, it’s become a problem that needs addressing.

While it may be enjoyable to indulge in chess, it’s important to keep it as a hobby and not let it consume too much of one’s thoughts and time.

Negative Effects of Chess

Although there are many benefits of playing chess. It is said that too much water can spoil the crop.

Even a healthy activity becomes unhealthy when done for an enormous amount of time. Below are some of the negative effects of playing too much chess:

  • It’s a waste of time if prioritized on more important things in life.
  • Chess is addictive and can lead to mental illness.
  • There is a lot of elitism in chess.

You can check out the details of negative effects of chess here.

It’s rare but there are also some more serious side effects of playing chess at higher levels like chess can lead to extreme cases of introversion and obsessive behavior.

Players who only play chess may find themselves avoiding human contact and spending hours upon hours playing and studying games with few breaks in between.

This kind of chess addiction is an alarming situation, and it may cause mental health issues such as chronic depression.

Is Chess A Useless Game To Play?

No, chess is not a useless game. It has several health benefits. To mention a few playing chess has been shown to increase creativity, enhance planning abilities and can also help to improve attention span by requiring focus for an extended period of time.

While it is true that not many elite players are able to make a living from it and it consumes a lot of time, the same can be said for many other sports and games.

Furthermore, chess offers various formats and time controls, so if you feel that playing for an extended period is not for you, there are shorter options available such as 3-minute blitz or 1-minute bullet.

These faster-paced games can still provide the same level of challenge and enjoyment without taking up as much time.

Chess is useless only if someone is not good at it and trying to make a living from it, or if they are playing too much and neglecting other responsibilities, then it can be called a waste of time.


Chess addiction is not a major problem but can be if not handled properly. To prevent chess addiction from turning into a bigger issue, parents should try to keep their children involved in other activities that don’t involve playing chess for long hours on end.

If you liked reading this article, please do share it on social media.

Related Articles:

Leave a Comment