10 Benefits of Playing Chess

benefits of playing chess

Well, chess was a popular game even before Netflix’s hit series Queen’s Gambit took over the world. Be it a lazy Sunday afternoon or a quiet library, you will find people enjoying an exciting chess match at some random corners.

Undoubtedly, chess is everybody’s favorite tabletop game and one of the most recognized indoor games. However, in this blog, I will not discuss how to play chess or why it’s our favorite. Instead, I want to talk about the benefits of playing chess.

You may have heard here and there how chess increases concentration and enhances our memory. But once you learn about its benefits in detail, you will be as amazed and surprised as I am.

First, checkout this video and then let’s dive into details.

Ten Benefits of Playing Chess

1. Increases IQ Level

The fact that chess increases IQ levels are one of the most popular, well-known benefits of chess. And, yes, it’s true. According to research conducted in Venezuela on 4000-second grade students, chess training for as short as 4.5 months can significantly change children’s IQ scores.

Another study conducted on 33 tournament-level chess players in Belgium had found their average IQ score to be 121, making them the best 8% of the entire population.

In addition to that, chess is also one of the easiest, accessible, and affordable sports when it comes to training. In fact, one can learn chess sitting at home.

All I am trying to say, your child may or may not respond to chess training, but, as chess has several benefits, why not give it a try.

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2. Reduces ADHD Symptoms

ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Although it sounds very wordy and serious actually, ADHD is quite common, especially in children. According to a report by the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (2018), around 6.1 million children aged between 2 to 17 years in the U.S.A were diagnosed with ADHD.

Again, most ADHD symptoms go unnoticed and undiagnosed because the majority of parents presume the symptoms to be regular childish tantrums. Let me ask you a few questions:

Is your child interrupting conversations and games they aren’t part of? Do they leave tasks/homework/projects unfinished? Have they been showing temper tantrums lately?

If you are answering yes, your child may or may not be struggling with ADHD. However, the above symptoms are a few of the most common symptoms seen in children.

My point is most kids are naturally restless, fidgety, and moody. And while everybody doesn’t need professional help, I suggest parents try chess.

In fact, studies show that children are staying longer on task, controlling their actions and outbursts, and maintaining focus after taking a biweekly four-month chess training.

3. Helps in Cognitive Development

A child’s journey from being dependent on their parents to becoming an adult so much so depends on their cognitive development. Now, some readers may be thinking, what is cognitive development?

Well, cognitive development includes how kids think, explore various things, and figure out the meanings. In short, it can not only influence your child’s performance at school or future career prospects but also plays an important role in shaping their worldview.

And, there are several pieces of research and studies that claim that chess helps in cognitive development.

Therefore, there are many schools across the world that made chess a compulsory subject for elementary and middle schools. If you also want to boost your child’s cognitive development, teach your child how to play chess.

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4. Increases Concentration

A chess match is all about concentrating on the game—guessing your opponent’s moves and figuring out the next moves based on that.

If someone plays chess for a significant period, that person is bound to have better concentration power than other people. So, if you feel you or somebody you know lacks concentration, I suggest you try playing chess.

5. Teaches Problem-Solving Skills

Besides increasing concentration, chess is also a very good option to train yourself or your child in problem-solving skills. I cannot recall if there is any other game that teaches problem-solving skills as easily as chess does.

After all, this game is all about finding the solution to your opponent’s tricky moves. In addition, chess is popular for improving school children’s mathematics grades.

If you think your child takes time to solve a math problem, try playing chess with them. Undoubtedly, it’s of the most popular benefits of playing chess. And, I am sure, it will help both you and your little one.

6. Reduces the risk of Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Schizophrenia

Is chess only beneficial to kids?

Nope. Chess is equally helpful and beneficial for adults and elderly people. It is one of the handfuls of games that enhances memory. Be it a child or an adult, playing chess regularly can help you increase your memory.

In fact, there are several studies that show playing chess can remarkably reduce the symptoms of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Schizophrenia.

7. Develops Grit and Resilience

Dear reader, you may have already heard uncountable times—life is hard.

I agree. Yes, life is tough, and our every day comprises of uncountable big and small obstacles. Sometimes, it can be as small as realizing you have no cereal sitting at breakfast, and sometimes, it can be huge problems related to money and career.

While none of us have control over the future, we can at least prepare ourselves for facing day-to-day obstacles. And if you are ready to develop grit and resilience, I recommend chess.

Chess prepares you for facing obstacles. If you begin playing chess twice a week, after a couple of months, you will start noticing the difference in your character. This game makes you used to the frustrating feeling of not having control over a situation. And after a certain point, you will learn that no matter what, you can only give your best and wait for the results.

8. Encourages Sportsmanship

Sometimes, losing at games or earning bad grades can take a toll on kids. Although it sounds very silly to adults, it becomes a matter of life and death for kids.

However, while playing chess, kids gradually get used to losing pieces. Be it pawns, kings, and queens, they eventually learn that losing something is okay. Such qualities not only help in building good characters but also encourage kids to face their fear.

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9. Increases Patience

In my teaching career, I have only seen a handful of children who are patient. Most kids are impatient and aren’t eager to learn etiquettes. And, that is okay! Because this is how kids are kids.

However, I don’t encourage parents or adults to stop trying to teach the importance of patience. After all, patience is not only a virtue but also a very important factor in personality development.

One of the prime benefits of playing chess is patience. During a chess match, your kid will wait for their turn. And this brief, insignificant waiting can teach patience and also the basic etiquette of responding when they are talked to or asked for.

10. Encourages Rational Thinking

The ability to think rationally significantly determines our decision-making skills and, hence, our future. As you may already know, chess depends on finding the logic and reason behind your moves. Therefore, I recommend playing chess if you want your child to develop logical reasoning and rational thinking.

To conclude, besides the above 10 benefits, playing chess on a regular basis can also show other positive changes in your life. Dear readers, that’s all from my side about chess. Please feel free to comment to add any other benefits of playing chess.

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