Written by: Emadeldin Teama
Chess is a beautiful fun game that challenges the mind .However, are there any health benefits for playing chess? What does science tell us about the importance of chess for kids, young adults and old people? In this article, we are going to discuss the benefits for playing this royal game.
There are so many great effects for playing chess for kids. A study made in 2016 showed that children diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) showed a huge reduction in their symptoms after they were introduced to chess for a while and were playing it regularly. The beauty of the game teaches the kids to be calmer in a way as they have to spend more time on the board sitting, calculating variations and analyzing position deeply.it simply trains their minds on a subconscious level to be less hyperactive and to be more organized.
Another study showed an elevated level in the reasoning and mathematical skills for children who played chess on a higher level than others who didn’t. Chess is a complicated game that requires a lot of skills in order to win. You would automatically improve your problem solving skills, thinking skills and competitive spirit. In order to win at the game of chess, a player must go through a series of phases, the opening which depends mainly on memorization and understanding of different positions, the middle game which requires a huge strategic and tactical abilities and the endgame which requires precise calculation and good executional technique. In a way, you can consider chess as a training of the mind.it will make you stay sharp longer hours and will help you keep your focus in many difficult situations!
Another German study indicated that when chess players were asked to identify chess positions and geometric shapes, both the left and right hemispheres of the brain became highly active. Their reaction times to the simple shapes were the same, but the experts were using both sides of their brains to more quickly respond to the chess position questions. Playing chess is like going to the GYM for your mind!
There are other benefits to the chess game. The next studies shows other absolutely important benefits for learning and playing chess.
Chess can improve your IQ to a certain degree. A scientific study has shown that playing the game can actually raise a person’s IQ. A study of 4,000 Venezuelan students produced significant rises in the IQ scores of both boys and girls after four months of chess instruction. So grab a chess board and improve your IQ!
It was proven that chess also helps to prevent Alzheimer disease for old people. As we age, it becomes increasingly important to give the brain a workout, just as you would train every other major muscle group in your body in order to keep it healthy and fit. A recent study featured in The New England Journal of Medicine found that people over 75 who engage in brain-games like chess are less likely to develop dementia than their non-board-game-playing peers. The saying “use it or lose it” certainly applies here, as a sedentary brain can decrease brainpower. All the more reason to play chess before you turn 75.
Chess is also known to improve your creativity. Playing chess helps to unleash your originality since it activates the right side of the brain which is the side responsible for creativity. A four-year study had students from grades 7 to 9 play chess, use computers, or do other activities once a week for 32 weeks to see which activity fostered the most growth in creative thinking. The chess group scored higher in all measures of creativity, with originality being their biggest area of gain.
Chess can Improves reading skills. In an oft-cited 1991 study, Dr. Stuart Margulies studied the reading performance of 53 elementary school students who participated in a chess program and evaluated them compared to non-chess-playing students in the district and around the country. He found definitive results that playing chess caused increased performance in reading. In a district where the average students tested below the national average, kids from the district who played the game tested above it!
Chess can Optimizes memory improvement. A Chess players know that playing chess improves his memory, mainly because of the complex rules that a player has to remember, as well as the memory recall needed when trying to avoid previous mistakes or to remember a certain opponent’s playing style. Good chess players have exceptional memory performance and recall. A study of Pennsylvania sixth-graders found that students who had never before played chess improved their memories and verbal skills after playing it.
Last but not least, chess Improves recovery from stroke or disability. Chess develops fine motor skills in individuals who have a disability or have suffered a stroke or other physically debilitating accidents. This form of rehabilitation requires the motion of chess pieces in different directions (forward, backward, diagonally forward motion, diagonally backward motion), which can help develop and fine-tune a patient’s motor skills, while the mental effort required to play the game can improve cognitive and communication skills. Playing can also stimulate deep concentration and calm, helping to center and relax patients who are experiencing different degrees of anxiety.
For the above mentioned reasons and more, some developed countries started to include chess as part of the school subjects for students of young ages. They understood that chess would simply help their population to develop essential skills that will help the young individuals to become a better and more skilled persons in the future. It doesn’t matter if the young kid’s would end up to be a professional chess players or not. The point here is to get all the health benefits of playing chess while having fun playing a game! It is certainly worth it for people of all ages to practice chess the same way it is better for an individual to go for a run or to the GYM regularly to train his body! A healthier populations means a brighter future for the country and a healthier society.
We would like to end the article here with an interesting point. Professional chess players can earn a decent amount of money at a young age!. A typical international chess player can earn some money from playing tournaments, international events, Training young talented kids and many other methods. Chess can actually teach children that being competitive pays off and can help them to get into the biggest universities under the various talented programs in different countries all over the world. It would guarantee a brighter future with more options for living anywhere in the world for the talented professional chess player than the average person who doesn’t play chess. Many countries go as far as giving their nationality for talented young people to guarantee having a strong team for international events to play under their names (i.e. United States of America, Qatar, France and much more!). This makes a chess player essentially a citizen of the world as he would be welcomed everywhere he goes. A typical professional player would visit many countries across Europe, Africa, Asia and USA playing in different international tournaments in order to get a higher rating and international Titles .it can teach the players how diverse the world is as the player adapt to all other cultures and countries he would be visiting all the time during his chess career.
We would absolutely recommend for you to learn chess and teach your kids this beautiful sport for the above mentioned benefits and much more others. Chess is the healthy food for the mind so grab your chess board, start playing it and have fun with it!