Invented all the way back in the sixth century, there’s definitely a reason why chess has stuck around for so long! Not only is it a fun game focused on strategy and skill, but chess strengthens your mind in ways that other games cannot. Check out five of the benefits of chess on your brain below!
1.Playing chess increases your IQ.
Amazingly, it takes only four months of regularly playing chess to see a positive effect on your IQ. So even if you’re not exactly a genius now, if you start playing chess, chances are you’ll become more intelligent! The way you look at the board and analyze possible moves has impressive effects on overall intelligence.
2. Chess improves your problem-solving skills.
When playing chess, your goal is to solve the problems presented by the moves your opponent makes. The game itself is essentially a puzzle that continues to get more and more difficult as it goes on. The more you play, the stronger your problem-solving skills get, similar to exercising and strengthening your muscles. This skill translates into life outside of chess as well! Studies have shown that people who play chess develop better problem-solving skills, which they can then apply to any situation that arises in life.
3. Chess enhances your focus and concentration.
In chess, one bad move can take you from winning the game to completely blundering and handing over the win to your opponent. That’s why it’s essential to focus and concentrate on every aspect of the game. Plus, chess games are notorious for lasting hours upon hours, so it’s very important to be able to concentrate for long periods of time if you want to be a serious chess player. The more you play, the more your concentration and focus will be enhanced, and these skills can then be put to use in a school or work setting as well. However, you’ll probably want to avoid playing chess right before bed, as it can make you feel wired and unable to relax enough to fall asleep. Unfortunately, some competitive chess players even experience sleep disorders like insomnia due to their habit of constantly playing chess, rather than allowing their mind sufficient time to relax and take a break from concentrating on strategy and tactics. If you’ve experienced consistent difficulty falling or staying asleep, it’s possible you’re living with a sleep disorder; click here to learn more. Overall, though, chess’s ability to enhance the skills of focus and concentration is truly impressive and highly beneficial.
4. Chess improves your memory.
Memorization is a key part of chess; even when you’re first learning the game, it’s necessary to memorize how all of the different pieces move, as well as the general rules of the game. As you become a more advanced player, you’ll need to memorize specific move orders for various openings, middle games, traps, and end games. You have to get to know these move orders well enough to recognize them when your opponent uses them against you, so having a good memory is very important in chess. And luckily, the more you play, the better your memory will become.
5. Playing chess can make you more creative.
You might not consider chess a very creative activity, but there’s actually a lot of creative thought involved in chess gameplay. As mentioned above, chess is all about problem-solving, and solving problems often requires you to be very creative. When you play chess regularly, your brain gets to examine all kinds of possible solutions to problems. Your mind has the opportunity to come up with creative and unique moves that can change the course of the game. The creativity you develop through playing chess can then be applied to multiple other areas of your life!
The Bottom Line
Chess can have very impressive effects on your brain’s abilities. From increasing your IQ to improving your problem-solving skills and memory, as well as enhancing concentration and making you more creative, anyone who wants to take their mental abilities to a new level should definitely give chess a try!