Why You Should Play Chess

The Benefits of Chess

Chess, as many of you know, is an age-old game where two players go head to head which each other, with the aim of checkmating the other party. Both players may employ certain tactics, such as forks, pins and double-checks, to achieve victory. While the game can be challenging and frustrating, it also has many positive benefits for those who play it. Below is a list of some of these benefits and I hope that you will understand why Chess is respected and played frequently around the world.

Benefit #1: Cognitive Development

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As stated above, players of either side have to employ certain tactics, such as forks, pins, double checks and decoys to gain an advantage over the other player. As such, players are required to think of all the possible combinations and moves possible to achieve this. In finding the best move, players learn to utilise and exercise their problem solving skills. Furthermore, players may be required to recall past games and similar positions so as to better decide the best move. This helps to improve memory and concentration. It has also been proven to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. On a side note, the beauty of chess is that the board is an open canvas. You are able to develop your pieces to positions of your choosing and shape the game via your actions. While textbooks and doctrine may dictate that Chess be played in a certain manner, it is completely up to you as to how you want to play the game. You may be a cautious person at heart, or a person who likes to strike hard and fast. There is room on the board for everyone’s style and personalities.

Benefit #2: It Brings People Together

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I’m sure that most of you have played a game of Chess with your relatives or friends. It’s a great recreational game where both players can learn more about each other and perhaps laugh at each other’s mistakes. Obviously, Chess is not a game meant to be played alone. So drag along a friend, a relative, your parents or someone to play a game of Chess sometime. You’ll be surprised at how much you will be able to learn about them through your games with them and perhaps forge a friendship with them. You can also play Chess with people online, on sites like Chess.com and Lichess.com. As shown, Chess is able to bring people of different cultures and walks of life together over a shared passion for the game.

Benefit #3: It Helps to Develop Resilience

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There are times when you have a bad game in Chess. You feel like giving up, you feel stressed and most of all you feel distressed. However, Chess teaches you to continue pushing on, no matter how bad your current position is. Perhaps, with a twist of fate, you will be able to turn a completely losing position into a draw or even a completely winning position. Chess is a game which therefore teaches you to persevere and push on even when your position seems unplayable. It also teaches you to learn from defeat, about what went wrong and what can be improved upon. Indeed, success in life is not attained just in one try but after a succession of failures and disappointments. It is only when you learn from your mistakes and continue to persevere that success will be yours.

Benefit #4: Chess Teaches You to Control Your Emotions

We may have felt like this during one of our games. You may have felt like flipping the table and giving up. Many times we may feel besieged from all corners, unable to manoeuvre and think. It’s a common feeling in Chess. But then, Chess teaches its players not to give up easily, to push through even when you don’t feel like it. It teaches you to quiet your mind and silence the thoughts in your mind so as to focus on the game. Therefore, the game teaches you to see things for what it is and plan accordingly. This skill is most important in life as we may face situations where we feel fearful, overwhelmed and helpless. At times like these, you will be able to place your feelings and feelings aside and see the situation for what it truly is.

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