Intellectual benefits of playing chess
It's no mistake that some of the smartest people both dead or alive enjoyed a game of chess. It's one of those rare games that encompasses so much of daily life. From patience to strategy you can see so much of our existence on a chessboard.
There are many intellectual benefits of playing chess, and in this article you will see some of the most vital ones that just might make you run out and buy some chess set.
It helps you to appreciate those little details
One of the most powerful tools that a chess player has to possess is a high level of in concentration. One of the first things you learn when playing chess is how to concentrate on the board at all times, thinking what you have to do in the next four moves, all the while paying attention to your opponent's pieces and body language at the same time.
The attention to detail that you gain from playing chess filters into other aspects of life. People who have been playing chess for years are able to notice small details that often get overlooked by the vast majority of people.
Chess is a game of strategy, and the most capable players of the game are those that can strategize just by glancing at the board, or at an opponent when they make a move. The ability to strategize and plan is a powerful skill that is not learned overnight but it’s something that you pick up the more you play the game.
Studies show that players of chess both young and old learn the important lesson of abstract reasoning. Meaning that you can imagine what would happen in various scenarios and what you need to do to become successful, sometimes simultaneously, a skill that few games can teach you.
A great advantage of playing chess is that it improves your memory. The complexity of the game and the fact that players have to always be aware of past moves on the board means that it sharpens the memory portion of your brain. Studies have shown that students who play chess improve their grades and verbal skills due to the fact that their memory of classes and words vastly improve after playing.
We all enjoy daydreaming every now and then, whether we are staring out of a train window or staring at a blank white page at work, a lack of concentration is very common. While playing chess you can't afford to let your mind drift for even a moment. With one fleeting thought about what you want to eat for dinner, your opponent can make a move that could end the entire game. When you play chess over a long period of time one of the benefits you take into your everyday life is the ability to focus on something with eagle-like precision.
Part of the brilliance of chess is the fact that it is a game with infinite possibilities. For example, after each player makes three moves apiece there are over 9 million possible positions. After four moves apiece there are over 288 billion different possibilities. It's incredibly complex, and because of this, an essential ability in chess is being able to plan ahead.
If your competitor moves a rook or a pawn, you must be able to plan what your move will be at that moment in time, as well as ten steps from that point.
Chess players never make moves blindly or on impulse. Each move is painstakingly planned and choreographed to outwit an opponent. When you play chess you instinctively become someone who knows how to plan in high-pressure situations.
As you have seen from reading this article chess is a game that has a seemingly endless amount of intellectual benefits. It might appear like a very complexed game, and it is, but don't think it's just for geniuses. Anyone can learn to play and enjoy chess. It creates and develops diverse and critical thinkers and the skills you pick up from playing chess go well beyond the chess board.
Mary Frenson is a Marketing Assistant at Checkdirector.co.uk