Chess: Pros and cons you may know about

chess day

Last Updated on July 20, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Chess is one of the most loved board games in the world. It is all about perseverance, strategy, and concentration. International Chess Day, celebrated on July 20 each year, marks the establishment of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) in 1924.

Chess can have many health benefits. Apart from the sheer enjoyment of playing the game, here are some reasons that may compel you to buy a chess board.

May boost your memory

Do you keep forgetting and losing your car keys around the house, or you are unable to remember other small things? Then chess might just be the help that you need to improve your memory. Chess is a mind game. Its players need to remember all the intricate details of themselves and of their opponents too in the game. This game involves a lot of memorising skills from the complex rules of the game to the numerous strategies, and sometimes past moves too. Research suggests that chess players may have better recall ability than others.

May provide you with a creative mindset

Playing chess is a fantastic way to enhance creativity. By requiring players to think critically, and come up with strategies and innovative moves, chess nurtures creative thinking skills. These skills extend beyond the game, enabling players to approach real-life challenges with a more imaginative mindset. With each move, players engage in a mental dance of possibilities, developing the ability to explore new ideas and solutions. Whether played by children or adults, chess can catalyse the development of one’s creative potential. 

May enhance your focus

Chess is a battle of wits. Players need to be very focused throughout the game. The game is not only about being focused on your strategy but also about understanding the past and present moves of the opponent. Its benefits extend beyond the game, aiding in dealing with challenges in daily life. It may prove valuable for children with ADHD, offering structured focus. A study done in 2022 in India found that ADHD is common among children and adolescents, with a prevalence of 75.1 per 1000 children in school-based settings and 18.6 per 1000 children in community-based settings. However, to gain a more comprehensive understanding, a larger nationwide study is necessary.

Researchers conducted a study with 100 children who had ADHD. They used chess as part of their treatment, and the kids who played chess regularly experienced a 41% decrease in inattentiveness and overactivity.

May keep you mentally fit 

Chess is not just a fun game. It also keeps your brain sharp. Studies show that playing board games like chess can lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s in older adults. So, whether you’re a pro or a newbie to the game, it’s a great time to start playing chess. Therapists even use chess to help clients understand themselves better. It’s like creative therapy, where you can see how you react to challenges during a match, how you handle the sudden situation, and learn from it with your therapist’s guidance.

Side-effects of playing chess 

Playing chess can be both thrilling and stressful at times, as players analyse moves and outwit opponents. Research on heart rate variability while playing chess shows that high-performance chess players exhibit better heart rate variability.

However, despite the pressure, chess enthusiasts relish the mental challenge and enjoy enhancing their cognitive skills in the competitive spirit of the game. So, if you want to start playing, there is no better time than international chess day to gear up with the chess board.

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