Introduction:


There are many health benefits of chess that are especially important for today’s age when it seems that everyone is living life in the fast lane. From my own experience, they include being able to think very quickly in stressful situations, increase my concentration, increase creative/analytical skills, and strengthen my self-confidence.

Neurological Benefits:


I have noticed with my games that my brain power keeps getting stronger when I play chess due to the inherent complexity associated with the positions I play. According to Health Fitness Revolution, chess stimulates the growth of dendrites, which increases your ability to think faster and quicker. Additional points the article makes about the benefits of chess include exercising both sides of your brain instead of just one, teaching planning and foresight, and strengthening your reading skills.

The Most Important Benefit Overlooked!


In my mind, the most important health benefit of chess that is quite often overlooked is… SELF CONFIDENCE! Chess is a very difficult game and in many situations, you are required to overcome adversity to win! If you can overcome adversity and at times potential setbacks, you will find it much easier in life to overcome obstacles that can inhibit your success. In chess, you have to trust your gut and believe you are doing the right thing. According to the Online Psychology Degree, “Playing and analyzing why you lost or won a game increases the level of mental strength and self-confidence that you bring to the world beyond the chessboard”. I definitely agree with that statement.

Conclusion:


The health benefits of chess are too numerous to count. In my own life, chess has made me more self-confident, more self-aware, increased my “brain power”, and increased my ability to think very quickly in potentially stressful situations. Because of these benefits, being able to live to the fullest has become much easier over time. Chess is never boring and makes life so exciting as there are over 1 million positions to play! Less Boredom=More Active Brain. Get your brain moving!

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10 replies
  1. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    Hmm, I do like to play strategy games, but not chess, for some reason. I prefer team strategy games (such as League of Legends) as compared to games that involve only two people. The satisfaction that comes from overcoming the adversity as a team is much greater than overcoming adversity alone, for me.

    Are there any differences between these two different types of strategy games? Do you suggest that I pick up a duo-player strategy game?

    Reply
    • Elan
      Elan says:

      Hello Rachel,

      I highly recommend you pick up a duo-strategy game because there are situations where you want to believe in yourself, your abilities, and increase your self-confidence mightily! That is one of the biggest health benefits of chess. I have never heard of League of Legends so I don’t know. What I can say in chess is that adversity is part skill part luck. I highly recommend that you do pick up a duo-player strategy game because at the end of the day, there will be times where you have to learn to overcome adversity on your own. You will be alone sometimes.

      Reply
  2. Peter
    Peter says:

    This is something that I haven’t thought much about. Yet, I believe that you are correct. I don’t like the pressure of playing against real people but I could play against the computer, set to compete against my ability level.

    That could help me retard the ravages of time as I age. Can you recommend any good and free chess programs? The last one I remember was Chessmaster 2000.

    Reply
    • Elan
      Elan says:

      Hey Peter,

      chess.com is an amazing resource to play chess against others like you. When you want to challenge someone, you can set the ratings parameters so that they fit your skill level. There is a free version of the site but I highly recommend that you get the premium version as it is only $5 a month and you get huge access to libraries dedicated to openings, tactics, endgame strategy, and advanced analysis from the computer engine to analyze your games!

      Reply
  3. Tyler Redlev
    Tyler Redlev says:

    You’re right, chess is one of the games that benefit our mind and willpower the most. Paying chess at frequent intervals can lead to increased mental strength and it can prevent neurological diseases in the long term.

    And it also develops the creativity of the player. Using both sides of the brain is a rare practice which you can’t come across.

    Reply
    • Elan
      Elan says:

      Hey Tyler,

      You summed it up pretty well! Chess has amazing benefits for the brain and I can feel it every time i play! I always think in chess that when you think you are in a bad situation, there is willpower and a way to get out of it (although not always). Keep playing!

      Reply
  4. Izzy
    Izzy says:

    I definitely need to pick up chess again, I used to play all the time with my grandpa and the satisfaction of winning after always being beat was amazing. I definitely agree that after practicing and playing, when you start to win it is a nice confidence boost.

    How often do you pick up chess? I used to about 2 years back, I always played against the computer in my class. I should really pick up back up, maybe teach my little brothers.

    Reply
    • Elan
      Elan says:

      Hey Izzy,

      I play chess just about every day! I love the game as it is awesome beautiful art. If you intend to play computer chess, I highly recommend chess.com That is where I play all of my games and learn new skills as a chess player.

      Reply
  5. Sam Li
    Sam Li says:

    I like the parallel you made about chess and life because you have to overcome adversity to win. Chess is a mentally-challenging game, and it’s a good idea to play every now and then to keep your wits about you. If I were to get into chess, I would download a reliable software that gave me coaching and advice.

    Reply
    • Elan
      Elan says:

      Hello Sam,

      There are a lot of great software tools out there and it depends on what your goal is. Do you want to buy something off the shelf or do you want to buy something online? The great thing about chess is the mentally challenging aspect of the game keeps me constantly on my toes! I play every day and would highly recommend you do too because one gets better with practice.

      Reply

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