From the previous article, I discussed a general overview to the health benefits of chess. The health benefits of chess clearly makes the game a huge benefit for those who want to live a healthy lifestyle. I want to discuss in more detail about what the mental health benefits really mean in applying context to everyday situations.

Making Quick Decisions And Better Time Management

How does chess help someone make quick decisions more effectively? Chess games are governed by time control (unless playing super casually) and one of the objectives is not only to manage your time wisely, but also to make decisions quickly so you don’t get into time pressure. Time pressure is the enemy in chess as not only can the opponent win on time, but also tricks you into making blunders since you didn’t have enough time to think about the situation. In life, you might only have a split second to think about a situation before you have to act. Chess greatly helps in this situation as in chess, you might only have a split second to think about a decision before things start getting out of control.

Failure Improves Self-Confidence

You will lose games in chess. I have lost thousands of games to be honest. Interestingly, I have noticed that my self-confidence has gone up through every failure as I know what to do for next time so the same mistake doesn’t occur. Since you are only playing against one other person, chess gives you the feeling that you know what to do, when to do it, and why to do it as no one is telling you what to do. There can never be analysis paralysis. If someone wasn’t telling you what to do all the time, wouldn’t you have more self confidence knowing that you will trust yourself that you made the right decision? Chess gives you that opportunity.


Chess from a mental health perspective offers enormous benefits. Self-confidence today is more valuable than ever. Learning how to manage your time is more valuable than ever as we live in a fast paced society. The ability to make a quick and, at times, split second decision, is very valuable as it could mean the difference between life and death. Chess gives you all of these opportunities to strengthen these skills which makes the game so wonderful. I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any questions or would like to provide feedback, please feel free to do so and I will be more than happy to answer!


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4 replies
  1. Amy Winters
    Amy Winters says:

    Thanks for pointing out that chess can teach you how to make decisions quickly. My niece is in middle school, and she really struggles to decide anything for herself without a long and careful analysis. It doesn’t affect her life a lot, but it really complicated little things like ordering at a fast-food restaurant. I’ll definitely suggest to her parents that they consider having her take chess lessons. I think she’d really benefit from the quick and independent thinking that’s required in chess.

    • Elan
      Elan says:

      Hi Amy,

      I definitely agree. If she decides to start chess lessons, make sure that she takes it slow at first as chess can be very overwhelming if not taught properly. I personally am starting a chess coaching program for my readers at Unconventional Chess but it is going to toke me time to build it. Stay tuned!

  2. Sam Li
    Sam Li says:

    I love what you said about chess games and how they are governed by time control. Learning to make quick decisions is a valuable skill in life. My brother wants to find chess software, so I’ll help him find the best one out there.


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