International Chess Day 2022: Many benefits of playing chess | Health


International Chess Day 2022: A fun brain exercise and a wonderful pastime, playing chess with your child can make him or her smarter as well as creative. The classic board game is loved all over the world by people of all ages. While for children, chess is known to raise their IQ levels as well as their creativity as per some studies, for the elderly it can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Playing chess also improves your decision-making ability as well as helps you concentrate better in daily life. (Also read: Many benefits of exercise for your brain)

“While the rising number of screens these days has seen the younger generation showing less inclination towards the checkered board, however, this does not stop many to pick up learning it at a young age. And why not, associated with intelligence and a keen grasp of strategy – it is undoubtedly one of the best sports out there that exercises your brain,” says Dr Neha Kapoor, Sr. Consultant & Head Unit (I), Neurology, Asian Hospital Faridabad.

On the occasion of International Chess Day (July 20), here are some of the benefits of playing chess explained by Dr Kapoor:

Enhances thinking and problem-solving skills

Introducing chess at a younger age helps to improve thinking and problem-solving skills in kids. A child exposed to the game of chess at a tender age is much more likely to fair better in school for years to come.

Adults also get to polish their thinking and problem-solving skills with a game of chess over time.

Helps improve focus

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), is the epidemic of the 21st century. Children and adults alike are finding it difficult to focus on work and studies with a sharp decline in productivity. And why not, with so many distractions around, it is easy to lose your concentration and be diagnosed with ADHD. But there are better ways to deal with this than heading for a quick fix.

The game demands immense attention and trains your mind to be focused and attentive to the task at hand which results in better performance at work, less wastage of time and more successes.

Improves memory

Chess has been shown to help improve memory and keep Alzheimer’s – a disease related to the loss of memory at bay. The game involves a lot of moves and strategies that need to be practiced and over time which helps sharpen memory and bring out greater efficiency in every area of ​​life. Studies show that playing chess measurably decreases the risk of dementia and combats symptoms of Alzheimer’s besides reducing your risk of depression and anxiety as well.

Helps treat schizophrenia

Chess has been shown to help treat schizophrenia – with patients exhibiting increased attention, planning, and reasoning abilities. A study showed marked improvement in patients who played chess when compared to those who did not.

Builds self-confidence

Playing chess certainly helps to build your self-esteem, no matter what your age. When you play, you are completely on your own and when you lose, you have to sit back and analyze what went wrong. Playing and analyzing repeatedly increases the level of your mental strength and self-confidence that you display to the world beyond the chessboard.

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