NURTURE FRIDAYS

Checkmate

Known as the game of the intellectually gifted, the game of Chess, if played on a regular basis, improves learning, thinking, analytical power, and decision-making abilities. The strategic aspects of the game correlate with life scenarios and exercise foresight and planning skills.

Playing the game teaches the skill to stay calm under pressure. Repeated consideration of the current position on the board and the next best possible move teaches real life decision making while under pressure. While playing chess, players learn foresight, or the ability to look into futurity, considering the consequences that may attend an action.

In order to defeat an opponent, a chess player must become a creative thinker when constantly coming up with new strategies; exercising the brain. A player must heed caution as to not make moves with haste, or make decisions too quickly in real life.

The relationship between chess skill and intelligence has long been discussed in the literature and popular culture. Chess remains a highly popular pastime among the general populace to this day. A 2012 survey found that “chess players now make up one of the largest communities in the world: 605 million adults play chess regularly.” Chess is played at least once a year by 12% of British people, 15% of Americans, 23% of Germans, 43% of Russians, and 70% of Indian people.

A 2012 poll found that there’s a relationship of playing chess and various measures of achievement and success. 78% of active chess players are University graduates, 20% of households making above $120,000 play chess regularly and players are more likely to be affluent. Microsoft’s founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen have been known to play each other, along with other Silicon Valley titans.

Although some individuals are born with a chessboard in their brain or even some aptitudes of intellect, the good news is that the ability to master the game of chess is mostly due to nurture. The more someone plays, the greater their mastery levels.

As self-care is crucial not only for the physical aspects of the body, it must also extend to the nurturing of the brain. By playing chess an individual’s IQ rises and aids in the prevention of Alzheimer’s. Additional benefits also include improved concentration, memory and reading skills.  

So if you’ve never played a game of chess before, now might be the time to try out your chess playing skills at least once. But, if you’re too hasty and your opponent wins the game, there’s always a next time to call “Checkmate.”

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