Playing Chess is like going to a Gym for the mind
How Chess will improve your skills in life
Every day millions of people go online and play the wonderful game of Chess, from young children to parents and pensioners. In countries like the United States and Russia - the two biggest producers of Chess Grandmasters (GM's) - chess is introduced in classrooms in growing numbers. Apart from being an incredibly addictive and fun game, what can Chess teach you in terms of life skills?
Peter Thiel, Co-founder of Paypal and major stakeholder in Facebook, frequently employs chess champions in his companies. According to him, Chess develops the part of your brain designed for logical thinking. It is a combination, he claims, of logical thinking, intuition, confidence, memory and demands the upmost concentration. In short, it is an intellectual game, capable of helping your brain to accomodate more space for logical thinking and memorization. Garry Kasparov, possibly the most notorious Chess GM of all time alongside Bobby Fischer, is considered to possess one of the highest IQ's in the world.
Yet Chess is not only designed for people with brains the size of an elephant. It is, actually, an engine designed for people of all backgrounds, ages and intellect. Players from all levels can compete with each other, improving their game and their brains simultaneously. It is a confrontation - between two players each holding 8 pawns, 2 knights and bishops, 2 rooks, a queen and a invaluable king - belied by a sense of mutual interest and enjoyment.
Concentration, or the ability to concentrate, is often problematic for young children. Inviting them to play Chess is a didactic and effective way of teaching them how to stay focused, which, in turn, pays dividends on their performance in the classroom.
Playing Chess is like going to the Gym for the mind. Use it not as distraction time, but as a tool capable of enhancing your skills in life and teachers should urge it to be included in their school programs.