10 Ways a Chess Set Can Help You to Maintain a Healthy Mind

10 Ways a Chess Set Can Help You to Maintain a Healthy Mind

A chess set is something that can be found in countless homes around the world and the game itself has been played for centuries across the globe. Despite being an ancient pastime, it’s a game that is as relevant today as it has ever been, with an estimated 30 million players regularly sitting down with a chess board and playing.

As well as providing a great way to pit your wits against an adversary, chess offers much to players in terms of mental conditioning. It always has been a cerebral game, especially when talking about the greats like Garry Kasparov and Bobby Fischer, but the long-term benefits to playing the game often have only recently become understood.

That’s exactly what we look at in greater detail here. By reading on, you’ll understand that a chess set is much more than a collection of wooden or metal objects. A chess set represents a timeless pastime played throughout the ages that happens to be really beneficial to the human mind in numerous ways.

So, let’s dive in and look at just how many ways chess enhances the mind.

#1 - A Chess Board Can Be Used to Prevent Alzheimer’s

When you play chess, your brain immediately becomes the most active part of your body, which is the kind of stimulation that does your mind all kinds of good. If you think of your brain as a muscle that needs to be exercised to stay in its best condition, a chess set allows this conditioning to occur in one of the most enjoyable ways possible.

The net result of this regular mental exercise is improved brain function and medical science has even gone as far as to prove that playing chess actually reduces a person’s susceptibility to dementia - something that currently affects over 50 million people worldwide.

Alzheimer’s is another degenerative condition that can be helped through the regular playing of chess. Scientific studies conducted by the likes of the New England Journal of Medicine have proved that those who don’t play chess are at a much higher risk of developing mental degeneration of some kind during their lives.

# 2 - Chess Can Help to Raise Your IQ!

You will usually find that most people you meet that play chess regularly are quite smart and part of the reason behind this is that the game can help to raise your IQ. There have been a number of studies conducted that confirm that those who engage in chess invariably end up with a higher IQ rating because of it.

That’s because chess is no ordinary pastime and it tests every sinew of the mind to its fullest. When you are moving the pieces across the chess board, it requires that you think about not just the move, but the consequences of that move and when you get good enough, you’ll think several moves ahead.

#3 - Owning a Chess Set Helps Your Brain to Grow Dendrites

Without wishing to get too scientific, getting your chess board out on a regular basis can help your brain to grow dendrites. You can be forgiven for not knowing what they are, so for the uninitiated, dendrites are a tiny part of each of your brain’s neurons that receive electrical signals from other parts of the brain, which allow it to function properly.

You should try and imagine your brain’s dendrites being like a tree, with each branch conducting signals from neuron to neuron. The more of these branches you have doing their work, the better your brain function is going to be. Chess can help you grow more so that your mental acuity is constantly improved every time you get your chess set out.

When you see chess sets for sale, you should also see it as a way to give your kids a head start too, as when dendrite growth is encouraged early in life, it often results in the growth occurring at an accelerated rate. This can lead to improved academic performance in the classroom and a love of the game that will stay with them for life!

#4 - Regular Chess Helps to Enhance Your Spatial Skills

Unlike many other essentially two-dimensional digital pastimes, chess is a three-dimensional game that requires the player to visualise changes in the positions of each piece on the chess board. Doing this helps to improve spatial ability, which can have a direct bearing on other aspects of someone’s personal and professional life.

Spatial ability is a catch-all term that covers other skills like image recall, visual memory, spatial scanning, which relates to a person’s ability to view a situation and create a strategy to overcome any challenges present. Owning a chess set and using it every couple of days will result in your spatial skills receiving a welcome boost.

#5 - Playing Chess Helps to Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills

There’s no doubt that day to day life calls for a good deal of problem-solving ability and owning a chess set is a great way to arm yourself or your children with enhanced powers in this area. The ability to solve problems is key to a successful life and the strategies you use to overcome your opponent on the chess board are very much translatable to real life.

The reason why chess is so useful in this regard is that it involves many simultaneous calculations and an ability to recognise the tactical pattern of your opponent. There are also elements of mathematics to any game of chess, so it’s a little like having regular maths lessons! What’s more, problem-solving acuity is something that evolves, so the more you play, the better you’ll get.

#6 - Chess Exercises Both Left & Right Sides of the Brain

There are many brain-boosting activities that can be used to enhance memory and brain function, but they tend to exercise a single part of the brain. Some will stimulate the logical or scientific part of the mind (the left side) and others will cause the creative and artistic part of the brain (the right side) to be simulated.

When you get your chess board out and have a game, it’s one of the few activities that causes both of the brain’s hemispheres to become active. This means that the benefits of chess extend to improving all parts of a person’s cognitive ability, with memory, attention, perception, decision making, problem-solving and learning all getting a nice boost every time you play.

#7 - Want a Better Memory? Then Buy a Chess Set!

If everything we've been through so far wasn’t enough (and there is more to come!), memory is something that can be improved with a chess board in your possession. When you’re engaged in a game of chess, you need to remember not only where your pieces are, but also those of your opponent.

If you watch the very best chess players, you’ll see that they are constantly weighing up what the other player is doing with his or her pieces. Some people even have the ability to play multiple simultaneous games of chess on multiple chess boards, which is quite some feat of memory!

The thing is that whilst some people are born with this ability, it’s pretty rare. What most often happens is that the person in question plays chess from an early age and develops their memory as a result. The more you play, the more your memory is refined and whilst most of us don’t get to chess master status, we can still reap the rewards in terms of cognitive ability.

#8 - Chess Helps With Your Planning Skills

When we’re young, we tend to do things without thinking them through first. That’s because we don’t learn about actions having consequences until we reach a certain age, however, when we pull out the chess board, we train our brains to do just that. A common denominator between most chess players is an ability to plan ahead and predict what’s going to happen - on the chess board, at the very least.

It’s never too late to learn new skills and the same goes for learning to have foresight. Chess teaches the player that if you don’t plan your strategy correctly, you’ll invariably lose. Play on a regular basis and this becomes part of your personality, meaning that when you encounter challenges - both on and away from the chess board - you think them through, rather than acting rashly. This is particularly useful when trying to instil these kinds of values into your children. It’s something that will serve them well throughout their lives.

#9 - Chess Greatly Improves Concentration

There aren’t many games or pastimes in existence that quite as much concentration as the game of chess. That’s why you don’t often see someone doing something else whilst they’re sat at the chess board. Concentration is needed in spades when playing chess, because if you don’t keep an eye on what’s going on, you’re not going to see what happened during your opponent’s move.

The thing is, your opponent is under no obligation to tell you what’s been moved, so if you don’t know, you’ll be at a huge disadvantage. You need to concentrate to memorise your opponent’s piece placement too, so when you play, you’re getting intensive practice in keeping a focus on the job in hand.

With digital technologies and everything else in the modern world having an adverse effect on the attention span of people, chess fights against this. A chess set, you see, offers an analogue pastime that exercises the mind like Angry Birds never could.

#10 - A Chess Set Can Help Improve Creative Thinking

To conclude our list of ways that chess can help the mind, we look at how it assists with creative thinking. Those with the ability to think creatively tend to be the leaders, problem-solvers and artists in our society and chess helps with flexibility, fluency and originality of thought. It’s such an important skill to possess for anyone.

Again, this is not hearsay, in that it has been proven by science to be correct. In fact, regular chess playing can increase your creative thinking abilities several times over and all it takes is regular enjoyment of one of the oldest games in existence. Not bad for a game that started off back in the 6th century AD!

Official Staunton - The #1 Name in Top Quality Chess Sets

The word ‘game’ hardly seems sufficient to do justice to a pastime that has been in existence almost all the way back to the start of recorded history. Here we’ve looked at just another way in which chess transcends a mere board game, as it’s able to stimulate the mind in a way that few other things are able to. If you haven’t yet tried chess, perhaps it’s time you should?

At Official Staunton, we are the number source on the internet for chess sets of all kinds, with our products the envy of chess players the world over. We take enormous pride in the products and services we supply to chess fans and we offer the finest chess sets for sale, as well as chess pieces and everything else you possibly need to enjoy the game to its fullest.

Staunton is a classic name that promises nothing but quality in the chess world and the products we sell are synonymous with the timelessness of the game. Created from the highest quality materials and fashioned with love and precision, we offer a world of possibility of enjoying the game on an entirely new level.

So, why not visit us online at www.officialstaunton.com today and see just what we have in store. We have a dazzling array to choose from, so we’re sure you’ll find something that meets your needs. Alternatively, if you have any questions you’d like answering before you make your purchase, call our friendly team on (0) 1948 880 060 and they’ll do everything they can to help.

Thanks for reading our blog. We’ll be back with more from the home to fine chess sets again soon.
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