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Food for thought

Does Chess Make You Smarter?

By December 28, 2022January 3rd, 2023No Comments

Chess has long been held to be a strategy game that turns people smarter than they already are. If you are an admirer of the game of chess, then the chief brain benefits of playing chess that we will talk about here will certainly hold your attention.

When it comes to the health of your brain, there are a lot of ways you can take good care of it. Brain health depends on many factors, be it by consuming the right food items, exercising your body regularly, and ensuring that you get an optimal amount of sleep.

Along with these, developing a habit of solving complex puzzles and opting to learn a new language can also keep the human brain sharp and agile. Now the critical question is, ‘Does chess make you smarter?’ If we go with popular imagination, chess has long been associated with intelligence and a good grip over strategic thinking.

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Numerous studies by academics and scientists throughout the world have grappled with the same issue – ‘Does chess make you smarter’, and have primarily concluded in the affirmative.

If you are an avid chess player, you will be overjoyed after reading this article, as we have picked up ten ways chess can make you smarter!

Chess Helps Raise Intelligence Quotient (IQ)

People have linked chess with super imaginative brainiacs and nerds for the longest time. This is, however, far from the truth. It is somewhat true that the more intelligent kids tend to gravitate towards chess.

But modern research has shown that it does not matter if a child has been previously exposed to chess, and only four months of chess training can significantly increase their overall IQ.

Chess can Prevent Early Onset of Alzheimer’s Disease

Chess can be particularly beneficial for the older populace, who tend to be more susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease. As human beings get older, their brain cells begin losing neuroplasticity – the ability of brain cells to change their structure in response to new data. Chess can make a massive difference in this context by aiding in the preservation of the health of the brain cells.

Along with problem-solving games such as sudoku, crosswords, puzzles, and riddles, chess too can reduce the chances of a person contracting Alzheimer’s or any other form of neurodegenerative disease by adding chess to their regular routine.

Both Sides of the Brain Gets Exercise When You Play Chess

A German research team has found out that when we play chess, both sides of our brain – the logical half and the creative half, get engaged in solving the problems on the chessboard. This revelation stands opposite to what earlier posited with regard to chess. It was said that chess only stimulated the logical half of the human brain, which is the left hemisphere of the brain.

And in extension, the right hemisphere, or the brain’s creative side, was not that involved while a person played a chess match. However, this has been debunked by German researchers, and we can confidently say that chess is an excellent tool to train both hemispheres of the human brain.

Chess can Spark Creativity in Human Minds

As has been mentioned in the previous section, chess activates both sides of the human brain. This means that if you play chess regularly, you will have a better chance of becoming a more creative person. In other words, by spending time with chess, one will have a more powerful shot at giving birth to original ideas in their minds. 

A school-level study by a man named Robert Ferguson tested students’ creative prowess in grades seven to nine. All the students were asked to take up one extra-curricular activity and give time to it at least once a week for 32 weeks. After the 32 weeks were up, the same students were made to sit for a series of cognitive examinations.

The results showed that the group of school children who took up chess as their after-school activity ranked the highest in the exams.

Chess Enhances One’s Concentration Levels

We live in an age where focusing on a single task at hand can be the most challenging thing to do. With so much distraction around us all day, we are losing our mental strength to just sit and concentrate on one job. This can all change with chess, playing which can drastically elevate your concentration levels.

As you have noticed, playing chess requires a very high focus and concentration. If you play chess every now and then, you stand a chance to magnify your attentiveness to a whole new degree. This can be used in other areas of life, where a decision made with a focused mind can go to great lengths to ensure that the right choice has been made.

Chess Aids in Planning and Foresight

The prefrontal cortex is the part of the human brain that starts developing much later, and this is the brain region responsible for self-control, planning, and judgement. In humans, it is till the age of 25 that the prefrontal cortex keeps growing.

Strategy games like chess can therefore stimulate the growth of this part of the brain and transform kids and young adults into better decision-making individuals.

Does Chess Help in Real Life?

Chess, in many ways, is like food for your brain. It can enhance your concentration levels and develop memory, intuition, and creativity. It can also aid in sharpening the skill of extracting valuable information from a set of given principles.

Studies in recent years have shown that chess has the potential to increase the capacity to make better decisions, solve intricate problems, and learn new things at a faster rate.

Does Chess Increase Brain Power?

A broad set of research has been conducted in the last few decades to find out how far chess can elevate the power of the human brain and answer the question – ‘Does chess make you smarter?’

From what has been found in these studies, it is now an established truth that chess can sharpen cognition, maths skills, and memory power. It is, however, too early to conclude whether chess can help someone attain higher test scores in all sorts of exams.

Does Chess Make You Smarter? – Final Verdict

The evidence showing chess as a friend to the human brain is rather substantial. In a number of studies, it has been concluded that making chess a part of your lifestyle can be rewarding in more than one way. 

From better cognitive capabilities to sharper neuro-transmitters, chess can make your brain live a healthier life of its own. But it all comes down to how much time you spend with the game.

With that, we have come to the end of our discussion on the topic – ‘Does chess make you smarter?’ We would like to help you in your quest to become a stronger chess player. To that end, SquareOff has brought forth a premium set of automated chessboards. These AI-powered boards are absolute trailblazers in the chess board industry.
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