Monday, March 26, 2012

How chess helps your brain

Chess players enjoy the game in a thermal spa in Budapest, Hungary.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Recently, I received an email from Larry Dignan of Online College Courses offering to share an article 10 Big Brain Benefits of Playing Chess published on his site on March 25, 2012, that "clicks with (the) tone of your site..." Ahem!

Being a chess buff and playing the greatest game ever conceived (I like to rub that in) since early childhood, I thought I'd write about the 64-square board game often in this space. It hasn't exactly gone that way.

Then along comes this informative article which is not about chess per se but the benefits of playing chess, on our rapidly ageing and fossilising brains, and things even out a little.

The 10 Big Brain Benefits of Playing Chess, then, are:

01. It can raise your IQ
02. It helps prevent Alzheimer's
03. It exercises both sides of the brain
04. It increases your creativity
05. It improves your memory
06. It increases problem-solving skills
07. It improves reading skills
08. It improves concentration
09. It grows dendrites
10. It teaches planning and foresight

You can read the rest of the article here.

Boys play chess on a street at Santiago de Cuba in Cuba.
The drain cover on the street mirrors the pattern of the chessboard.
Photo by Adam Jones/Wikimedia Commons

Now you know that chess is "A board game for two players who move their 16 pieces according to specific rules; the object is to checkmate the opponent's king."

But did you know that chess is also an "Annual plant native to Europe but widely distributed as a weed, especially in wheat." I didn't know till, nothing better to do, I looked up the word again — it's called Bromus secalinus. No, I don't think it's named after a Roman centurion in Asterix comics.

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