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Is chess good for brain? Yes. A new study suggests that chess may be good for brain health and longevity, including the capacity to delay symptoms of dementia by up to 5 years! The study compared the cognitive abilities of nearly 1200 older adults (average age 78 years) who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, with those of more than 900 elderly people without such diagnoses (control group). The findings showed that participants in the control group who regularly played chess scored significantly higher on tests measuring memory, attention, language and executive function than non-players in the same age range.

Chess helps build problem solving skills

Is chess good for brain

Chess has often been touted as a game that helps develop logic and math skills. However, research released in 2014 found that playing chess can also help promote the growth of gray matter in the hippocampus, one of the most important areas of the brain. The hippocampus is often referred to as the learning center because people who have lost significant amounts of gray matter in this area of their brains experience significant difficulties with learning new things and forming memories. This could mean that playing a game like chess might actually have some long-term benefits for both our mental health and our ability to learn, even when we are no longer actively engaged in it.

Chess makes you smarter

You are asking is chess good for brain. Playing chess might help your spatial and problem-solving skills, and also offers the opportunity to become a competitive player. Many schools are now even offering competitive extracurricular activities that use video games like chess. So how does the game impact our brains?

Researchers from Western University in Canada took a look at this question by scanning the brains of amateur players who were chosen based on their results in regional tournaments in eastern Ontario. The study focused on 19 players with an average age of 15, all men, and compared them to people of comparable age without a history of playing chess. What they found was fascinating – people who play a lot of chess have increased neural connectivity between specific parts of their brains.

The benefits of competitive chess

One of the most popular activities for people of all ages, competitive chess is a game that requires concentration, planning, and calculating. Just like any other sport, chess is an activity that trains different aspects of mental ability. Playing this challenging game encourages people to find solutions to problems in order to win. It’s true: one study found that children who play more than two hours a week show up on intelligence tests as much as 20 IQ points higher than their peers.

In essence, by playing a more challenging game such as competitive chess, you’ll challenge your mind even further and train new cognitive skills while doing so. One thing that might not have occurred to you when considering whether or not chess is good for your brain: Chess can also help with memory retention. If you’re stuck trying to remember something, having someone describe the layout of a game board can give you just enough visual stimuli to jog your memory.

Chess improves memory and concentration

A new study indicates that playing chess may have multiple benefits for cognitive function, memory and concentration. The comprehensive longitudinal project studied more than 650 elderly people with an average age of 70 years old who had played chess since childhood. Participants were tested periodically over 12 years, then interviewed about how often they play in their retirement years.

At follow-up interviews, the group that still played regularly scored significantly better on tests to measure memory and concentration than a comparison group that hadn’t played in more than 25 years. In one final assessment of cognitive ability, 50% of those who continued to play scored above average after completing six exercises designed to measure memory, concentration and problem solving skills compared with 11% of the comparison group.

Playing competitively improves your focus

A 2014 study from British researchers found that cognitive abilities and mental capacity in the elderly can improve with strategic thinking and the utilization of different areas of the brain. These findings suggest that playing games like chess can help keep our minds sharp, even in old age. However, as a child’s neural pathways are more open to change during early stages of development, many psychologists advise kids against getting involved in too much competition at an early age.

The Department of Psychology at California State University says there is some evidence that intense participation in competitive activities by children leads to lower levels of self-esteem and less self-confidence later on in life. While there has been no research on this topic specifically, social comparison theory argues that when we look for models we compare ourselves to others, said psychologist Bill Borland.

If we identify closely with the winners (or most successful people) then there is a risk that if we do not measure up or surpass them then we will see ourselves as failures.
Psychologist Kathy Hall further points out how competitive events often put children into high-stress situations where they experience feelings of anxiety and alienation.

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