Though it may not seem like it, the game of Chess has been around for centuries. It is believed that the game first originated in India during the 6th century. Back then, it was known by the name “Chaturanga”.
The name Chaturanga is a Sanskrit term representing four divisions of the army that include infantry, chariots, elephants, and cavalry. It is also stated that the rules and the characters of the game differed significantly as compared to those of modern-day Chess.
Just like Chess, Chaturanga was a two-player game where the primary objective was to defeat and capture the king of the enemy army. A key difference between the game and its modern counterpart is that the character of the queen did not exist in Chaturanga. The reason behind it is not that surprising. During that time, the concept of women fighting on the battlefields was quite uncommon.
Instead of a queen, the king had an advisor by his side. However, this game piece was not as powerful as the queen because the player was allowed to move it diagonally, only one square at a time.
During the middle ages, the game became widely popular and spread from the Indian subcontinent to the Asian and Arabian nations.
Thanks to the influence of different cultures, the rules and the characters of the game evolved significantly.
Asia and the Arab world and became a popular pastime of European nobility in the Middle Ages. As the game proliferated among different cultures, the rules evolved as well.
Many believe that Spain’s queen Isabella introduced the most powerful game piece in Chess, the queen.
Though it is considered a game, leisure and fun are not the only elements that Chess offers to the players. Through this blog post, we are going to discuss top 12 benefits of playing Chess for kids. So, without waiting any further, let’s get started!
Achieving success in any extra-curricular activity boosts confidence and self-esteem in kids.
Chess is no different. According to research conducted by Peng Brillian Jianguo, Jia Wenying, Hu Zhigang, and Niu Zhou, when kids win the game of Chess with their hard work and careful planning, their confidence levels up significantly.
But this confidence boost does not remain limited to the gameboard of Chess only. Victories help kids to believe more in themselves and prosper in other domains of life such as careers, relationships, academics, etc.
According to research conducted by Ayperi Sigirtmac of Cukurova University, playing Chess consistently can help kids in improving their creativity levels. In order to decide their moves, attack their opponents and win the battle of Chess, players need to plan and apply various out-of-the-box strategies.
A continuous thought process to crack the code of Chess introduces new beneficial possibilities and ideas within their young minds.
Furthermore, each game session provides a rigorous workout to both sides of the brain i.e. the left side for logical thinking and the right side for creative thinking. Getting to know their creative selves better can help kids to soar high in other creative aspects of their lives such as arts, speech, writing, etc.
In today’s era, we have the availability of technology such as social media and food delivery apps at our fingertips. This has simplified our lives exponentially as compared to the previous generations.
However, we have lost something valuable in the process. Due to our easy lifestyles, we have forgotten the importance of patience.
Chess is a great medium to teach the skill of patience to kids. Each player needs to think strategically before making their move. This helps them to make decisions patiently. At the same time, the opponent has no choice but to wait for their chance. So, Chess teaches the skill of patience to both players, no matter who is playing at the moment.
One of the top benefits of Chess on the brain is a boost in memorization skills.
Students require to memorize a variety of details while preparing the subjects like history, science, geography, economics, and others.
In simple words, a sharp memory is important to perform well in academics. Studies have shown that playing Chess can help in improving memorization skills in kids.
While playing Chess, players need to plan their next moves carefully. Additionally, they need to remember the moves that their opponents made. This can help them to sharpen their memories.
According to research conducted by the University of Memphis, playing Chess can improve the memory & concentration levels of children because they need to remember every move of their opponents in order to decide the perfect counter-attack.
In order to retain knowledge, it’s necessary that kids have good concentration levels.
While playing Chess, the players need to be aware of each of their and their opponent's moves. This requirement develops high levels of concentration in kids.
Furthermore, research suggests that while playing Chess, the theta brain waves heighten within players. As a result, they become highly focused on the game, becoming unaware of everything else around them.
While playing the game of Chess, strategic thinking is not the only necessity. Additionally, we need to observe the perspective of our opponents as well. Doing so is important because it can help us formulate better game plans.
Observing the thought process of our opponents can be rewarding more than it seems to be.
This simple practice helps us to become more understanding toward people. When we understand the opinions and perspectives of people deeply, we become more empathetic than before. This skill is required to maintain healthy relationships.
Every player cannot win in a game. Even if each contestant is equally matched, there has to be a winning side and a losing side.
Real sportsmanship is when a player treats their opponent respectfully even after losing. Chess is a great game to inculcate these morals in kids as well as adults.
Once they learn sportsmanship, the players develop a bright and positive attitude towards life which helps them to deal with obstacles in important regions of their lives including academics, relationships, careers, etc.
One of the most important benefits of Chess in education is that it improves the cognitive functions of kids.
During each step of playing Chess, it’s a requirement that kids use their cognitive abilities such as thinking, analysis, comprehension, and decoding. So, the better grip the player has on the game, the better their cognitive functions tend to be.
Interestingly, we need to use our cognitive abilities during reading and retaining information as well. So, playing Chess can help in better academic performance. The research conducted by Dr. Stuart Marguilies backs this statement up.
There’s no doubt that technology has simplified our lives. However, everything is bad in excess.
The same goes for technology like television and video games. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, screen time of more than 2 hours is unhealthy.
Excessive amounts of screen time can cause issues like a lack of concentration in kids. This can be harmful to their academics and personal lives as well. Furthermore, such technologies are addictive in nature.
So, it becomes important that we replace their excessive screen time with something constructive like Chess!
As we discussed earlier, playing Chess is helpful in boosting concentration levels within us. Additionally, playing the game can be quite exciting and fun.
Chess is a very complex game, which requires a lot of concentration and planning. The rules of chess are simple enough for children to learn, but the strategy involved makes it difficult for even adults to master. So, if kids play Chess regularly, they develop high brain power and get a boost in their IQ levels!
According to research (conducted by Madras Christian College), 4000 Venezuelan students were chosen to determine the effects of Chess on IQ levels. After 4 months of practicing the game, each student had an improved IQ score.
The benefits of playing Chess are not only limited to education and brain health but also better social life.
Studies show that extra-curricular activities help children to boost their social skills by interacting with others. This has a positive effect on their brain health. As we discussed in the previous point, watching television and playing video games are highly addictive for kids. Besides, doing so not only depletes their concentration levels but also cuts off any human interaction. Cocurricular activities like Chess help to build a person-to-person connection while maintaining healthy competition.
The finest of Chess players always think one step ahead and plan their moves accordingly. They build their strategies before their opponents make any moves. As kids play longer sessions of the game, they learn to plan their next moves smartly. This ability helps them to become better planners in life. The best way to strategize is through silent thinking.
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