If the answer to that is Queen’s Gambit or Harry Potter’s adventure in The Philosopher’s Stone’s climax – don’t you feel embarrassed. Honestly, we’ve binge watched them too.
Now talking solely about the sport and keeping the sass of dramas and feature films aside, Chess is often considered as a “nerdy” activity to invest your time in. It is an under-recognised sport. Irrespective of numerous championships and world leagues across the international waters, it is due for credit.
Oh wait, if you’re still reading this after skimming through the part where we explicitly mentioned how this sport remains underrated, you might have a streak that craves to explore this game. And if this is true, if you’re still intrigued to know more about the sport and how it can help contribute to your mental well-being and health – this blog is for you. Keep scrolling and let us show you how chess lessons assist in training one’s mind; just the way a pawn assists in reviving the queen. (See what we did there? Pretty cool, huh!)
From legends leading tournaments in India to maestros leaving a mark in Russia, chess has started holding people’s eye. It is one checkerboard uniting every inquisitive mind and whetting its power. Inspiring the minds to exude excellence, it’s creating a rapport globally. However, the sport is becoming more than a way to keep “proving yourself” to the world. Afterall, life is too short to seek societal validation, right? So, thankfully, this sport is now wearing different hats. One of its hats happens to be integrating this game as a part of mental challenges that promote a healthy brain workout.
This outlook is further supporting chess coaching in the country, enabling children, youth and seniors alike to train their minds. But before we convert our rendezvous with chess to a session about how to coach your mind, let’s understand why your mind needs training.
We often create misconceptions in our head about our head. Ironic, isn’t it? We tend to think how resting our minds and temporarily giving them a time-please as we sleep is enough to maintain our brain health. Alas! Only if life was this easy.
In order to keep our grey and white matter on the top of its game, we need to keep strengthening its muscles. A concept hardly known to people comes into play here – brain plasticity. Helping our brain to change and adapt, brain plasticity enables us to learn and hone our memory with every exercise. Focusing on expanding brain plasticity helps prevent neuropsychiatric disorders. Contributing to improving cognitive capabilities, it also helps a person to recover from traumatic brain wounds and injuries as well as strokes. Dr. John N. Morris, a reputed professional and Director of Social and Health Policy Research at the Harvard-affiliated Institute for Ageing Research, also commented on brain plasticity. He said, “Eventually, your cognitive skills will wane and thinking and memory will be more challenging, so you need to build up your reserve.” This further forms the spine for a daily (yes, you can’t miss it after getting your annual gym membership) brain workout through chess coaching.
Leveraging one’s consciousness to upskill the power of the brain, the game of chess makes an impact on cognitive learning. Bolstering our IQ, chess lessons help in regulating neuromuscular coordination, neuropsychotic communication amongst other psychological effects. Boosting creativity, strategising moves, upping planning skills amongst other affective impacts are some of the perks offered by learning the sport and receiving training in chess.
Backing the stance above and elaborating upon mental growth catalysed by chess, a study conducted in 2016 with about 100 children at a tender age in school with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were observed. They received regular chess coaching that triggered a multifaceted approach to their treatment. The results reflected how there was a 41 percent drop in – inattentiveness, balancing their activities and energy. Tutoring any and every demographic ranging from students to seniors, chess shows a massive margin for the development of – problem solving skills, thinking skills, social networking as well as relationship building skills. Working on the prefrontal cortex of the brain, the game helps in improving one’s foresight, enhancing reading skills, promoting creativity, preventing Alzheimer’s and mitigating the risk of developing dementia.
The onset of the pandemic created unprecedented chaos while throwing challenges, especially for learners. India, being a culturally forward but majorly conventional country, had all its systems and operations live on-ground. Establishing its presence on virtual platforms came with its own set of obstacles but the nation got through the initial hiccups, setting the entire learning system virtually.
This commenced a new era of revving up the learning process and offered online chess coaching to the curious minds yearning to grow. Helping chess enthusiasts in acing the game and getting their strengths to the table, this change has brought a reform for the generations to follow suit. Online chess learning comes as easy as tapping on the screen and having all the required lessons along with additional content at the tip of people’s fingers while they learn from the comfort of their homes.
Another aspect of getting live lessons over the screen is that the process not only helps in training our mind but also serves as an immediate relief from mental health concerns that have clearly skyrocketed post-pandemic in the past two years. Electronic chess, as per a study, also helps in averting panic attacks. This sport is not constrained to just a game anymore, rather it has levelled up to become therapeutic – being tagged as chess therapy.
Lately, some responsible names in the industry supporting chess and its benefits including training the mind, have stepped forward to create online portals and teach the sport online. They are striving to bring chess buffs, professionals, aspiring learners, inquisitive minds and others endeavouring to discipline their minds and churn their highest potential under one umbrella. (Just FYI, because we know you are still curious) The sport is also called “logical chess”, a term coined by Latvian-born Danish chess maestro, Aron Nimzowitsch.
Working on neuron dendrites, chess helps in intensifying neural signals resulting in holistic growth of the brain. A Richard Saltonstall Professor of Population Sciences and of Economics and International Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health studying ageing in chess players, Mr David Canning, also commented on the effects of ageing and heightened IQ of the brain, said, “The research involves analysis of a massive database of games from the U.S. Chess Federation and a second pilot study that follows 200 players over time”, and concluded how the game slows the usual high-paced ageing amongst individuals.
Now that you are fully aware of how being coached in chess works as a supplement offering ample nutrition to boost your brain’s development, it is probably time for you to enrol in a course and rock your boat of learning with some “it’s a check-mate.”
In case you feel a little too generous about our relentless efforts to keep you informed about the awesome-gossip in the world of learning and teaching (we are penning this early morning – literally!), feel free to drop in your thoughts in the comments and let us know how cool you feel about chess (and us too, we won’t mind, promise)!