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The Importance of Chess: 17 Things to Consider (Life-Enhancing…)

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

Chess is often underestimated. Some mistake it for a mere game and don’t consider the many skills it teaches and its role in society as a unifier. In fact, although most think chess to be a game exclusively for geniuses, it is rather a game everyone can enjoy and be challenged by.

The importance of chess in the world cannot be understated. It teaches invaluable skills that help its players alleviate their problems in the real world and brings people of different backgrounds together. It creates joy in the world and is accessible to most people.

So, if you want to know what benefits you can derive from playing this challenging game, read on.

The importance of chess in the world: These are 17 things to consider: 

1. Chess Improves Your Memory

Memory skills can be sharpened through playing chess. After all, chess does involve keeping track of various moves and their consequences. Expert chess players memorize various possible opening variations. Studies have also shown that chess improves auditory memory.

2. Chess Teaches Strategic Thinking

Although the rules of chess are relatively straightforward, to win, you must have a plan of action, a backup plan, and a backup plan for your backup plan! This is because chess teaches you to see the big picture and plan accordingly.

The hope is that this careful planning in the game will translate to strategy and prioritization in the real world.

3. Your Concentration Improves When You Play Chess

Intense concentration is required in chess; if you waver for even one move, your careful strategic planning will come to naught. However, through practice at focusing on your goal in chess, you will gain improved concentration skills in life.

4. Chess Unifies People

People of any age, educational level, gender, and nationality can play chess. It truly brings people together and has been doing so for centuries. In this way, chess is fundamental. Moreover, it is a great equalizer as you can be beaten by anyone, regardless of age or gender.

5. Creativity Is Enhanced Through Chess

Chess trains both sides of the brain, improving logical and creative thinking. In addition, studies have shown that students who play chess are more capable of creative thinking. 

6. Chess Teaches You To Predict Behavior

Anticipation of an opponent’s next moves is key to success in chess. This is equally applicable in the real world. Sun Tzu, The Art of War writer, once said, “To know your enemy, you must become your enemy.” 

This is crucial in chess and business, where understanding your opponent can help you negotiate more effectively. In addition, spotting patterns in behavior can be beneficial in many areas of life, including detective work and business planning.

7. Chess Shows That Hard Work Prevails

José Raúl Capablanca, a legendary chess player, once said that there is much more to be learned from a game you lose than one you win. According to him, to become a good chess player, you would first lose hundreds of games to learn from them. 

Chess doesn’t come easily to most people; it requires a wealth of practice before it can truly be mastered. However, chess teaches you the value of hard work, which is an important life lesson. 

8. You Learn To Accept Losing When Playing Chess

In life, you will always lose at least some of the time – and the same is true of chess. However, chess teaches you not to be deterred by these losses and to come back to the table more certain of yourself now that you have learned what not to do.

9. Chess Teaches Composure

Being calm under pressure is a huge plus when playing chess and going through life. So whether you have to interview at your dream company or undertake an important test, staying calm will benefit you. 

Chess teaches you to make crucial decisions and stay calm while doing it.

10. Playing Chess Makes You More Confident

As you begin mastering the game, you will start feeling more confident in your abilities. This will trickle into other arenas of your life as you feel you are equipped with the manifold skills chess has taught you. It also teaches you to be decisive and take action.

11. Chess Teaches You Your Initial Moves Are Crucial

The initial moves in chess are critical. Parallels can be drawn to life where people’s first impressions of you are often formed very quickly and may leave an indelible mark on your relationship.

12. Chess Is An Affordable Way To Learn Invaluable Skills

Chess is not an expensive game. The equipment you need to play the game can usually be purchased cheaply or secondhand once off, and you can even play chess on electronic devices.

13. Chess Brings Joy

Chess is a game of many possibilities, and these seemingly never-ending possibilities make the game so fun. 

14. Chess Encourages You To Not Let Your Emotions Rule You

In chess, there can be a moment you are so excited about making a move that you gleefully go ahead and take a bishop of your opponent off the board. However, at this moment, you can overlook the fact that your queen is now in danger. Chess teaches you not to let your excitement override your judgment.

15. Chess Teaches You To Make Sacrifices

Beginner chess players often think it’s a tragedy to lose any significant pieces, but losing them can lead to an advantage if deliberately and strategically done. In life, you often have to make short-term sacrifices for long-term gains, and chess is no different.

16. Chess Can Be Used For Therapy

It is the practice of some therapists to play chess with their patients as a means of assessing how they go about solving problems and as a way of increasing self-awareness in patients.

17. Chess Teaches You Not To Be Complacent

If you underestimate your opponent in chess, you can very quickly lose your advantage, and the same can be said of life. In life and chess, there are constantly changing variables, and you must be mindful of these to succeed.

In Closing

The list of skills you can learn from chess is ludicrously long. It teaches you essential life skills and improves your cognitive abilities. On top of all of this, it is a fun, and inexpensive way of training your brain and is a way you can meet interesting people from all spheres of life.

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who enjoy sharing their knowledge about their favorite games with others!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.