For many years chess has been perceived as a “nerdy game”, but lately it has gained a lot of popularity.
The chess scene is full of strong youngsters who are not afraid to fight the more experienced top Grandmasters. More and more parents become interested in the game and want their kids to learn chess, whether it is in order to start competing or just for fun.
Why has it suddenly become so popular and why it can be fun to play chess? Well, we have some reasons for you:
1. A chess player is never bored
From amateurs to professionals, a chess player’s mind is always working and his preoccupations are usually intellectual. He will most likely easily get bored with things that lack substance and will look for something more challenging, that enriches his knowledge and puts his mind to work. A chess lover will most likely have some position or puzzle that he saw and couldn’t solve stuck in his head and won’t rest until he cracks it. And when he does, he will find another one to keep his mind trained!
2. Great ability to remember things easily
Chess trains your memory, whether we talk about learning openings, endgames or just basic motifs. Any chess aficionado, no matter his level, is able to remember certain positions or patterns he has previously seen.
This is true not only over the board, but also in real life situation when he needs to recall directions, places or information. Chess is said to prevent Alzheimer and there is a serious reason behind this statement!
3. Methodical thinking
The use of patterns in chess develops a logical thinking; there is always a reason why we choose one move over the other. A chess player needs to analyze the circumstances and choose a plan in accordance with the position; there is no place for hazard.
The same thinking is applied in real life situations, in order to find solutions to different problems or when planning in advance is needed.
4. You learn to trust your intuition
Many times it happens that a player makes a good move, but one that’s so difficult to calculate that we can only wonder at his ability to correctly calculate. Then, we learn that he hadn’t seen it until the end either, but the move just “felt” right, so he played it.
Something similar happens when learning a new language; at some point you don’t need to think about the way you express yourself, it just “sounds” right. Intuition plays a major role in everyday life, but chess teaches us to trust our instincts!
5. You develop your creativity
This might sound weird to you, since chess players are often seen as calculated people who constantly use their logic in the choices they make.
While that’s true, creativity is not excluded from the game of chess. Just think about the problems or studies! The position are rarely logical and the solutions quite the same. They rely on creativity and imagination and are the best tools if you want to develop this capacity!
6. Chess players have acquaintances all over the world
Whether it is only because of playing online or in a local tournament, it is almost impossible not to meet someone from another country. Chess players like to share their ideas about the game they love, analyze a game they played or discuss that new book that has recently been published.
7. Chess enriches your knowledge
With this, we are not referring to chess knowledge, of course, but to the general one. A chess player travels a lot, meets many people in his journeys and shares his own experience with others. All these encounters widen their horizons and bring new information. It is easy to learn history, geography and so on by talking to other chess players and visiting many places.
8. A chess player gets to mix work and fun
“Do what you like and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”. We could say that this saying easily fits a chess player. It’s true that this game requires a lot of dedication and hard work, but it is fun to do it. It is also catchy; once you have started studying one thing, then you want to learn more and more and more, without feeling it weighing over you.
9. You are your own master
People who dedicate their entire time to chess have their own schedule. They don’t depend on anyone and are not exposed to the stress of having someone constantly telling them what to do. They are conscious that they need to work in order to keep improving and they will do it.
And if they feel like they need to take that short holiday, they will also do it, without needing anyone’s permission.
10. Getting to know new places
This is a bonus to everything above; any chess player, no matter his level, likes to travel in order to get to play in strong tournaments. This way, you meet new people and, of course, see many new and beautiful places.
It’s true that a tournament doesn’t allow much sightseeing, but it can always be done with some good planning!