I recently started playing Chess at chess.com on a daily basis at the age of 30. I knew how to play, but that’s about it. Me being an Logician, I instantly became addicted, and I’m glad I did. I’m also angry that I didn’t play Chess growing up.
But why play Chess? If you’re a full grown adult and thinking about taking up Chess, it’s important to know why it’s beneficial to play the game, otherwise you’ll quit. You’ll quit because it’s so much more complicated and difficult to become even decent at. Here are 3 benefits to playing Chess as an adult.
1. Chess Improves Your Ability To Focus
Focusing is like any other activity. If you don’t practice doing it, you’re not going to be great at it. Practice focusing and your ability to focus becomes as close to a superpower as possible.
Chess is the ultimate game for practicing to focus on something. Chess matches can last for hours. Players will spend an hour and 7 minutes calculating their next move in a complicated middlegame.
2. Chess Protects Your Brain From Decay
Studies show that making your brain struggle with focusing decreases grey matter in the brain helping decrease risk of Alzheimer’s and overall aging of the brain.
Going to the gym helps prevent muscle waste and increases the longevity of your body in general. Intensely concentrating and focusing on solving a problem is like going to the gym for your brain.
3. Chess is a Challenge
To say playing chess is a challenge is putting is mildly at best. That’s like saying “It’s a challenge” to build a six figure business. It’s not just difficult, it’s one of the most difficult endeavors you’ll ever attempt.
Chess Will Tell You (over and over) that… You’re Not That Smart
As we age, we tend to develop an inflated ego looking down on anyone younger than us deeming them unworthy of an intelligent conversation with us for no other reason other than the fact that we’re older than them. This is a fallacy and should be abolished from our thinking. And chess is just the game to help you with that.
Do you know what happens when you lose to a game of Chess by an 11 year old?
You get a reality check.
Chess is a game of focus and cognition, but it’s also like any other game or sport. It requires thousands of hours of study and practice. If a 14 year old put in those hours, it doesn’t matter what your IQ is or what fancy university you paid $200,000 for. You’re going to get intellectually destroyed by the 14 year old.
Do You Need a High IQ To Get Good at Chess?
Many people think that a high IQ is required to play Chess well. However, this is in fact, a myth. Yes, many Grandmasters have higher IQ’s. But there are also Grandmasters that have notoriously low IQ’s.
To recap, is playing Chess good for adults? Playing Chess is beneficial especially for adults.
Where To Start?
If your interest is peaked and you seek to build lower self-esteem, here’s where to start.
Go to chess.com and make an account. Play a few games and no more. Then it’s best to go learn and study one or two Chess openings for both White and Black.
Then just practice those openings over and over until you memorize them, then move on to additional openings. The more openings you know, the better you’ll do. That’s why every Grandmaster knows nearly every variation every opening. That will give you a solid start on your road to unbearable frustration and therapy sessions.
And remember… this ain’t checkers!