The importance of playing chess

Chess has historically been considered a game of the wise. However, it is actually a myth since anyone can learn its secrets, even children. From the age of 4, children already have enough cognitive skills to learn to move the tiles and make simple plays. Parents can take advantage of this stage to stimulate their interest in chess as it has been shown to be one of the games that brings the greatest cognitive benefits to the little ones at home.

Playing chess is an excellent exercise to train the mind and enhance intelligence. This game helps create new neural connections, while stimulating thinking and encouraging problem solving. This was confirmed by a meta-analysis carried out by experts from the University of Liverpool, in the United Kingdom, in which 24 previous studies on the effect of chess on the cognitive development of more than 2,700 young people were analyzed. The results revealed that the practice of this sport has a positive effect on the development of intellectual abilities, especially in the field of mathematics.

Children who often have difficulty relating to relationships could benefit from chess practice. This has been shown by a study carried out by experts from the University of La Laguna, in Spain, in which the benefits of regular chess practice in the socio-affective development of a group of 170 schoolchildren between 6 and 16 years old were analyzed . The results revealed that playing chess not only stimulates interactions, but also improves social skills and skills to make new friends. At the end of the study, the children who participated in the chess program were more communicative, receptive and empathetic than before starting the training

Practicing chess from a young age can become an excellent training to improve concentration. A study conducted at the International University of La Rioja found that children who play chess on a regular basis pay more attention and have a greater ability to concentrate than those who do not. To arrive at these results, they applied various cognitive tests, including some tests to assess concentration, in a group of 60 elementary school students, 30 of whom participated in a chess program. According to the experts, it is because during the game the little ones must pay attention to each play to analyze the possible options, which forces them to abstract from the environment and focus their attention on the game.

A study carried out in Canada evaluated the ability to solve problems in 437 fifth-grade students who were divided into three groups: a group that received the traditional mathematics course throughout the study, another that received the traditional mathematics plan in first grade, and then a chess-enriched instructional program and a third group that received the chess-enriched math curriculum from first grade. The results showed that the group that played chess from first grade scored higher on tests to assess problem solving, 81.2% on average, compared to those who started chess later or those who they never did.

Playing chess from an early age stimulates children’s creativity. This was corroborated by an investigation in which the creativity of a group of students was evaluated after 32 weeks practicing chess or another activity of their choice. The results revealed that creativity test scores increased by an average of 10.53 in students who played chess compared to 1.86 in those who did not bet on chess training. The explanation comes from the hand of a German study carried out at the University of Tübingen in which it was found that playing chess activates and exercises both brain hemispheres, which improves the functioning of the brain and fosters the connection between neurons.

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