Why People Should Learn Chess

Josh L
3 min readJan 19, 2022

It makes you think

Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash

Chess has been around for a long time. The oldest game was recorded in the 10th century.

To get an idea of how long ago that was, it was during this time that China switched over to paper money as the dominate currency. That was a long time ago.

Chess was originally played by royalty at the time. It was even used to decide arguments between rival kings. Today, chess is available to almost anyone.

You don’t need to be of any royal blood today to play chess. in fact, you don’t even need a physical board. There are many chess apps available today that you can download for free.

Learning the basics of the game is a challenge in itself. All the pieces have their own unique way of moving on the board. Some have abilities that others do not.

Bishops and knights are valued the same when it comes to determining who is winning. That being said, there are different in game situations in which one may prefer one piece over another.

For example, bishops are usually preferred when the board is more open, since they can move as many spaces as they want without hitting something.

Knights are usually favored when the board is more crowded. Their ability to jump over other pieces makes them valuable when trying to gain more space.

The opening game is all memorization. There are grandmasters who have memorized the best 20 moves in a certain position. They move their pieces at lighting speed.

This can actually make some of the beginnings of chess games boring, since they usually come out the exact same way. There are slight variations, but the end position remains the same.

Some have even proposed to start the game from the end of one of these variations, since we’ve seen the beginning many times over the years.

But once the game truly starts, there are countless strategies and moves to consider. Thera are roughly 10¹²³ variations of moves for a game with a total of around 80 moves.

I also forgot to mention that competitive chess games have time limits for each player. Players will get a certain number of minutes and once that timer runs out, you automatically lose.

That means time and accuracy are crucial. Even if you make the best moves possible but are too slow on the clock, you lose anyway. It’s one of the most thought provoking games of all time.

Thinking crucially with a plan helps the brain to grow. It is especially helpful for children who are still young. Chess helps their brains grow.

The game not only helps children but also adults. This study shows that chess helps to prevent dementia.

The brain is just like any muscle in the body. The more you use it the bigger and stronger it gets. If you never exercise your brain, it doesn’t stay the same. It will start to shrink.

Another reason that everyone should play chess is that there are no physical gifts required. Unlike in sports where certain physical qualities make you better than your peers, chess is all mental.

People of all different shapes and sizes can sit down and learn the game. There are grandmasters from all over the globe. All of them from different countries with different backgrounds.

If you have never played before, I recommend starting now. It might seem frustrating at first, but once you get the basics you may find yourself playing more than you thought.