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Play Chess

Play Chess

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Chess is a classic game of strategy and a highly competitive sport. It promotes the development of thinking, strategy, planning, and decision-making skills. It is a great game to strengthen your mental skills.

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Possible Benefits

  • May enhance your cognitive function 
  • May improve your reasoning 
  • May improve your sharpness 
  • May protect from dementia 
  • May boost your memory 
  • May improve creativity 
  • May improve confidence 
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Required Equipment

Chess board and pieces

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How to Do It

If you are a beginner, it is best to get a tutor, take some classes, or learn the rules and moves on your own. 

Join a chess club and/or play with friends regularly.

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Why it works

  • Chess implies a high activation of the prefrontal cortex, which is in charge of planning, decision making, reasoning, among others. 
  • It stimulates the ability of simulation, that is to say, to be able to imagine different scenarios in the mind and to take decisions from it. 
  • By requiring you to hold information about the opponent's moves and possible strategies, it strengthens your memory. 
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Time Commitment

50-90 minutes per game

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Suggested Frequency

Once per week

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Time of Day


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Possible Side Effects

None known.

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  • To make it more fun and challenging, use a chess clock. 
  • Be sure to refine your strategies to improve your skill in the game.
  • When you have strengthened your strategies, enter competitions.
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Supporting Studies and Articles

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  1. Planning abilities and chess: a comparison of chess and non-chess players on the Tower of London task. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16848944/ 
  2. Chess Practice as a Protective Factor in Dementia. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6617066/ 
  3. Chess as a Behavioral Model for Cognitive Skill Research: Review of Blindfold Chess by Eliot Hearst and John Knott. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2972788/ 
  4. Chess Players Increase the Theta Power Spectrum When the Difficulty of the Opponent Increases: An EEG Study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6981879/ 
  5. Secret of the Masters: Young Chess Players Show Advanced Visual Perspective Taking. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6821682/ 
  6. The Effects of Chess Instruction on Pupils' Cognitive and Academic Skills: State of the Art and Theoretical Challenges. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5322219/
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 Happiness  Confidence  Productivity  Focus  Creativity  Memory  Sharpness
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