Have you watched The Queen’s Gambit? Don’t you just wish you were a great chess player like Anna-Taylor Joy? For those in the dark, The Queen’s Gambit is a Netflix mini-series about a chess prodigy who’s coming of age while struggling with alcohol and drug addiction. The title is a chess reference meaning the first moves a player makes in the game. There’s a lot you can learn about chess from this show (I highly recommend watching it).
However, very few people would choose to play chess. It’s a slow game and every move could cost you a win which can be discouraging. Nonetheless, this board game is essential in teaching some vital life skills, especially for children. In some countries, chess is a mandatory subject to learn in school. Here’s why it’s important for your child to learn how to play chess.
One of the most important things you should do in chess is to remember. You should remember your opponent’s moves, your planned moves, and general movement on the board. Therefore, playing chess can help improve memory especially for children. It’s necessary to exercise this part of the brain at a young age so as to keep off mental illnesses like Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
2. Boosts Brainpower
Chess is a brain game so it’s no surprise that it helps boost brainpower. Children are at an impressionable stage in their lives. Therefore, it’s important to teach them positive skills to help them in the future. They can learn about patience, strategic thinking, problem-solving, and other mental skills from playing chess. When combined, these skills significantly boost brain activity. Parents of children who play chess have noted that their children perform better in school and are able to focus for longer.
3. Prepares For Disappointments
Losing in chess doesn’t mean that you’re not smart enough but you simply made the wrong move. Therefore, no matter how good of a player you are, there’s a chance that you’ll lose every time you play. Additionally, you can’t challenge a win in chess since there’s only one way to win – get a checkmate. This can teach your child about losing graciously and not getting discouraged by a loss.
4. Improves Discipline
Children who play chess are generally well-behaved. Chess is quite a technical game with a number of rules and players have to plan several moves to stay ahead of their opponent. This can teach your child about planning ahead thus having more control over their actions. For instance, they’re able to complete their assignments without supervision. With time, you’ll notice your child’s discipline improving.
5. Nurtures Creativity
“Every problem has a solution. You just have to be creative enough to find it.” – Travis Kalanick. Life is full of challenges and the better you can solve them, the more successful you’re likely to be. There’s a reason why young chess players grow up to be successful adults. Apart from learning about discipline, children can learn about original thinking from playing the game. This, in turn, helps them come up with creative solutions to problems.
6. Helps Keep Calm
Children can be hyperactive and though it’s a good thing, it can be destructive especially if it goes on to their formative years. There are very few games that teach children to stay calm. Chess is all about mind over matter. Therefore, players have to be able to keep calm even when things get hot. Learning to stay calm can improve their focus thus helping them make more thought-out decisions. Additionally, children can learn how to control their energy.
8. Improves Social Skills
Unlike other games such as video games, chess can make your child more social. It teaches them about respect, patience, and grace which are essential skills while socializing. As we grow up we tend to learn these skills through different scenarios. However, children who play chess can develop them quickly and refine them over the years. This helps them develop strong relationships into adulthood.