Chess is one of the world’s oldest games that is still played today. The game, played on a 64-square board consisting of alternate black and white squares, is renowned the world over for its simplicity as well as for its unmatched sophistication. Chess is widely regarded as the ultimate game of strategy, and since its invention several hundred years ago has not only retained its relevance in our modern world but has taken on a whole new level of importance when it comes to analytical and logical thinking, as well as the use of strategy and foresight in the everyday lives of people around the world.
Chess is said to have been invented in the 15th century, and over the centuries it has gained a vast player base, having garnered incredible popularity across nations, cultures and communities. It is a game that perfectly encompasses the varied aspects of strategy and strategic thinking. Mikhail Botvinnik, one of the best chess players of all time had famously remarked that “if music was an art that illustrates the beauty of sound, then chess was an art that illustrates the beauty of logic.”
Over time, chess has influenced cultures and it is widely said to be a game that connects several diverse fields of study, such as mathematics, computer science, economics and psychology. Playing chess does not require a large amount of space either. All one needs is enough space to put a chess board and sufficient room for two people to sit comfortably. As a matter of fact, as technology advanced over the ages to what the world is now used to in this ‘digital age’, the way chess is played has also changed. Even though the general format of the game, as well as the rules, have not changed, people nowadays play chess on their mobile phones, tablets and computers. The availability and access to high-speed internet services across the world have made it possible for people to play chess with people from other parts of the world in real-time as well. Today, there are numerous gaming platforms which allow users to download chess game and play at their convenience, whenever and wherever they wish to.
The easy availability of online chess platforms has provided ample opportunities for friends and family members to play chess with each other, and this has proved particularly useful during the presently ongoing pandemic which had, since 2020, forced a large number of people to stay indoors, making playing chess face to face impossible.
However, one would wonder what it is about chess that makes it so widely liked and respected. And this blog seeks to address exactly that. Read on and discover what makes chess a very strong contender for the best board game of all time!
1. Chess can be Played Anywhere
Chess is a game that is not limited by location. Chess boards are typically compact, and therefore, they occupy a relatively small amount of space. Truly, all one needs to be able to play chess is enough space to put the chess board and enough room for two players to sit without feeling constricted or uncomfortable. Even in its virtual form, online chess offers the flexibility to be played without a physical chess board. For playing online chess, the only requirement is a stable internet connection. People can play online chess at home, during breaks in school or college, in public places such as parks, plazas, libraries and even on board public transport like trains and buses.
2. Chess is an Intelligence Booster
Chess is a game that is built entirely on the use of logic. It goes without saying that playing chess will provide excellent exercise for the brain. Winning in the game of chess involves analytical and calculated thinking and strategic decision-making. Researchers have conducted studies that have shown that playing chess regularly leads to an improvement in a person’s intelligence quotient (IQ) over time. In other words, the more regularly one plays chess, the better it is for their intelligence and overall brain health in the long term.
3. Chess Stimulates Creativity
Chess is a game that stimulates both hemispheres of the brain – namely the logical part as well as the creative part. The left hemisphere is the part of the brain that deals with logic while the right hemisphere is the part of the brain that deals with creativity. It may come as a surprise to a lot of people, but playing chess stimulates creativity and lateral thinking, as well as unconventional and out-of-the-box thinking, which helps to figure out the mind of one’s opponent and devise ways to outwit them. In the long term, it will also improve a person’s ability to solve complex and challenging problems in everyday life scenarios as well.
4. Chess Helps to Enhance Memory
It is well known that the finest chess players around the world have an outstanding memory. This is due to the fact that chess players need to be extremely alert and retain a wide range of information, such as the positions of the chess pieces, the moves they made, the moves made by their opponent, and tactics they acquired over the past games as well as from other players and lots of other things. And if that is not enough, playing chess well also involves keeping in mind multiple possible combinations of moves as well as the various potential outcomes that could arise out of each of them.
5. Chess is a Timeless Classic
Developed several centuries ago, chess is a game that has seen practically no change to its original format. Chess is one of the oldest continuously played board games in the world, and its popularity has only grown with time. While some may consider chess to be a boring game, it must also be noted that while there are newer versions of modern games that come out every few months, the charm and prestige of the game of chess have remained constant throughout history. Chess is also a game that many people have grown up playing, making them feel nostalgic about the game.
6. Chess Brings People Together
Based on intellect, logic and analytical thinking, chess can be described as the ultimate battle of wits. It is a game that can be played by people of all ages, backgrounds and interests. Chess is a game that has universal appeal, and it brings family members closer to one another and also strengthens the bonds of friendship. Chess is truly a game for everyone and has proven to be a unifying force across communities around the world.
In the light of the above, it is abundantly clear why chess is a game that is popular across all age groups, generations and cultures. Even as technology continues to advance and the ways of playing the game evolve even further, one can safely assume that chess will always remain relevant in our society and culture.