Will you become smarter if you play chess regularly? What happens if you play chess everyday?
If you play chess every day, your way of thinking and your brain development will slowly change. It’ll improve your analytical thinking, memory, and attention span as well.
Yet, there may be more interesting effects of playing than we realize. Read on to find out what happens if you play chess daily!
How Does Playing Chess Everyday Affect You Over Time?
Here are some changes you can expect to see if you play chess daily.
1. Increased Social Building Skills
According to a study in the Spanish Journal of Psychology, chess has a connection with personality. Children who choose the game as a hobby are more prone to starting arguments.
Many newbie players in the same study reported seeing changes in their social and emotional skills after practicing every day for one week.
Yet, once they do practice regularly, their social competency also increases. The changes include improvements to the following:
- Their peaceful attitude towards conflict resolve
- Respect for the rules
2. A Boost In Creativity
After two weeks of playing daily, one may expect to see a positive impact on creativity and reasoning.
Scientists say that this is because playing chess requires rigorous thinking. Chess improves mental agility, which helps us shift between options, actions, and ideas.
This trait is important to creativity because it lets you come up with solutions that you might normally overlook.
3. Pressure and Anxiety
Have you ever watched a game of chess between experts, and noticed one person make a mistake?
It may be obvious when you’re an observer, but if you’re in the same position, you might make the same error. That’s because you’re not feeling the emotional pressure of the game.
Most of us see chess as a relaxing game, but it does have a downside. If you play it daily, at some point, you’ll start to feel sick of it.
Pressure and anxiety are issues among chess players who’ve regularly practiced for more than two months. Some even lose sleep over thinking about their performance.
4. A Raise In Intelligence: But Not In the Way You’d Expect
Multiple studies show that there’s a relationship between IQ and playing chess every day for 4.5 to 5 months. Yet, it seems like there’s the same amount of research that disproves this idea.
What’s going on?
While chess improves analytical thinking, its effects on your academic standing depend on whether you enjoy the game.
Students who look forward to playing chess daily in school have better performance because they feel more motivated to attend classes.
You can still see improvements to your intelligence, but it’s not because of the actual game itself. Chess makes us smarter because it motivates us to learn!
5. More Dendrites Develop
Seven months into playing chess daily, your brain will start to grow more dendrites. These are branches in our neurons that are the input receivers.
More dendrites mean that we can process more information and develop our fast thinking.
Are Expert Chess Players Fast Thinkers?
As you get better at playing chess, you’ll start to experience the following:
- Recognize Patterns: Some moves may start to look familiar to you.
- Automate Responses: Playing chess begins to feel like a reflex and you don’t have to think much before deciding on a move.
- Develop Neuroplasticity: Your brain’s capacity to respond to situations improves.
6. Mental Health Increases
People who play chess daily for a year or more feel improvements in their academic and mental health. Here are some of the benefits.
- Better reading comprehension, problem-solving, and planning skills.
- Short and long-term memory develops.
- Cognitive decline slows down.
- Concentration and patience increase.
7. Become an Expert Chess Player
According to the Journal of Expertise, you’ll need at least 10 years of playing chess regularly to become an expert.
By this time, you’ll have stored a sufficient amount of patterns in your long-term memory to be considered a master.
Why does it take so long? Chess is a complex game, that since chess got invented 500 years ago, we still haven’t played every possible chess combination!
It may take you a while, but don’t get disheartened if you feel like your progress is slow. What you should focus on is enjoying the game and reaping its benefits. After all, what fun would it be if chess were easy?
What Are the Benefits of Playing Chess Daily?
People have always hailed chess for improving the way we think. It’s a good way to give our brain a workout.
In a study published by the International Journal of Humanities, researchers say that chess increases mental capacity, concentration, analytical skills, and memory. Moreover, it finds that chess players have improved rational thinking and decision-making.
That’s all cool to know, but most researchers only look at the end result. They don’t focus much on this question: How long does someone have to play to reap the benefits?
How Many Hours Do You Need to Put Into Chess?
Will you start seeing the effects of playing chess from day one?
Well, no. Studies show that it might take you a while to experience lasting effects from playing chess. To be precise, you need to practice for 25 to 30 hours before you feel significant differences in your brain in terms of analytical and memory skills.
If you play one hour of chess daily, it’ll take you a month.
Even then, the effects are short-lived. Once beginners take a break from playing for a few weeks, their progress will go back to zero.
What Happens if You Skip Chess Days?
According to the Institute of Education in London that carried out the aforementioned study, students who played 25 to 30 hours of chess didn’t show a significant increase in their grades.
Scientists point out that this was because they took the academic tests one year after the chess training.
This tells us that to truly see lasting improvement, you’ll have to play chess regularly for a long time.
What happens if you play chess everyday? We now know that it improves our overall brain health, builds our social skills, raises creativity, and may even raise our intelligence.
Yet, there are times when you may want to take breaks rather than obsess over improvement.
In the end, what matters is that you enjoy the game and you have fun with your chess partner!