Brainy game: Benefits of learning chess from childhood

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Many parents aspired to see their kids learn Chess when they watched 18-year-old Indian chess prodigy R Praggnanandhaa play in the FIDE World Cup final. Introduce Chess to your child as a hobby, and you can improve their cognitive skills, logical thinking, and more. It was initially a hobby that Praggnaanandhaa, his sister R Vaishali, and other siblings acquired. They are now world-renowned Chess players.

Daakshin, a 13-year-old Chennai boy from Chennai, was introduced to Chess when he turned six. Daakshin Arun (13) from Chennai is the top player in India for his age group. “I played chess regularly with him and, when I saw that he was becoming more interested in the game, I hired a professional coach to guide him,” says Arun’s father, who quit his job as an assistant professor to take his son to tournaments around the world.

Early chess learning

It is important to keep a child’s brain active and engaged. This will help them develop. According to Dr Sameer Sawarte of Fortis Hospital Mulund in Mumbai, introducing games such as Chess helps children learn how to think, strategize, and make decisions. They also increase their brain power. The game requires them to think about their opponent’s next move and anticipate all possible actions. This takes a lot of concentration and patience. It strengthens and forms new neural connections within the brain. It is a vital part of the child’s growth and development. “The younger they are the better they can adapt,” says he.

Grand Master M S Thejkumar believes that parents should introduce Chess to their children as early as possible. It will help them improve their memory. When someone plays Chess, they have to memorize a lot of variations and strategize accordingly. “This helps build their minds,” he says. Thejkumar played Chess with his son, who was five years old last year.

Chess and IQ

Aruna Dinakara is a freelance chess trainer based in Bengaluru. She believes that Chess can improve a person’s imagination and aesthetic judgment, as well as their Intelligence Quotient (IQ), memory, and calculations. He claims that Chess helps to boost confidence because it involves a mental battle. When they win, they gain more self-esteem and confidence.

Chess requires complex thinking abilities. Sportsmanship is taught by winning and losing games. It is important to be able to think logically and strategically in order for you to play Chess. When children play games like Chess, which require long-term planning, long-range thinking, and tactics, their ability to solve problems improves. Regularly playing Chess will enhance your brain and eye coordination,” says Dinakara, who left his job as an IT specialist to pursue his passion for teaching Chess.

Chess is good for children.

Arun claims that Daakshin’s grasping ability improved after playing Chess. We noticed that his academics were much improved compared to those of other children his age. He took less time to understand and read the subject matter,” he said.

Dr Sadawarte says that people who play Chess find mathematics easy, and they tend to perform better.

The children who play Chess are usually smarter than their peers. Thejkumar says that chess players can remember something they read once for a very long time. Many chess players are top students in their classes. He says that playing Chess can have a positive effect on academics.

Thejkumar said that parents should not force their kids to play and instead let them enjoy the game without any expectations. “One must enjoy and love playing the game without any expectations. He said that the results would be seen in their long-term thinking and actions.

Not only children but also adults can play Chess. Dr Sadawarte said, “We recommend that adults especially the elderly play games such as chess in order to improve their memory.”

Play Chess, but not online.

Dr Sadawarte says parents should play games with children, if not every day, then at least every weekend. Playing Chess on a real board helps to build connections and bonds. He said that playing the game on a digital platform can cause adverse effects on children, from eye problems to behavioral changes. It can even lead to gadget obsession. He suggested picking up a chessboard and teaching a child how to play.

Arun says that playing Chess keeps his children from being distracted by other activities. “They don’t watch TV, play video games, or use mobile phones.” Daakshin enjoys and prefers to play Chess despite playing other games.

Dinakara believes that playing Chess can be a good distraction. However, he says that it is bad to play Chess in excess. He said that when parents see their child becoming addicted to a particular game, they should seek professional advice to guide them on the right track.

Takeaway

Introduce Chess to a child at an early age. It will help in their growth and development. Chess helps children develop their cognitive skills, improve their concentration and memory, and build self-confidence. It is a good distraction from the digital world.

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