When I have a conversation with a stranger, usually the first questions he/she asks are:
What’s your name? > Where are you from? > What’s your profession?
Up to this moment, the conversation has been going seamlessly. However, after I say that my profession relates to chess, the interlocutor often takes a pause to think.. 🙂
During the following chat, he/she asks about a chess game and why people play this game. Maybe you’ve had a similar experience. Hence I’ve decided to write a short article about it.
So, why do people play chess? What’s the useful effect of this game?
1. It trains your brain.
While physical exercises improve your body, chess, as an intellectual sport, sharpens your mind.
Some time ago I saw statistics about the hobbies of the richest people on the planet. Chess was in 4th place on this list.
Also, chess helps you cultivate your champion psychology. Of course, there are lots of other kinds of sport, but they carry a serious risk of trauma.
Maybe this is the reason why even famous boxers enjoy playing chess.
BBC News Magazine provided this photo and wrote: “The former world heavyweight champion, Lennox Lewis, is now more likely to be seen hunched over the chess board than in the boxing ring.”
That’s why chess is great training tool FOR KIDS. Children can train to acquire lots of useful skills without any risk.
FOR MATURE PEOPLE, chess helps slow down ageing and keep them in good shape.
2. Chess can be a pleasant pastime or a job.
One may enjoy playing chess in one’s spare time. For others, chess may become a nice job, where you get paid for your hobby!
Unfortunately, lots of people have to take a job they dislike completely (just to make a living). That said, it’s really great if you can get money from something you enjoy and believe in. I’m happy to be in this situation 🙂
In addition to that, chess does not have any real restrictions in terms of requirements. Almost everyone can play it. You don’t need to visit a special training hall or to buy expensive equipment. People can play chess starting from 4 years old and without any top age limit.
Nowadays, thanks to the Internet, one can study chess effectively from any place on the planet. This is especially important for people from developing countries and for the areas without “chess infrastructure” (clubs, teachers, etc.).
3. Chess can support your traveling around the world.
Even during my schoolboy era, I visited so many countries (while playing in tournaments) that my international passport was completely filled with visas.
These days I still enjoy traveling. It’s easy to do so because I have students or other chess friends in almost every country 🙂
Last (in this article) but not least:
4. Chess helps you meet good friends and intelligent people.
Thanks to chess, I’ve met a lot of very nice and interesting people from various countries.
Recently I got married.
The very first time I met my future wife was… at the age of 9, in a local chess tournament for kids 🙂
Of course, there are lots of other advantages to playing chess. But I don’t want to make this article endless, so let’s finish at this point.
Now, if someone asks you about chess, you may resend this article to him/her 🙂
So let’s test your skills in a position from the recent game between two top GMs.
Radjabov T. – Karjakin S.Black’s turn
Black’s position is critical. Can you find the way to escape?
After you’ve came up with your solution, check the actual game here: LINK
In order to let you have some fun, I’ll share a few photos from my recent trip.