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Chess game and its benefits - “Sit mens sana in corpore sano” how many times have we heard this sentence from the 10th June Juvenal quote
It means "it is a healthy mind in a healthy body" which indicates that we must take care not only of the well-being of the body, but also of the mind. This new column wants to deal with just that: give indications on how to keep the mind trained, awake and active. And the tool, easy and fun, which we all have available and within everyone's reach, really everyone, is the game of chess.
Yes, I understand that some of you, dear readers, are horrified, but before "changing the channel" or ceasing to read this short article, have the pleasure of dedicating me no more than 3 minutes to illustrate the "strengths" of the "noble" game ”in terms of keeping the mind sane.
We begin to share the starting point: the key and fundamental ingredient for having a good open-mindedness is hidden in being willing to to review our way of thinking and seeing the world, or putting it into play and therefore ultimately putting ourselves on the line. This is the magic word: play.
It has been shown that play in children is essential for their growth and mental openness. Then slowly, growing up, you stop playing for 1000 reasons and without realizing you are fossilized in a system of ideas, beliefs that give us security and in fact no longer make us think creatively.
The brain atrophies in a daily routine just like untrained muscles.
Well I tell you that even a single hour spent exercising a magnificent brain activity, how to play chess, which produces innovative, creative and inspiring thoughts can make you brighter, more active and open to new ideas and ways of thinking and ultimately to enjoy life more.
Chess is the perfect gym for your mind. Moving the pieces on the board is much more than mental training. And you don't need to be a teacher to have fun.
Chess game: benefits for the mind
It is scientifically proven that playing chess is good for the brain.
I'm not boring you, but there are plenty of studies by researchers in different countries that demonstrate the benefits of chess for memory and the development of logical and creative thinking.
The researchers studied the brain activity of players of different levels, from beginners to Masters, discovering notable differences between beginners and Masters of the game. The former, in fact, look for a move that they consider good by analyzing from time to time what happens on the chessboard, activating above all the median temporal lobe which is the place of the brain that encodes the news.
The Masters, or very experienced players, on the other hand, play according to a game plan and also use long-term memory to compare their chess knowledge with what is happening on the board. Why this diversity? Think about it for a moment…. Done? No doubt you will have guessed that the expert player has learned the strategy and gained experience in the game, storing in memory a lot of theory, whole games, combinations and variations, his own or others' endings. During the game, therefore, he activates multiple brain areas at the same time, including those dedicated to memory and planning (i.e. that brain activity composed of thoughts that guide action towards a goal). In practice it activates the frontal and parietal cortex of the brain.
Don't be scared: the good news is this: you don't need to be a Master to have fun and discover the benefits of chess.
The game also helps to develop attention, concentration and teaches you to make more informed choices (not just on a chessboard).
Chess is good for the brain, hardens the character and can teach many things: discipline, patience and confidence in one's abilities. They also help you to be more focused, creative, and think strategically.
“Thanks to chess I have tempered my character, because this game teaches us to be objective. You cannot become a Great Master if you don't learn about your mistakes and weaknesses, as well as in life. " Aleksandr Alechin - IV World Champion.
Also for these reasons, in 2012 the European Parliament presented an official document inviting EU schools to teach all students the game of chess. In several European countries the game is already mandatory, in Italy we are getting there.
Chess game: origins
But what are the origins of this fascinating game? Well they are lost in the mists of time and with the origins of civilizations. Even in the tombs ofAncient Egypt chessboards have been found (but the rules of that game are not known). Precise traces of a game similar to the present, are first found in India more than 1500 years ago, where a battle was represented between two armies equipped with elephants, infantry, archers and wagons. Then the game spread to ancient Persia, from which the expression "Checkmate" from the Persian "Shah mat" or "the King is defeated" was born and then to Europe where it took over the current rules. It is a game so ancient and so rooted in individual civilizations that it is called from time to time "noble game or game of kings" and "game of life" for its symbolic representation of life itself.
Chess game: basic rules
But how is chess played? Very simply, some figures (pieces) move on the chessboard (the game board) following a few simple rules of movement. The game (the match) takes place between two players (or colors called respectively White and Black). The goal of the game is to give "checkmate" to the opposing King, an action that immediately closes the game by sanctioning the victory of the player who inflicts it. White begins the game, therefore moving first, always White.
Chess game: the pieces
The figures that are maneuvered by the player are: the King (the most important piece, the loss of which leads to defeat), the Queen or Queen (the strongest piece), the Bishop, the Knight, the Rook and finally the humble Pedestrian. Each piece has its own precise movement characteristic. When a piece moves into the square where there is an opponent's piece, it is said to capture it and remove it from the game.
Chess game: arrangement of the pieces
The figures are arranged on the game board (the chessboard, a square board made up of 64 squares, or more precisely squares, alternately black and white) in a precise order.
The lower left square of the player conducting the white pieces (White) must be black.
The arrangement of chess pieces
Books to learn how to play chess
There are countless good texts that illustrate the first rudiments of the game in particular to children.
Just to name a very recent one is the book "Crazy for the Queen”By Maestro Adolivio Capece, published by Edizioni Freemedia suitable for the school cycle of 8 - 13 years of age currently proposed on Amazon at 16.15 Euros. But I like to remember mine too first book of chess, the one that attacked me there passion; it is for the Mursia editions of Bott-Morrison "Chess for boys" really written in a captivating and engaging way. This text is also available on Amazon, currently at 13.20 euros.
There is also a rich choice for adults; I liked it and I gladly suggest it, the ebook, a non-paper book, but an electronic book that can therefore be read on Kindle tablets and / or PCs, by Eng. Pardi, a well-known FSI Instructor specialized in the education of the elderly and absolute beginners, "Course for absolute beginners and adults”Available on Amazon for only 2.99 Euros!
You can also download a preview of this ebook completely free of charge.
My other related articles that I recommend you read are:
- How to play chess
- Chess rules
- The stalemate in chess
by Andrea Gori