This is a topic that has been considered and researched for many years and you will find all sorts of facts and conclusions from experiments designed to confirm or quantify this.
There is always this interesting stereotype that you have to be smart to play chess. This is not actually the case as all you really need to know in order to “play” chess is how the pieces move and the rules of engagement. Once you understand that then you are underway.
Like anything in life, the more you work at something the better you get.
It has often been said that training your brain is just as important as training your body. This being the case then what would be the best exercise for the brain. To answer this question, first we need to consider what function of the brain you want to train. Is it memory, is it problem solving, is it creative writing.
Anyone of these things and more can be trained individually and specifically by way of memory exercises, cognitive puzzles and creative writing exercises however if you are looking for an exercise that will give you an all round lift in brain function then it seems obvious why chess is considered the heavy weight champion.
Let’s look at what functions of the brain, playing chess utilize.
The things you are constantly doing while playing chess are..
Goal setting, not just goal setting but breaking those goals down into smaller, more immediately achievable goals.
Adapting to change and having to think through a logical adjustment to overcome a road block.
You are constantly exercising your memory when keeping on top of yours and your opponents game plan.
You are considering mathematics when contemplating exchanges.
You develop your level of perception and perceived probability and you learn to take ownership of your actions.
You strengthen your patience and you build confidence in backing your decisions.
You are firing your creative side of the brain by constantly coming up with creative and strategic attacking and defensive game play.
If you look at all of these elements and consider which of them you use in your day to day lives.
Like anything, use it or lose it and the brain is no different. A brain that plays chess is like a well oiled machine with the very neurones that you will often call upon in your day to day lives, fired up and highly tuned.
Chess is the ultimate exercise for the mind and the more you exercise a muscle the stronger it becomes, I cannot see why this should be any different for the brain.
Because of all the problem solving, memory, mathematical and strategic qualities to this game, it is a fantastic game to play to improve your business head also.
All this said and done, at the very least Chess is an amazingly enjoyable and satisfying game to play and every house hold should have one ready to go, worst case scenario you will have a little bit of fun. Chances are however you will become just that little bit smarter in the process.