All about the brain

Chess Good For The Brain - It's Official

The brain is a bit like a muscle - if you don't use it then it just gets weaker. Just as importantly, if you work it harder it alo gets stronger. Which is why people who play chess, or do crossword puzzles or sudoku etc find that they get better at those games. The more you do them the faster you get, or the more difficult a puzzle your brain can handle or the higher a level of game you can play at.

This benefit goes beyond merely getting better at that one thing however. This is also thought to be important for keeping brain function from declining as we age, and even keeping Alzheimers at bay.

A study at the Einstein College of Medicine in New York found evidence that those who challenged their brains with mental games, such as chess, showed significantly less signs of dementia in old age. This didn't apply to physical activity alone which showed no improvement - it required activities that worked the brain.

Other activities that proved helpful were reading, crosswords to some extent, and ballroom dancing. The latter it is thought more due to the complex thinking required to learn, perform and co-ordinate the dance steps rather than due to any physical exertion.

So you're probably just fine as I'm sure you already play chess if you arrived here anyway. You now just have a good excuse for the rest of the family why you have to spend even more time playing it. Or why they should join you, get better and actually try and put up some kind of a challenge next time you play them :-)

That's not to say you should neglect getting some physical exercise too. I hear that's also good for you - within reason of course. It was a very wise man who said 'everything in moderation' - I just need to go and look up who actually coined the phrase.