MAINTAIN BRAIN HEALTH – Learn To Play Chess

The Game of Chess

You think you’re old. The game of chess was invented hundreds of years ago and still very popular today thanks to the internet. If you’re looking for ways to keep your brain healthy, chess is a good choice. The game is played on a square board with 64 squares. The idea is to use your pieces to capture your opponent’s king which happens to be the least powerful piece on the board. The most powerful piece on the board is the Queen!

I play chess almost every day using the app CHESS WITH FRIENDS on my cellphone. I play with people I have never met in person and we play over and over and can even communicate via instant text messages through the app. Things have really changed since I started playing at 16 years old. Now there are many websites where millions of people worldwide enjoy the game daily. A few websites include: chess.com, lichess.org, playchess.com, chess with friends.

Why Chess?

Playing chess has many benefits including: improving memory loss, stimulates creative thinking, prevents the development of Alzheimers, and enhances problem-solving skills among others. Scientists have done studies and discovered that playing chess can even improve IQ scores.

I have been playing about 50 years and still love the game. It teaches you to plan and think long term, think outside the box and explore different options when presented with a challenging situation. I believe chess defintely helps to maintain good brain health. I am still amazed at some of the predicaments I get myself into and look forward to the challenge. Chess will force you to accept responsibility for your actions and decisions but in a fun way.

When I think back to my teenage years, I remember going to a local bookstore to play the owner on a regular basis. He absolutely loved to play and would sometimes be so focused on trying to win he would ignore his customers! Imagine me, a teenager in a room full of older gentleman smoking cigars on the campus of Stetson University in central Florida playing chess and winning! I lost a few games too.

After moving to Atlanta after serving four years in the Air Force, I remember visiting this pawn shop and noticed a chess board on the desk of the owner. We started talking and found out he loved to play. Of course that meeting turned in to an ongoing relationship. We played often and had a lot of fun. Only thing is he would move and realize he made a mistake and would want to take his move back. He was a character!

The Fundamentals

Besides the board, the pieces include the King, Queen, 2 Rooks, 2 Bishops, 2 Knights and 8 pawns. So each player has the exact same 16 pieces and the person with the white pieces moves first. You can flip a coin to decide who has the white pieces. As for how the pieces move refer to this website: Learn To Play Chess

The King is the weakest player and needs to be protected. The Queen is the most powerful piece on the board and can move any direction but can’t jump over pieces like a Knight can do. The typical first move is by the pawn which can only move vertically one space except on the first move when it can move two spaces. The idea is to control the center of the board where the power is located. When capturing your opponent’s pieces keep in mind that your pieces are equal to your opponent’s pieces. Example: You capture your opponent’s rook and your opponent captures yours. That’s an even swap.

With so many challenging opportunities and decisions to make you can see how chess can help to exercise your brain and keep it healthy. I highly recommend downloading the app CHESS WITH FRIENDS and play others but also play against the computer. That’s correct, you don’t have to play against a friend, you can play and practice against the computer right on your own cellphone! Just go to the app store on your phone and download it and start learning and playing.

Play Online and Make New Friends

There are many websites and groups where you can make new friends and develop your game at the same time. There is no charge to become a member, just create an account and start playing. A few websites include: chess.com, lichess.org, playchess.com, Chess with Friends.

If you would like to meet some new friends locally and play check out the link below:

https://www.meetup.com/topics/chess/. Meetup.com is a social website that attracts people with all kinds of interests. So If you are looking to make new friends with similar interests you may find this website to be very valuable in addition to finding other chess players.

Conclusion

So If you are looking for ways to keep your brain healthy and avoid developing Alzheimer’s as you age, playing chess is a good option. Not only is it fun and challenging but it is a good way to meet new people and socialize. I’ve enjoyed a good glass of wine while playing and it is an enjoyable way to relax and stimulate those old brain cells at the same time. Now with the invent of the internet you can literally play someone you never met anywhere in the world. Not only can you play a good game of chess, you can also send each other an instant text message even during the game. Some players introduce themselves at the beginning of the game and taunt each other while playing. Beware though because I have been challenged by what appears to be a beautiful woman interested in more than chess. I always refuse to cooperate or participate in those conversations. They usually don’t continue the game when I don’t reply.

Check the resources below for additional links to help with maintaining a healthy brain.

Health Resources and Links:

The Lost Book of Remedies

Diabetes Freedom

Help With Blood Pressure

Senior.com

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