Chess is an outstanding game that tests your mental abilities and can improve them over time. Many experienced chess players exhibit highly developed mental abilities and often earn high scores on intelligence assessments. Some suggest that skilled chess players became smart by playing the game. Others suggest that those individuals were already are smart when they took up the game. Whether or not you already consider yourself smart, playing chess can improve your mental abilities.

Increased Focus

Chess helps to improve your ability to concentrate and focus your thoughts. You have to pay close attention to the board, know what each piece is capable of doing, understand how they work together and separately, and determine the best strategy to win the game. The more skilled your opponent, the harder it will be to win. So, you have to learn to concentrate and focus your thoughts to devise a winning strategy and move accordingly, and not be distracted by the other player or what’s happening around you.

Forward Thinking

Focusing on your strategy is important for any win, but you’ll find that you need some adaptability as well. Your one or two best strategies won’t work against every opponent, and you need to be able to change your plans from move to move as you anticipate your opponent’s strategy.

One of the best ways to improve your adaptability is to learn how to play against a wide range of playing styles and levels. You can do this by taking online chess lessons. It also improves your ability to assess and react to changing conditions as the game unfolds. With online chess lessons, you will also learn a wide variety of techniques and how to utilize them against different attacks. When you learn them well, you’ll be able to switch from one approach to another with ease.

Develop Cunning

Chess is a battle of wits with your opponent. That battle includes using strategy to lure you opponent into making mistakes and falling for traps you set throughout the game. The ability to manipulate your opponent’s moves and turn them to your advantage helps to teach cunning. That cunning can help in business strategy or while engaging others in negotiations and other social interactions.

Develop Fast-Thinking

More skilled chess players often use a timer to speed up the game. The timer adds pressure to the game by limiting the time you have to make your plays. The additional pressure forces you to think quickly on your feet, and improves your mental abilities.

The brain is like any other muscle; you have to exercise it. You can give it a good workout by playing a seemingly simple game of chess. You don’t have to own a chess board and pieces to play the game. Many computers now come with chess programs preinstalled so that you can have fun playing one of the world’s most regarded board games. You also can access a wide range of online resources that will teach the game’s many subtleties and help to improve your ability to think quickly and under pressure.

Author's Bio: 

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer from Sacramento, California. A mother of two, Hannah enjoys writing on blogs of all niches.