I love chess. I love what the game does for the brain. Chess isn’t a game for smart people… chessmakes you smart. The cerebral battle over the checkered board develops mental acuity and whole-brain thinking . It just takes a little bit of study and a whole lot of practice.
Only a chess player knows the bone-deep thrill of coming up with an astonishing move after a long, deep analysis. Only a wood-pusher understands the deep compliment of having a commentator annotate a move with an exclamation mark. (Oh joy! Oh wonder!) An exceptional move is always a deeply innovative solution to a complex problem.
Chess encourages both logical deduction and creativity, both narrow analysis and the synthesis of multiple variables into an elegant solution. Chess players are intentional and reflective thinkers – capable of startling those in the know with innovative and unusual combinations. No wonder then that it has been touted for so long as an educational tool.
There are numerous studies which show the strong correlation between mental agility and chess. For my money, the correlation is strong enough to prove at least a partialcausal relationship. I am so convinced of this that I began a chess programme in our school two years ago. I am still in the process of evaluating the long-term effects of exposing students to chess in an academic context, but so far the results look promising.
CHESS AND THE IPAD
The idevices love education. And the idevices love chess. For reasons I mentioned in a previous post, touching a screen by-passes the usual user-interface devices and provides for a moreimmediate experience. With chess, tablet devices and touch screen technology provides the closest simulation of the experience of playing a living opponent. This means that the benefits are also more immediately tangible.
The apps which follow can each assist everyone from novices to aspiring masters in honing and developing their chess playing abilities. Chess is not something to be afraid of – anyone can learn, at any age. Whoever you are, the following iOS apps will go a long way towards improving your game… and improving your mind.