Why Learn To Play Chess?

by Doug B

How many times have you tried something new, but soon found it was hard to learn? If you are like me, you know how easy it is to give up. I find myself saying "This is too hard! Why am I doing this?" But if I am honest, there is a reason for my doubt. I didn't decide why I wanted to do it before I started.

Recently I got this message: "Thank you very much I got the download, but it (chess) is not an easy game to learn is it?"

 Here is my response:

I agree chess is hard to learn. There are lots of rules to remember. Each piece moves a different way. Every game is different. That is why I need some good reasons for wanting to learn how to play. Or else I will soon get beat down and quite. So why learn to play chess? Because it teaches us lessons we can use in everyday life! Here are just three skills we can develop. I am sure there are many more.

Learn To Play Chess To Develop Problem Solving Skills

Life is full of problems. Learning how to deal with them is a skill we can all use. Chess can teach us how. For example, in life we need the ability to face problems and not panic. Chess gives us practice when our queen is unexpectedly captured.

Too often we react to life's problems without much thought. But, chess teaches us to take our time and look at the problem from all angles.

And that's not all; our problems in life at times offer few choices. By facing lopsided odds in chess, we learn to think up creative options.

Weighing our options is another valuable problem solving skill in life. We are also trained to do this in chess. This is what we do when we assign values to pieces. It helps us assess our choices.

Finally, in life we must choose the best option for the situation. And then take action. Each move we make in chess gives us practice in this lesson.

Learn To Play Chess To Improve Planning Skills

Do you live on auto-pilot? Do you spend time and money without planning? I know I'm guilty.

In chess, just like life, you have limited resources. If you are going to win, you must think ahead. Each move must have a reason. Nothing can be wasted.

Failing to plan two or three moves ahead, in chess, can be fatal. Each move will bring a response. One unexpected move by our opponent can put us out of the game. The same thing applies to life.

There is an old saying. "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail". This couldn't be truer in chess, or in life. Fortunately, chess gives us a safe arena to practice our planning skills. We may make mistakes in our planning. But, at least they may only cost us a game. As we learn how to plan, we can use that skill in other less forgiving areas of life.

Learn To Play Chess To Grow Patient

The last skill I want to talk about may be the hardest to learn. It is patience. We live in an age of instant gratification. With microwaves, ATM machines, and easy credit, we rarely wait for anything. If we stand in line more than a few minutes we get upset. So is it any wonder we don't know how to be patient?

There was a day when it was said that "Patience is a virtue". I believe that is still true today. We have just forgotten its value.

Here again chess can teach us this skill. One of the biggest mistakes new players make is not being patient. It takes patience to wait until our foe makes a mistake. It takes patience to set up strategic moves. It takes patience to continue playing and not resign when the odds are against us. But, these lessons in patience can give us valuable skills we can use elsewhere in life.

I hope these three skills give you enough reason to make the effort to learn chess. But, if not keep looking, I am sure there are many more ways that skills we learn in chess can help us in life.

To Your Chess Success,

Doug B.

About the Author

© copyright 2007 www.InvincibleChessStrategy.com. Doug B. has been playing chess for over 40 years. He now helps people href="http://www.invinciblechessstrategy.com/LearnToPlayChess.html">learn to play chess. Get your free copy of href="http://www.invinciblechessstrategy.com/ChessRules.html">The Chess
Rules Handbook