The Ultimate Brain Sport
~ ZZ Troutski
The world of sports is physical. Every time anyone speaks of a new sport, challenge, event, or just the outdoor world beckoning them to come out and have a good time – the physical body is what is offered a chance to distress. However, there is a sport that very much calls out to the brain and research is showing that this particular sport is being learned by children, young adults, all the way up to the senior citizen group in order to exercise the brain and relieve stress.
Seems odd, I know, that overworking the brain could relieve stress. But the fact is that strategy – everything from checkers to doing a crossword puzzle – is something that allows the brain to move away from reality. The brain can leave behind the chores list, the job experience, the children’s bad day – and, like a fitness gym is for the physical state, this sport is for the mental one.
Chess is no longer just a game for people who seem to be the smartest of the smart. Chess has actually come out with all different types of boards and subjects where players can play a game with imaginative figures, sometimes movie icons, etc., and they must be the ‘Mockingjay’ (ALA The Hunger Games) in order to outwit, outsmart, outplay, and outlast the competitors. The biggest upside with all this? Chess still has the board, the table and the face-to-face interaction. Although the computer will allow this game, people are still choosing to be a part of the human world when playing, and leaving the mobile and computer screens far behind.
This eight-by-eight grid has literally become one of the most popular games across the globe; millions of people are playing at home and in the out of doors where fresh air and nature becomes a part of the learning and playing experience.
The king is the one to shoot for. With the queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops and eight pawns, the brain must direct them, using the pieces to attack and capture across the board, with the objective to ‘checkmate’ the opponent’s king. Inescapable capture of this king is what the chess player is looking for – and is also a far nicer way than our political system has for doing battle and winning a championship.
Some players voluntary resign at a point during the game when they know that they have nothing left to stop the inevitable. There are also draws that come about when two players are just too smart for one another and neither player can reach that reachable king.
And when it comes to the ultimate competitions, chess is one game that offers many a myriad of contests that excite and entice the brain. The very first one, for those who are unaware or wish to follow the path of champions, is the World Chess Championship which was first claimed in 1886. And for those who wish to become the Grandmaster someday, they should remember to learn and educate but also choose chess as an experience to remember and to love – just like all those football players or skiers out there guys!
The list of championships however are long, offering something for everyone: The Women’s World Championship, the Junior World, Senior World – there is even a Correspondence Chess World Championship where players move their pieces by sending letters across the globe about their next move.
And if you still don’t believe that chess is a true sport for everyone out there, you should also know that chess is a fully recognized sport of the International Olympic Committee.
So when you sit down and think about the amazing sport you would like to be a part of one of these days, think big! Exercise that brain and have a ball. If done right, the title of Grandmaster may just be claimed by you!