The history of chess spans over 1500 years, originating from India, before the 6th Century AD. It was used for military strategy, mathematics, gambling and even astronomy – weird right?

Popularly of the game spread throughout empires, it reached Europe in the 15th Century where it evolved in the current form we now know today. For centuries the game of chess has existed, even though the way we play today may have changed from the style played previously.

Chess is still a popular game today, played by all ages from all backgrounds. There are many benefits of playing chess as it exercises are most important organ: the brain, of course! And a lean brain is always nice to show off but more importantly it will benefit you in business the most when planning, strategising and executing your objectives.

Here are some of the benefits of playing chess (to find out more benefits or to read in more detail visit

  • Promotes brain growth: stimulate the growth of dendrites, dendrites send signals from the brain’s neurone cells. With more dendrites, neural communication within the brain improves and becomes faster. Basically, think of your brain as a computer processor, with more of these dendrites the brain operates at a faster speed.
  • It exercises both sides of the brain: a study indicated that playing games such as chess stimulates the use of both sides of the brain.
  • Raises your IQ: apparently a different study shows that chess can raise your IQ level!
  • Helps prevents Alzheimers: as we age we become prone to problems, to try and avoid them playing games like chess will be like working your biceps at the gym. Overtime, not going to the gym, will decrease the muscle mass, same applies to the brain. Chess gives your brain a mental workout, therefore you will be maintaining your brain power as your get older.
  • Sparks your creativity:  the right side of your brain is responsible for your creativity, playing chess enhances that creativity.
  • Increases problem solving skills: as your opponent is making their move, you need to be able to counter their move and plan your attack to win the game. Not just in the current move, but thinking a few moves ahead. This improves your problem solving skills, a very useful skill in business.

So as you can see from the above, playing chess not only improves your problem solving and strategic thinking skills (both very useful in business) but it also has many health benefits.

In business being able to strategically think about your next move is crucial to stay ahead of the game, and on a daily basis you will come across many challenges and obstacles, so it is crucial to be able to problem solve your way out of any situation.

I also believe playing chess reveals the type of personality you have when it comes to being strategic. For example, are your tactics aggressive or defensive? I found I am more of an aggressive individual when it comes to tactics, and prefer to attack and get stuff done rather than defend and wait for problems to happen before making a move.

In short, there are some skills you cannot survive without in business – strategic thinking and problem solving skills. Playing something like chess can help improve both along with other skills and benefits. So go grab a chess board and start learning. For those who haven’t played before or need a little reminder, below are is a YouTube tutorial to help you along. There are more resources online if you want to know more!

Share your experiences of playing chess or other activities that can help improve your business skills!