Benefits of Playing Chess

World chess champions

By the chess tutor Jonathan Whitcomb


I teach chess lessons face-to-face, mostly in the Salt Lake Valley of Utah. The main focus of our tutoring sessions is in improving the students’ abilities to win chess games, yet I have a deeper purpose.

We can gain a number of benefits from playing the royal game, and they’re far more important than racking up points from winning. Chess lessons prepare the student for playing quality games, but we now need to look deeper. Why do both winners and losers benefit from competing in chess? Let’s look into the other benefits, the ones that run deeper than the short-term satisfaction from winning a game or even winning a chess tournament.


Outdoor game of chess in a park

Brain Activity and Health

Is it surprising that people talk about avoiding Alzheimer’s by playing chess? Challenging mental activities can greatly aid us in the fight against that opponent Alzheimer’s, and what is more challenging mentally than a well-fought game of chess?

That does not mean that an occasional quick flutter in the royal game will prevent a person from ever getting Alzheimer’s, but regular sessions that involve deep concentration—those can certainly make a positive difference.

Chess Lessons in Utah (by Jonathan Whitcomb)

In the Salt Lake Valley, I teach students of the royal game how to win. If that were my only motivation for continuing teaching chess, however, I could risk getting bored with this occupation. The additional benefits that my chess students can obtain—those are what inspire me to keep teaching, and my students have been of many ages: children, young adults, and the older generation of senior citizens.

Get in touch with Jonathan Whitcomb by email or by phone:

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Kids can learn chess from senior citizens

Sooner or later, children who play chess, even the most talented young competitors, will probably find themselves across the board from those who have played the royal game for a long time.


Mental benefits of chess – by a chess coach in Utah

It’s no secret that focusing on a game of chess is mental exercise, although deeply competitive players rarely think about that during a game.


Chess tutoring in Utah

I’m a chess tutor in Murray, Utah, offering private and group lessons in many communities and cities in the Salt Lake Valley. (Lessons cost $25 per one-hour session but with a free preliminary getting-acquainted session).


Bilateral brain activity in chess experts

Functional magnetic resonance imaging corroborated this differentiation between object and pattern recognition and showed that chess-specific object recognition was accompanied by bilateral activation of the occipitotemporal junction . . .


The importance of brain activity for health

Activities that might help exercise the brain include playing contract or duplicate bridge, becoming active in a chess club, doing hard crossword puzzles, or learning to play a musical instrument . . .