Flexing Mental Muscles
"The game of chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several very valuable
qualities of mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired
or strenghtened by it, so as to become habits, ready on all occasions."
-- Benjamin Franklin, 1786
GOAL-FORMATION: The path to checkmate is not
straightforward. The player constantly must formulate intermediate goals.
PROBLEM-SOLVING: Like a puzzle or a story
problem, chess harnesses reason and logic.
PLANNING: After determining a goal, the player
must create a step-by-step plan.
EFFECTICE PERFORMANCE: After determining a goal,
the player must execute a plan with attention to detail.
ATTENTION, CONCENTRATION: The player must ignore
distractions, focus attention and maintain concentration until solving the
SELF-MONITORING: The player must re-evaluate and
alter plans in response to the opponent's ideas. Caution and contempation
lead to understanding, rash action is punished.
PERSEVERANCE: The complexity of chess allows for
many surprises. Maintaining composure in the face of adversity can result
PATTERN-RECOGNITION: The player must remember
typical positions to execute successful combinations and avoid dangerous