Chess has long been considered a game of kings. Apparently, the rulers of powerful kingdoms and empires were well aware of what a wonderful practice for developing battle tactics and predicting it is playing chess with the rulers of other countries. With the getting of deep knowledge of the peculiarities of brain work as a result of modern research, it can be absolutely confidently asserted that this ancient game serves as an excellent stimulant for improving mental activity. And such advantages are simply invaluable for students. In order for the homework to not distract from reading this fascinating article, entrust it to specialists from wedoessay.com.
Dialog with History
Before talking about the benefits and social significance of chess, it is necessary to determine its place in the system of social relations. For this, it is necessary to explain: what is chess in general?
The answer – "chess is a sport" – cannot satisfy us, because it emphasizes only one side of the chess game, identical to other sports. We mean the competitive moment, participation in tournaments, volitional effort, etc. The chess game, like any sport, has its own individual characteristics. Only by revealing these features we can correctly assess the utility and social significance of chess.
Almost every chess player knows the legend of the origin of chess. Remember the story with a wise brahmin who, wanting to distract his warlike king from destructive wars, offered him chess instead? We know that wars do not arise from the whims of monarchs, they are caused by the development of society. Nevertheless, the legend of the brahmin, regardless of its authenticity, has a profound meaning: chess is a display of struggle. And the struggle is inextricably linked with the very essence of a human.
It would, however, be wrong to think that chess only reflects a military clash. Chess is an abstract representation of the struggle in general and, therefore, a reflection of dialectical contradictions. The move and the return move in the chess game mean the thesis and the antithesis. Then the synthesis follows. Thus, contradictions in chess constantly arise, are resolved and appear again. Lasker in his book "Common Sense in Chess" wrote that the systematic accumulation of small advantages sooner or later leads to qualitative changes. These changes can be expressed in the win of the material or in the occurrence of a favorable situation for a decisive combination.
In the course of history, we often witnessed how many card and board games were born and disappeared without a trace. The fact that chess has lived for two and a half thousand years cannot be explained by chance. There is something in chess that constantly attracts new generations to them. The essence is the following: chess survives as a dialectic. Human met a game in rules and in the construction of which the basic laws of dialectics, expressed in abstract, but at the same time in crystal clear form, are manifested. In chess, a person, as if affirms his or her essence.
Do not the historical patterns appear in the evolution of the chess game?
It may appear that the structure of chess is an arbitrary and formal convention. But not all share this opinion. Modern rules of the game were formed during a long historical period. So, in the Middle Ages, the movement of figures on the board was limited. The queen, for example, was the weakest figure. The fighting nature of chess began to manifest itself much later. It is no accident that in the era of early capitalism when the activity of the urban population increased sharply, chess emerged from the empirical state and began to take the form of a coherent theory. In the pre-revolutionary France of the 18th century, not only Rousseau and Diderot debated in the "Cafe de La Regence", but also Philidor, who played his first games blindly there. Philidor wrote the first great theoretical work on chess. In this work, he raised the value of pawns. Chess, as it were, reflected a collective struggle in which the people have a decisive role.
Chess was of particular importance for the working class. None other than Ernst Thalmann wrote that the willpower and independent thinking that develop in the study of chess, can be useful to workers in the struggle against the bourgeoisie. What is the value of chess for schoolchildren, students, workers and scientists now, in the age of the scientific and technological revolution?
Under socialism and in the age of automation, the struggle of people with nature and with themselves remains the most important element of the development of society. Or, in the words of Heraclitus, the dispute is the basis of everything that exists. Contradictions with the world around them during the studies, scientific research or at work require the person’s persistence, concentration, internal discipline, courage and risk, criticism and self-criticism, the ability to withstand possible failures and disappointments and yet fight for success.
These valuable qualities that make up the human personality are not given to a person in the cradle. They appear as a result of the development of consciousness. The chess game, which, as we have already said, is an abstract representation of the struggle of any kind, greatly contributes to the formation of these valuable qualities. A chess player who is unable to critically evaluate his or her game during the game will inevitably fail. Every loss is a criticism of our chess knowledge, our theoretical and practical training. Chess is a wonderful school of the upbringing of the will, it requires self-control and firmness towards oneself. They demand the overcoming of the enemy's opposing will.
One of the most valuable educational aspects of the chess game lies in its essence: chess is an excellent school of consistent logical thinking. This side of the chess game takes on special significance in our time, when the physical moment in the work gradually gives way to the spiritual one. The value of chess pieces is demarcated so precisely that it allows it to be mathematically formalized. This circumstance prompts the chess player, starting from a given point, to strive for certain results by logical conclusions. Exact logical thinking is easier to train through chess play (we mean serious games) rather than using a logic textbook for this purpose. It is known that a person is much more willing and productive to learn during the game than with a different method of studying.
Here it is necessary to draw attention to the special potential possibilities of chess as a means of educating scientific accuracy and analytical skills. It can be said without exaggeration that in our time, fruitful creative activity is accessible only to a person who is capable of analyzing an enormous stream of facts and information in a short time. Each successively conducted chess game is an example of the unity of strategy and tactics. At a certain stage of the game, the chess player, having analyzed the position, outlines a strategic plan, which then carries out with the necessary tactical means. The more he or she has the ability to analyze, the more effective his or her plan will be and the more tangible the results will be.
In work, study and personal life, a person constantly faces the need to make all sorts of decisions – from the simplest to the most difficult ones. Is chess capable, despite its abstract nature, to help a person make certain decisions?
It is obvious that chess, although it belongs to strategic games, has nothing to do with the strategic games of human society (for example, with discussions, negotiations, solutions to various problems, etc.). Chess, as we know, copies the struggle between two armies with different kinds of troops (rooks, elephants, horses, etc.). Thus, chess becomes a model of genuine social conflicts, or, in other words, in chess, aspects of collisions between people in the form of a model are concluded.
The question of which collisions chess simulates has no answer. Of course, the conflicts on the chessboard are essentially different from the vital ones in their content. However, another circumstance is more important: before choosing a course from a multitude of possibilities, the chess player must go over all the answers of his opponent. This is the point of contact of chess with life. A person playing chess can be compared to a higher cybernetic system. A learning cybernetic system can make optimal decisions in a specific situation only if it has previously lost a number of options for the model. Such a game is not fun, but a necessity for the evolution of learning cybernetic systems.
Thus, the benefit of chess is also in the fact that it learns to make decisions by looking through all available opportunities.
Will the chess machine bring damage to the human imagination?
Human fantasy is not a constant. The boundaries of fantasy depend on the type of occupation of a person, they can expand and contract. A chess game excites the imagination and develops it. This is another advantage of chess, which we must use. Despite the deeply developed theory of chess and the algorithm of many chess problems, creative fantasy in chess plays, as before, a decisive role. Our time requires creative fantasies from people working in scientific centers or serving highly productive machines and whole enterprises for the search for something new. Everything that can be algorithmized must be transferred to machines so that a person can concentrate his or her abilities on solving creative problems. It is indisputable that different genius combinations belong to the highest achievements of human imagination.
Should more attention be paid to chess at schools and universities because of its special educational qualities?
Certainly. It is necessary to bring up our young generation to the best qualities that will help them successfully solve all complicated tasks in all areas of science and technology. We have already explained above, what chess can provide in this respect.
If you propose today to any teacher to introduce chess instruction in his or her class for at least one hour a week, he or she will show you the hourly curriculum and prove the impossibility of compaction. The mistake of such a teacher is the following: in this century, the century of a huge flow of information, it is simply impossible to give an exhaustive survey of all sciences. We must increasingly replace the memorization of facts by studying methods of obtaining and explaining facts. Chess will also help students in developing precise methods of thinking.
It is especially useful to start teaching chess from the lower classes. With a chess game, children accustom themselves to dialectical, strategic and tactical methods of thinking in the early stages of their development, unconsciously, of course. As one experiment has shown, children, who systematically play chess, have higher grades in other subjects.
What can be said about another remarkable ability of chess – to bring joy and satisfaction to people?
A person loves adventure, this is his or her vital need. Victory, achieved after severe trials, brings joy to a person. A victory in chess gives an incomparable sense of satisfaction. The chess game, thus, contributes to the improvement of the spirit. Few chess players become masters, but all without exception, again and again, strive after the chess game, which takes them to the world of spiritual adventure. This feature of the chess game is of particular importance for people suffering from severe diseases, because of which they are alienated from public life and sport.
Let us summarize the above and present it in the form of arguments that confirm the use of chess. Also, we will add some interesting facts.
- It helps increase the level of IQ
Chess has always been considered a game exclusively for the most intelligent individuals with a high IQ. Do intelligent people have the propensity to play chess or does the process of the game itself help increase the intellectual abilities of the players? One of the studies carried out confirmed the fact of the last statement. The experiment was attended by 4 thousand students from Venezuela, during which there was an incredible increase in the level of IQ in both man and woman who played chess for 3 months.
- Both parts of the brain are involved
Scientists from Germany conducted an experiment, as a result of which they unexpectedly discovered that in the process of playing both parts are equally involved, which react equally to changes in the positions of chess pieces.
- It contributes to the development of creativity
As the right part of the brain deals with the creativity, its activation in the process of playing chess should contribute to the development of the corresponding abilities of the players. For a certain period of time, some students played chess while their friends were engaged in other activities. As a result, those who played chess showed great abilities in performing various tasks.
- It reduces the likelihood of Alzheimer's disease
Since the brain functions like any other muscle, then, like for any bicep, training is needed to avoid health problems. Modern research has determined that people aged 75 years who play chess are less likely to the development of the Alzheimer's disease than their non-playing in this intellectual game peers. If you do not exercise regularly, the muscles lose their elasticity. Likewise, the lack of intellectual training for the brain leads to a loss of mental abilities. Therefore, now there are more reasons to think about chess.
- It is perfect for memory
Every player knows that chess is the wonderful way to improve memory, because you need not only to remember all the previous moves of your opponent, but also your moves, which previously led to victory. The experiment carried out in 1985 only confirmed this assertion. Students constantly playing chess were able to improve their grades, and their professors noted the demonstration of excellent analytical skills in their wards. Similar results were obtained as a result of an experiment conducted by researchers in other city, in which the sixth graders took part. People who previously did not play chess were able to improve their ability to remember information after they started playing this intellectual game.