Often called "The Game of Kings", chess has been one of the most well-known pastimes for centuries, and also one of the best exercises for the brain! You don’t have to be the world’s best chess player to challenge your kids to a game. Knowing that they stand a chance to beat you could spur them on and develop healthy competition. Not only is chess a great way to connect with your kids, let those little brains grow in big ways as they exercise their skills. Still hesitating?

Here are 5 reasons why you should get started:

1. Chess Promotes Brain Growth

Chess is a competitive game that demands your kids to think intensively. This causes the dendrites — "antennas" in the brain that picks up signals from neurons, to grow. The more they grow, the more signals the brain receives. If your kiddos compete frequently in challenging games like chess, their dendrites can grow a lot! 

2. Chess Increases Intelligence

Chess has always been considered as a game for ‘smarties’. But several types of research have raised an important question: “Do intelligent people tend to play chess or do people become generally smarter if they play it?” At least one study has proven that chess can improve children’s intelligence. A study of 4,000 Venezuelan students showed significant rises in the IQ scores of both boys and girls after just 4 months of playing chess. 

3. Chess Brings People Together

Chess is a game that knows no physical or language boundaries.Take the opportunity to meet new people with the same passion for chess while attending tournaments. You and your kids will have the chance to make new friends from different backgrounds, and fully enjoy the social aspect of the game. 

4. Chess Promotes Critical Thinking and Independence

If you want your kids to learn to become independent thinkers, then you will want them to play chess. Chess is a methodical game that requires players to always think a few moves ahead, and predict possible outcomes for every move. These lessons can be applied in real life, when your kids will eventually have to learn to solve any challenges that they have on their own, instead of fully relying on you. 

5. Chess Increases Creativity 

Every chess game is different. With every game, you and your kids have to be inventive and get more ideas each time! Your kids get to assume the role of an army commander where they make decisions on the destinies of their pawns. They have only one goal: beat the opponent and achieve ‘Checkmate’! But it’s how they go about achieving this goal that will harness their creativity. 

Chess doesn’t require expensive equipment to get started. All you need is a chess set. The little ones can take their chess sets outdoors with their friends, where they can enjoy the game even more! To get good at the game quickly, the Singapore Chess Federation conducts training and courses available for children. Now watch those mental gears whirl!