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Science Forum

Science Forum

  1. 02 Dec '12 20:40
    What is the effect on the human brain of playing chess often? Does it affect some abilities positively and others negatively? Does it modify our personalities? Do we become more successful people, or more introverted or withdrawn? Why do some people love it and others find it incredibly dull? Do men and boys prefer chess more than women or girls? Is there a gender difference in ability?

    I would love to learn from people here what they think.
  2. 03 Dec '12 05:29
    Originally posted by NoEarthlyReason
    I would love to learn from people here what they think.
    I think the effects are different depeneding on how much you play. I think someone who plays 5 hours a day for example will be effected differently from someone who plays 2 hours a week.
    I think that as with almost all effects, there will be both positive and negative effects.
    I would say that generally boys/men are more likely to enjoy it than girls/women. That of course doesn't mean there aren't exceptions. I think that this difference in interest makes it next to impossible to determine statistical differences in actual ability. More men are good at chess but this is largely because of education, interest, availability etc, so it is difficult to control for these factors and identify ability.
    I think in the few cases where girls have been practically forced into chess by thier parents they have been just as successful as boys.
  3. Subscriber Kewpie
    since 1-Feb-07
    03 Dec '12 05:37
    I once belonged to a Womens Chess Club which existed only because women weren't allowed into regular Chess Clubs in those days. Our convenor, a State Womens Chess champion married to an equally strong male player, considered women's lack of chess championships was entirely due to lack of strong competition, and would match us in tournaments against male players to prove her point. Nowadays with girls playing in open competition there is still a performance differential, but I doubt it's due to a lack of talent, there are so many other factors involved.

    As some of our single-sex schools have moved to coeducation, it's been observed that girls in all-girl classes drop their performance if boys are added to the class. Something about not being seen to be too bright because that's not what the boys want to see. Take the boys out of the class and the girls return to their former performance levels. And that's only one of the possible factors.
  4. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    03 Dec '12 13:48
    Originally posted by Kewpie
    I once belonged to a Womens Chess Club which existed only because women weren't allowed into regular Chess Clubs in those days. Our convenor, a State Womens Chess champion married to an equally strong male player, considered women's lack of chess championships was entirely due to lack of strong competition, and would match us in tournaments against male play ...[text shortened]... s return to their former performance levels. And that's only one of the possible factors.
    Is that you with your cat?
  5. Subscriber Kewpie
    since 1-Feb-07
    04 Dec '12 05:54
    That's my husband with cat. Nobody takes photos of me if I can help it.
  6. Standard member apathist
    looking for loot
    07 Dec '12 21:29 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by NoEarthlyReason
    Do men and boys prefer chess more than women or girls? Is there a gender difference in ability?
    Chess is not the type of battle that women tend to excel at. There's a reason why the king's fate decides the game, while the only female piece is the greatest power on the board.

    Should I duck?
  7. 28 Dec '12 03:58
    I can't speak to the emotional or attitudinal effects, but I will say this: We now know that people continue to create new neural paths in their brains throughout their lives, albeit at a slower rate later in life than in early childhood. I would therefore wager that any activity which requires thinking would likely only improve the cognitive functions of the upper brain.
  8. 28 Dec '12 20:11
    Originally posted by shiloh
    I can't speak to the emotional or attitudinal effects, but I will say this: We now know that people continue to create new neural paths in their brains throughout their lives, albeit at a slower rate later in life than in early childhood. I would therefore wager that any activity which requires thinking would likely only improve the cognitive functions of the upper brain.
    http://www.quadcitychess.com/benefits_of_chess.html