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The game of chess, it has long been known, is the pastime of geniuses. From Napoleon to Karl Marx, thinkers have long been captivated by the one-on-one struggle between opponents that takes place across a chessboard. The battle planning involved in a chess game makes use of certain portions of the brain that decode temporal relationships. The workings of these relationships are similar to exercises for the mind.
In a study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, officials said that people over age 75 who engaged in activities such as chess were less likely to develop signs of dementia. Scientists have shown a link between playing chess and reducing the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Playing games such as chess stimulates areas of the brain that would normally atrophy with age.
Just like exercising the body, mental exercise helps build-up the mind too. Each game of chess requires the human mind to go through rigors it would normally not encounter. The exercise that chess gives the brain helps to work the “gray matter” that would normally remain stagnant. The study’s main author, Dr. Robert Freidland, claims people who don’t exercise their gray matter stand a chance of losing brain power.