Richard G. Petty, MD

Chess Does Require a Brain!

Whoever said that chess players are all geeks with no sense of humor, knew little about the real chess world. Yes there are some “unusual” people who play the game, but there are also a very large number of perfectly “normal” people who just enjoy the contest and all the benefits that it confers on our ability to think. As evidence of this, I saw an hilarious blog in response to my comments about unconscious thinking processes.

With tongue firmly in cheek, the blogger asked whether the best way to prepare for a game was to have someone hit you on the head with a hammer before the start of the game, because I had pointed out the superiority of unconscious processing for some types of complex decision-making.

Would that such an approach could raise my rating….

But sad to say consciousness is required for playing even a part way decent chess.

Though here’s a thought, the next time that someone asks why we are “wasting time” on chess, tell them this: It is likely, though not yet proven, that chess may actually be one of the activities that not only stimulates the formation of new connections in the brain, but might actually stimulate the formation of new neurons in key regions of the brain. And if we play enough, we should eventually be able to do a lot of our processing below the level of consciousness.

Come to think of it, I hope that the blogger WAS joking…

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About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.


One Response to “Chess Does Require a Brain!”
  1. DG says:

    Don’t worry, I was.

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