Chess Wise will offer chess programs to residential homes and community & recreation centres to those older adult (50+) groups who would like to start a chess club or activity. For more information or a presentation to your group about a program or activity, please reach out to us at info@chessns.ca.

Chess & Aging

What’s old is new again! How an ancient game is helping us to stay young. A timeline of important moments …

c. 3264 B.C.
Methuselah invents chess, lives long. Chess tablet lost.

c. 600 A.D.
India invents zero, re-invents chess. Golden Age.

2003 – June 19
New England Journal of Medicine, “Use It or Lose It–Do Effortful Mental Activities Protect against Dementia?” (J.T. Coyle, Harvard Medical School) & “Leisure Activities and the Risk of Dementia in the Elderly” (Joe Verghese, Albert Einstein College of Medicine). Lowered risk of dementia: Crossword puzzles 38% – playing an instrument 69% – chess 74% – dancing 76%.

2015 – August 25
Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, “The impacts of a GO-game (Chinese chess) intervention on Alzheimer disease in a Northeast Chinese population” (Qiao Lin et al, China Medical University, Shenyang). GO significantly enhances serum protein levels in AD patients [non-GO players], supporting 5000-year practice of GO as a healthful brain activity.

2019 – January 25
Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, ‘Checkmate the Onset of Dementia’: Prescribing Chess to the Elderly as a Primary Prevention of Dementia” (Ivan Fernandez Vega, University Hospital of Araba, Spain). A review of literature: (e.g.) Chess & gardening delay normal cognitive aging by 1.4 – 2 years.

2019 – June 14
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “Chess Practice as a Protective Factor in Dementia” (Manuel Lillo-Crespo et al, Department of Nursing, Health Sciences, University of Alicante, Spain). A review of 21 studies – conclusion: Chess is a preventive strategy in the development of dementia and may work as a “protective factor.”

2019 – August 4
Chess Nova Scotia wins bid to host the 2022 Canadian Seniors Chess Championship. Pawn Wise: The Atlantic All-Ages Chess Festival will include: 1 – Keynote speaker, Professor Jack de la Torre, University of Texas, chess expert & leading authority on Alzheimer’s disease, on chess & the adult brain. 2 – Top players like defending Canadian seniors chess champion, IM Leon Piasetski, GM Eduardas Rozentalis, Lithuania, and others. 3 — The Intergenerational Chess Project, offering chess learning outreach programs for older adults and children, Chess Wise & Pawn Waves, respectively.