Thursday, August 16, 2007

Play "Cooperative Chess" at Work

I was certain that the game of chess would be mentioned in the excellent book Keep Your Brain Alive - 83 Neurobic Exercises to help prevent memory loss and increase mental fitness by Dr. Lawrence C. Katz and Manning Rubin. (You can read my blog entry about the book here: Rook Van Winkle's Chess Blog: Keep Your Brain Alive)

Sure enough, on page 83 they recommend using an "ongoing chess game" at work as one of their exercises for "preserving and enhancing the brain's capabilities into the senior years."

Basically the idea is to set up a chess game near the water cooler (or some other public place were co-workers gather) "where an employee can come to the board, assess the situation, and make a move."

Although this doesn't allow for the development of long term strategies, according to the authors of the book:

... It does require visual-spatial thinking that is different from what most of us do at work. The brief gear switching provides a break from verbal, left-brain activities and lets the 'working brain' take a breather."

I think this is a fantastic idea! You will need some method to indicate whether it is white's or black's turn to play.

Why not use this as a great way to get a chess club started at your work? It would certainly attract the attention of any chess playing co-workers, and the novelty of the 'shared game" might even spark some interest among your non-chess playing co-workers - perhaps they might even want to take up the game themselves?

1 comment:

Rook Van Winkle said...

Mark Weeks, over at Chess at had a great suggestion - use a "demonstration" or "teaching" chess board "that hangs on the wall [as it] would probably be the least troublesome in an office environment." Thanks Mark for the suggestion!

They cost from $15 - $99 or so. Here are a few sources:

The Chess House - Chess Demo Boards

Wholesale Chess - Demo and Teaching Equipment

Rochester Chess Center - School and Tournament Supplies (You'll need to scroll down to the middle of the page.)

Your results may vary, but I have done business with all three of these stores and, so far, I have been an extremely satisfied customer.