ADHD is often assumed to be a disadvantage in chess, but is it really? Or do people with ADHD have certain ‘superpowers’ that make them potentially very strong chess players? And does chess help cope with the symptoms of ADHD? In this article we answer all those questions and more, let’s get started.
Can you play chess with ADHD?
People with AHDH can play chess, just like anyone else. The most important determinants for your success in chess are your experience, not your personality traits.
Is chess harder for people with ADHD?
People with ADHD may have difficulty focusing and paying attention for long periods of time, which can make it more challenging for them to play chess. However, I haven’t seen any conclusive evidence that ADHD makes your chess worse, and there may even be certain benefits to having ADHD in chess.
What are benefits of ADHD in chess?
Individuals with ADHD may have certain strengths that can be beneficial in the game of chess. Some of the benefits that people with ADHD may have in chess include:
- Creativity and Innovation: People with ADHD may have an ability to think outside the box and to come up with unexpected and unconventional moves. This can be an advantage in chess, as the game often requires players to think creatively and to come up with unexpected strategies.
- Quick Thinking: People with ADHD may have an ability to process information quickly and to make decisions quickly. This can be an advantage in chess, as the game often requires players to think quickly and to respond to their opponent’s moves in real-time.
- Intuition: People with ADHD may have an ability to rely on their intuition and to trust their instincts.
What are benefits of playing chess for people with ADHD?
Playing chess can be beneficial for people with ADHD as it can help them to develop certain skills and to improve their overall cognitive function. Some of the benefits of playing chess for people with ADHD include:
- Improving focus and concentration: Playing chess requires players to pay attention to the board and to think about their moves for extended periods of time, which can help individuals with ADHD to improve their focus and concentration.
- Developing problem-solving and decision-making skills: Chess is a game that requires players to think critically and to make strategic decisions, which can help individuals with ADHD to develop problem-solving and decision-making skills.
- Enhancing memory and planning: Chess requires players to remember the potential moves of each piece, as well as to plan several moves ahead. This can help individuals with ADHD to improve their memory and planning abilities.
- Increasing patience and discipline: Chess is a game that takes time and patience to master, and playing it regularly can help individuals with ADHD to develop discipline and to learn to be patient.
- Stress relief: Playing chess can be a way to relax and unwind, and it can be a helpful stress reliever for people with ADHD.
Note that these benefits may vary from person to person and that playing chess may not alleviate all the symptoms of ADHD, but it can be a helpful tool to manage and improve some aspects of it.
9 tips for chess players with ADHD
Here are some tips for people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) who want to play chess:
- Break it down: Break the game into shorter sessions, this can help to reduce the risk of losing focus and help you to stay engaged in the game.
- Take breaks: Regularly take short breaks, this can help to refresh your mind and to maintain focus.
- Use visualization and mental imagery: Some people with ADHD may find that using visualization and mental imagery can help them to improve their chess skills.
- Use a timer: Use a timer to help you stay focused and to keep track of your time during the game.
- Play with a partner: Playing with a partner can be helpful as it can provide an opportunity to socialize and to share strategies.
- Learn the basics: Start by learning the basics of chess, such as the moves of each piece and basic strategies.
- Practice regularly: Consistent practice will help you to improve your skills and to develop a deeper understanding of the game.
- Find a chess club: Joining a chess club can be a great way to learn from more experienced players and to socialize with others who share your interest in chess.
- Be patient: Remember that chess is a game that takes time and patience to master, so be patient with yourself and enjoy the learning process.
Here’s a chess grandmaster with ADHD
As a last piece of information I want to give you an example of a chess grandmaster with ADHD. His name’s Eric Hansen, he’s ranked 176th in the world and he has ADHD. If he can do it, there’s no reason you can’t!