By Maggie Tsyganova
Chess is often seen as an anti-social game with seemingly no benefit in the business world. These societal misconceptions prevent numerous people from acquainting with this fascinating game. Although only 10% of the world’s population plays chess (Winter 2020), being familiar with the mind game can offer numerous benefits that are not found anywhere else, such that can be applied to making smarter decisions in business and personal finance.
The strategic reasoning skills acquired through chess are greatly beneficial in employing better business strategies. Similar to accounting for business competitors or future corporate projects, chess players must think several moves ahead with multiple variations per move, as well as think for their opponent’s plans. As more experienced chess players demonstrate higher performance in visual perspective tasks (Gao, et al. 2019), this translates to more efficient coordination of employees and tasks.
Evan Rabin, CEO of Premier Chess, says “competitive chess players have an advantage in the business world” (Rabin, 2021). As a National Master in chess himself, he believes that “chess players are more preemptive” (Rabin, 2021). These traits are important for the functioning and survival of businesses, especially during uncertain economic conditions as with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The benefits of chess further extend to personal finance, as focus on priorities and balancing risk are two important concepts acquired from chess playing. Competitive chess players are particularly patient and realize “sometimes the smallest things make the biggest differences," enhancing one’s long-term investment strategies (Roth 2016). This can also be seen when crafting a prospective portfolio to achieve maximum capital gains.
With the Queen’s Gambit, a Netflix series, playing a major factor in spreading chess at the international level, chess centers have seen increased enrollment upwards by 50% (McClain 2020). As companies around the world face increasing competition in a more technologically modernized world, making proper business and informative personal finance decisions has never been more important. Chess offers a solution to get ahead of the competition. It is never too late to pick up this hobby, and it can open new doors to bettering one’s skills in business and personal finance.
"Chess Benefits in Business and Personal Finance" was selected as a winning submission in On the Money Magazine's Inaugural 2021 Spring Writing Competition. This article was written by Maggie Tsyganova, a resident of Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood. She is a junior at Walter Payton College Prep High School in Chicago where she is Co-Captain of the Chess Team and on the school Economics and Investment Team.
Maggie is also the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Queens United Chess, a student-run organization that works to bridge the gender divide in chess by empowering female high school leaders. She hopes to feed her entrepreneurial spirit by exploring careers in business and finance, and enjoys playing badminton and studying foreign languages in her free time.