Chess for Senior Adults:
Chess is another great board game
that forces immense thinking skills. Each
piece has a specific pattern of movements
to abide by and only certain moves can be
made at specific times during play. With
six different pieces each with individual
movements and a timing scheme to follow
for rules such as "castling" you
may see why this game
would prove difficult. Many Senior Adults play
chess for a number of reasons but to
dominate their reasoning.
Chess is another highly left-brain activity, and requires skill, intelligence, and planning ability. When seniors have been playing the game for a period of years, it can become a great opportunity to continue to exercise their mental skills! Chess is easy to learn, but the more skill and experience a player has, the more exciting the game.
Scientific research has shown that "brain games" and puzzles like those below will not only help seniors stay mentally alert but are good for people of all ages. Apparently, the more you use your brain the better it gets, no matter what your age.
And if you’re on the Internet you don’t have to look for someone to play Scrabble, checkers, or chess with you; you can find online partners at whatever skill level you may have. Crossword puzzle and Scrabble fans can also find a selection of special dictionaries, and, in the case of crosswords, even a search engine!
Exercise Your Head Muscles
THE HUMAN MIND This truly excellent site is a followup of a
BBC series on Science and Nature. It explores the human mind in a number
of provocative ways. I have given a link to their memory test in the
"Improve Your Memory" section, but the whole section is worth a
THE HUMAN MIND
This truly excellent site is a followup of a BBC series on Science and Nature. It explores the human mind in a number of provocative ways. I have given a link to their memory test in the "Improve Your Memory" section, but the whole section is worth a long look.
EXERCISING YOUR HEAD MUSCLES
When I was young, I decided not to remember numbers, except for my
phone number and address, of course. Didn't want to clutter up my brain.
Big mistake! The more numbers you memorize, the more neurons your brain
creates to perform that task. My husband took the opposite tack, and he
can tell you the number of every place he's gone to that day for his job
as a professional driver. The more your brain is exercised, the better
it gets, whether you're young or old. The following research shows that
brain training can improve seniors' memory as long as five years later:
When I was young, I decided not to remember numbers, except for my phone number and address, of course. Didn't want to clutter up my brain. Big mistake! The more numbers you memorize, the more neurons your brain creates to perform that task. My husband took the opposite tack, and he can tell you the number of every place he's gone to that day for his job as a professional driver. The more your brain is exercised, the better it gets, whether you're young or old. The following research shows that brain training can improve seniors' memory as long as five years later:
Now, frankly, more research needs to be done on exactly which mind exercises are most helpful. But current thinking is that brain exercises are like body exercises: it pays to exercise different parts of your brain in different ways.
15 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR BRAIN SHARP
These habits have been shown through research to raise subjects’ brains to a higher level of operation:
At SHARPBRAINS.COM, you can find out about "the emerging field of science-based brain fitness," along with brain teasers:
And, when you click on COGNITIVE-NEUROSCIENCE you find out about the latest research:
NINE SIMPLE HABITS THAT CAN BOOST YOUR BRAINPOWER
The AARP has, of course, the latest discoveries in keeping our minds sharp longer. After all, if we go ga-ga prematurely, we’ll let our AARP subscriptions lapse, and then where would they be? Here are AARP’s tips on Boosting Your Brainpower, click:
The AARP has more in its "Staying Sharp" section, including recent advances in brain research. Here’s the address:
Boost Your Memory
STUDY FINDS KEY TO BOOSTING SENIORS’ MEMORY "Researchers found that older people
who engaged in an intensive period of rote learning followed by an equally
long rest period exhibited improved memory and verbal recall."
Learn more here:
STUDY FINDS KEY TO BOOSTING SENIORS’ MEMORY
"Researchers found that older people who engaged in an intensive period of rote learning followed by an equally long rest period exhibited improved memory and verbal recall." Learn more here:
IS YOUR MEMORY STABLE OR DECLINING?
These mental exercises were worked out by Zaldy S. Tan and George Rebok of Johns Hopkins Medical Center. They say, "The following set of questions will create a baseline that you can use to help determine whether your memory is stable or declining. Answer the questions now, then repeat the exercises in six months to compare your performance over time."
THE BBC TESTS YOUR MIND AND MEMORY
You’ll find here, as part of a followup to the BBC series on Science & Nature, an actual, timed test of your memory, along with much information on keeping your mind and memory healthy.
Come to MIND TOOLS to improve your memory in a methodical way: remembering short lists, remembering long lists, remembering grouped information, remembering long numbers, etc. Sign up for their free newsletter and they’ll give you many more mind tools.
BUILD YOUR MEMORY is aimed at students, but it’s a good site for all of us who wish we could remember things better:
Which Brain Games Are Best?
RESEARCHER LISTS "BEST" GAMES
George Mason University professor ANDREW CARLE has released a list of what he considers the best "brain games" available right now:
You’ll note that most of the above games are EXPENSIVE. But keep scrolling down the page until you get to MY-BRAIN-TRAINER.COM. That one costs only $9.95 for a year’s membership.
You’ll also find many free and enjoyable brain games online, with a good sampling included in this section. For example, BRAINGLE has brain teasers and a full dozen different games you can play online.
And my favorite game site is EONS.COM: I usually start out my working day with a game or two to get my brain in gear. Find a great free selection here:
Puzzle Yourself With Crosswords and Sudokus
If you’re a crossword puzzle fan, this REFERENCE
DESK website has too much for you. (I’m not entirely kidding.) The
list of websites with crosswords scrolls down and down and down. The New
York Times and London Times crosswords, of course, along with
crosswords, puzzles for people in a hurry, a hexagonal crossword, and,
and, and. The list is at:
crosswords, puzzles for people in a hurry, a hexagonal crossword, and, and, and. The list is at:
HAVE A SEARCH ENGINE!
You’ll also find a link to CRICKLER, which says it has re-invented the crossword for the computer age.
NATIONAL PUZZLERS’ LEAGUE
The NATIONAL PUZZLERS’ LEAGUE main page says, "Whatever wordplay delights you . . . palindromes, cryptograms, crossword-type puzzles, cryptic crosswords, anagrams, poetry writing, discovering the word SCHOOLED has the letters in the words SHOE and COLD perfectly interlaced . . . you'll probably find it in our monthly publication, The ENIGMA." Learn more by clicking on the home page of
And then take a look at the ONE ACROSS crossword puzzle search engine that actually analyzes crossword puzzle clues!
SUDOKU SOLVING TIP
Frank Ross, a friend who loves to do the daily crossword puzzle, mentioned that he now does the latest thing in puzzles: sudokus. I’ve heard that they’re tremendously frustrating, but Frank said he’d found a tutorial on sudokus that made them much easier. He was kind enough to give the online address of the tutorial to the rest of us. It’s at:
You’ll note that the ABOUT people have many puzzles listed in the left-hand steering column. And you can find many more sudokus, ranging from easy to "impossible," at:
JIGSAW SUDOKU AND INTERNATIONAL SUDOKU
Here’s a different-looking Sudoku puzzle site:
And PLAY SUDOKU DE lets you join an international Sudoku competition. English is not the first language of the creators of this site – what does the "de" suffix stand for? Denmark? Deutschland?
THINKS.COM says, "The Internet's most entertaining puzzles are here." They have, among other things, math puzzles, picture puzzles, logic puzzles, chess puzzles, and sudoku puzzles.
BRAIN GYM: Don't feel bad if you flunk brain gym: these are trick questions.
SIMPLE TO SERIOUSLY DIFFICULT PUZZLES
YAHOO has a whole section of its vast empire given to puzzles. Find here puzzles for many levels of ability and many interests:
The GREY LABYRINTH is for serious puzzlers. These will give you a tremendous mental workout.
RUBIK'S CUBE SOLUTIONS: Actually, there are several solutions laid out here, and you can use any of them. You say you threw your cube away in disgust? I see an ad on the site advertising an electronic Rubik?s cube, and I'm sure Google knows where you can buy an actual, physical one.
JIGSAWS AND OTHER PICTURE PUZZLES
Find here the Internet version of a whole raft of picture puzzles - all free, all calibrated to be easy, medium, or difficult. The puzzles are meant for grownups, but older kids will like them too. And there must be about a hundred, with more coming along all the time.
JIGZONE was recommended to us by reader Helen Jones, and our thanks go to her. Here you can play with jigsaw puzzles, which apparently improve your spatial relationships. And you can make jigsaw puzzles from your photos, or from the pictures JIGZONE supplies. I was surprised to find that their puzzle of the day ? one of many they supply ? was an actual, traditional jigsaw, rather than the straight-cut pieces I had encountered at other sites. They're put together online, though, and need to be shared online. But, let's say you took photos of a party or a weekend with friends. You could turn your photos into an online puzzle as a thank-you gift to them, assuming they're online too.
If, on the other hand, you'd like to turn a photo into a traditional cardboard-backed puzzle, here's how:
And to make a wooden jigsaw puzzle:
Challenge Your Mind With Word Games, Board GamesSCRABBLE AND LETTERBOX
Word games are all over the Internet, but many cost - a perfectly natural thing for them to do, of course - and many are not family safe. Which unfortunately also seems to be a natural thing for them to do. But here are a couple of clean, free ones, LETTERBOX and SCRABULOUS. I haven't played LETTERBOX, but I have started playing Scrabble on SCRABULOUS. You can play against yourself, as I am doing right now, or you can play against other people. And I must say it's got my marbles rolling around in there.
And here’s a competitive scrabble search engine:
WORD GAMES ON YAHOO
YAHOO has dozens of word games, for many tastes and levels of expertise. (It also has a nice card games section, but, since I’m listing only family-safe sites and some of the games are played for money, I’ve left that section out.)
YAHOO’S BOARD GAMES
YAHOO has Chinese checkers, backgammon, checkers, dominoes, go, jigsaws . . . and that’s just the beginning.
BECOME A CHESS EXPERT
Have you always wanted to learn chess? Or maybe you know the basics but would like to become really good at it. The means are all online. Here’s a site that gives basic instruction:
No Stress Chess is a combination card game and chess game where you learn how to move the chess pieces by drawing cards and doing what is pictured on the cards. When you're ready, flip the board over and play real chess.
Here's is Lori from Williamsburg, VA. Her review:
My son received this for his 6th birthday, and didn't want to stop playing it the next day, even to go to his party! He had been learning some basics of Chess but was not able to really play. This game uses cards that tell you which piece to move, so even children (and adults) who have never played the game can jump right in. The moves for each piece are on the card. You have to move the piece shown if you can, but you decide which/how. It really changes the game since being in check does not apply -- even if you can threaten your opponent's piece, you can't necessarily get it on your next turn. There are also a few cards that let you move your choice of either of the last two cards shown, which is helpful if you just got in a position to strike! One side of the board shows where the pieces go and the other is a standard chess board so when your child is comfortable, he can play the 'regular' way. We love both ways! My son actually began playing 'real' Chess after only a few weeks. I think this is the best possible way to teach Chess quickly and accurately, and as an experienced player, I really enjoy the game with the cards too -- it is faster and more of a game of chance, but still fun! Definitely pick this up for anyone learning or previously intimidated by Chess.
Aunt Cynthia 51 Years old said:
I am 51 years old. This afternoon, after my 19-year-old finished a
game of "real" chess with his 6-year-old cousin, Cousin's twin
sister challenged me to a game. "Sorry, sweetie," I said.
"I don't know how to play chess."
And another site with flash movies for beginners.
And then you’ll find chess secrets for beginners:
And now, some secrets for the more advanced player:
Then a site where you can play online chess with people from all over the world! After all, a chess board speaks its own language.
And, last of all, play chess against a computer. The site says, "When it is your (White's) turn to move, the chess board will gently pulse."
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