Benefits of Learning and Playing Chess

If you don’t know, there are actually many regular chess meet-ups around Singapore. At first, many people think that chess is just for intellectuals because of how much you use your brain in each game. But really, it’s for everyone! There are so many amazing benefits we can get from learning and playing chess! Here are only some of them.

Gives a boost in memory

When it comes to chess, not only are their many rules to remember, but there are also many complex strategies you can memorize to gain more advantages. By using your memory of that information, you can recognize what your opponent is going for and devise strategies on the spot. You’re also exercising your memory in the middle of the game because you’ll have to remember your opponent’s moves all throughout.

It can protect you from Alzheimer’s

By playing chess regularly, you give your brain the exercise it needs to stay healthy and prevent certain neurological diseases. As we get older, it’s almost inevitable that we’ll slowly have cognitive decline. But constantly giving your brain a workout will significantly delay its effects. There have also been many studies showing that those who do brain exercises like chess are less likely to have dementia as they age. 

Helps improve your problem-solving skills

More than anything, chess is all about training your analytical and problem-solving skills. The list of moves you can do is practically endless because the game is constantly changing depending on the choices you and your opponent make. Not only that, you’ll have to make decisions fast and think on your feet as well. This is an important skill to develop since we don’t only face problems in-game but also in life as a whole.

It also sparks creativity

In connection to the point above, you’ll need creativity to overcome problems just as well. If you get cornered by your opponent, you’ll have to start experimenting in your mind and use your creativity to look ahead. So even when you make sacrifices, you can make better plays later on since you’ve already painted the bigger picture in your imagination.

Helps boost focus and concentration

Given all the thinking you’ll have to do, playing chess will definitely teach you to stay focused. Total concentration is just a big demand of the game. Lose your focus once and it’s almost always guaranteed that your mistakes will be magnified. Of course, improved focus will also help you in many different aspects of life!

Might help lose weight

This might come as a surprise but playing a serious game of chess can actually help you burn a lot of calories. This is largely because of the stress and mental focus that players dedicate to each game. Many recent studies have found that one game between chess grandmasters will have them burn about 200-400 calories. So playing in a major tournament up to the finals will have one burn up to about 6000 calories!

What is Beer Crafting?

If you love beer, then you will know there are thousands of beer styles and brands all over the world, some of these include craft beer including those made in Singapore bars and restaurants.

Unlike wine and other alcoholic drinks, you can make your own beer with minimal equipment and training, but making a great beer requires practice and knowledge of the key beer ingredients.

Here are the basics of beer crafting for beginners.

Brewing Materials

You might want to invest in home brewing-designed materials for beer crafting such as the following:

  1. Airlock, which is used to prevent contamination of the ingredients. This comes in many styles but the most common are the three-piece and bubbler types.
  2. Boiling pot that can hold 3 gallons or more. Pick models that are made from durable but affordable materials such as stainless steel or ceramic.
  3. Fermenter, specifically the food-grade types made of plastic which can hold at least 6 gallons. Once you are used to the beer brewing process, you can invest in more expensive fermenters.
  4. Racking cane used for siphoning which leaves the trub.
  5. Siphon, usually made of plastic and connected to a racking cane and bottle filler.
  6. Bottle filler is a tube used to fill up beer bottles.
  7. Bottle capper for sealing the beer bottles.
  8. Measuring cup, specifically those made from heat-resistant glass for measuring the ingredients.
  9. Thermometer for getting the temperature of the wort.
  10. Stirring paddle made from food-grade plastic to stir the wort.

Additionally, you will also need a supply of bottles and bottle caps if you want to sell or give samples of your beer.

Brewing Ingredients

Most beer, those made commercially by large brewers and craft beer made by small brewers, are made with barley or other grain, hops, water, and yeast. The differences in the amount of ingredients and the type of grain creates different flavors. Additionally, you can include sugars, spices and flavorings, salts and treatments, and beer finings.

Brewing Process

The homebrewing process is almost similar to commercial beer brewing and follows the basic steps of malting, mashing, boiling, fermenting, bottling, and aging.

  • MaltingFirst, the grains are processed by heating them and then drying out and cracking to isolate the enzymes.
  • MashingOnce the malting is done, the grains are steeped in hot water for an hour. Do not boil the grains so that the sugars can be released and broken down. After about an hour, the water is drained. This liquid is called the wort.
  • BoilingThe wort or the sticky fluid is boiled again for an hour. The other ingredients such as hops and spices are mixed to preserve and add flavor to the wort.
  • FermentationAfter boiling the wort, it is set aside and cooled before it is strained and filtered. Next, it is placed in a fermenter and the yeast us added. The wort and yeast are left in the fermenter for weeks in room or cold temperature.
  • Bottling and AgingFinally, the beer is carbonated then bottled.

Cultivating a Love for Reading and Learning

Why do a lot of people find it a hassle to read? Why? Reading should never be something you dread. In fact, reading should be something you look forward to! Reading is without a doubt a great way for us to learn something new. Not just something new, but also something useful! As human beings, we live our lives digesting information whether we like it or not.

Reading is a Good Way to Spend Your Time
We learn about things that aren’t relevant on a daily basis. Well, what about if we spent that amount of effort in learning and reading something that is actually beneficial for us? Discipline is one of the hardest traits to cultivate. After all, once the mind is programed, it would take a lot of effort to program it into a different direction.

A lot of effort must be put in redirecting your mind into a path that is good for you. The thing about discipline is that it does not care about motivation or whether you feel like doing something or not. It goes beyond your excuses and makes you do what you have to do instead of just what you want to do.

Improving One’s Self Requires Reading
Don’t get us wrong, it would be great to just do what we want. But in our world, you can’t just do what you want every single time! Sometimes what we want isn’t good for us. An adult does what he has to so he or she can get what he or she wants. That’s how it goes. You need to do what you have to do to get what you want.

Now, discipline in reading is a hard one especially for the youth of today since everyone is used to instant gratification which makes reading seem like such a hard and long process when they can just go through the shortcut. The current generation is more interested in getting what they want as fast as possible without even checking the authenticity of it.

Some Things We Can Only Learn Through Reading
Knowledge is something we gain and knowledge is usually gained through reading. Reading a good book can even change your life. Most successful people have that one book in mind that totally shifted their life into the pathway of success. They give props to that book and you should find yours too.

Whether it be a cookbook, a comic book, or maybe even a classic novel, there’s always that one book that has a huge impact on you. We hope that you’ve been able to grasp the importance of reading books. Now it’s time to discipline yourself. Read when you feel like it and especially when you don’t. Don’t deprive yourself of a good book. That specific book might even change your life forever.