Often known as a game for the intellectually gifted, chess is the best sport to exercise the most important organ in our bodies: the brain. If you like to play, there's a chess club meeting today at the Kankakee Public Library, 201 E. Merchant St., at 6 p.m. According to healthfitnessrevolution.com, here are 5 health benefits of playing chess:

Promotes brain growth

Games such as chess that challenge the brain actually stimulate the growth of dendrites, the bodies that send out signals from the brain's neuron cells.

Sparks your creativity

Playing chess helps unleash your originality because it activates the right side of the brain, the side responsible for creativity.

Increases problem-solving skills

A chess match requires fast thinking and problem-solving on the fly because your opponent is constantly changing the parameters.

Raises your IQ

Do smart people play chess, or does chess make people smart? At least one scientific study has shown that playing the game actually can raise a person's IQ.

Helps prevent Alzheimer's

As we age, it becomes increasingly important to give the brain a workout, just as you would every other major muscle group, in order to keep it healthy and fit.

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