Checkmate: How Playing Chess and Painting are Similar and Their Benefits

Paint with Lovejoy
3 min readJun 26

When it comes to hobbies, people have various interests. Some prefer to read, while others love to practice sports. Some people like to watch movies, and some enjoy cooking. However, two hobbies that may not seem similar at first glance are painting and playing chess. Surprisingly, they share similarities that boost creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and overall well-being.

Both painting and playing chess require creativity. With painting, we need to envision the final output in our minds and then transfer it to canvas through colors, textures, and shapes. Meanwhile, with chess, we have to create and plan a strategy for our pieces and anticipate our opponent’s moves. Both activities train the mind to think creatively and within boundaries. While art sets physical limits with a canvas and specific colors, chess sets limits with rules and particular movements on the board. This makes them both challenging, engaging, and ultimately satisfying.

Another similarity between chess and painting is the importance of patience and practice. With painting, we need to develop our skills over time to capture the desired expression of the artwork. Similarly, with chess, we need to learn the rules, develop strategies, and practice regularly to become a master of the game. Both require patience, determination, and continuous practice. Success in either field is not instantaneous, but a result of consistent hard work.

Moreover, both chess and painting require attention to detail. With painting, we need to pay attention to the small details that make the artwork unique, from the texture of the canvas to the colors we use. We need to consider the impact of each brush stroke on the final output. Meanwhile, in chess, we need to pay attention to the smallest details of the game, each movement of the piece, and anticipate the opponent’s responses. This attention to detail translates to everyday life, where we learn to pay attention to small details that might impact larger outcomes.

Additionally, both hobbies offer great therapeutic benefits. Painting and chess are both relaxing, absorbing activities that allow the player or artist to focus on the present moment and remove stress. These hobbies help in soothing anxieties and quietening the chattering of the mind. Furthermore, they challenge the mind and offer a sense of accomplishment and pride when we create something new, or win a game of chess.

Painting and playing chess are activities that may seem very different on the surface, but share great similarities in terms of critical thinking, creativity, and relaxation. They both require patience, practice, and attention to detail and offer therapeutic benefits. They are also challenging activities that improve cognitive abilities, problem-solving skills, and overall well-being. Whether you are interested in painting or chess, or both, these hobbies will leave you feeling fulfilled and satisfied. So, take some time to explore these hobbies, and see if they can offer you a new perspective on life. Checkmate!

Paint with Lovejoy

Lovejoy has taught first-time & beginner painters exclusively for the last 15 years. Helping students of all ages find their Joy in Painting and creativity.