3 Ways Plants May Boost Chess Performance

3 Ways Plants May Boost Chess Performance

Plants have always been known as a healthy eating choice. In addition, there is new research available about how plants in the surrounding environment help to enhance cognitive ability. A recent study by staff at Norwegian University indicates that orchid watering may help individuals improve focus, which is a major benefit when playing chess. Here are three ways that plants may help a chess player.

Attention Span

Staring at a static chess board is a part of the game. A player must remain focused on the task at hand. Humans have a limited capacity to maintain purposeful, directed attention, and an individual’s ability to continue staring at one thing diminishes over time. However, staring at a plant makes use of a player’s capacity for undirected attention, which may include an individual’s eyes moving toward the plant after orchid watering, seeing a beautiful color, or noticing a moving leaf. This automatic reaction allows the eyes to rest from the directed attention required to play chess and improves a player’s ability to maintain focus.


Chess is a game of mental ability, which requires a player to remember how previous games and moves resulted in wins or losses and how to maneuver the chess pieces to overcome the opponent’s strategy. Directed attention includes maintaining the ability to recall information while switching tasks, moving chess pieces, and analyzing both offensive and defensive moves. This study concluded that those working with plants in a room were able to improve attention capacity, memory, and performance. Plants may help a player see a birds-eye view of the board to anticipate the opponent’s moves and envision several plays ahead.


Enhanced perspective is a crucial aspect of winning in chess. Plant placement or orchid watering in a room improves a person’s attention span through rejuvenation. By changing decorating strategy, a chess player may positively influence his or her game by enhancing their mental capacity. Natural environments tend to rejuvenate the eyes and enhance directed attention. In this study, the researchers placed study participants in different rooms with and without plants. The workers in the room with plants showed improved attention capacity and performance than those in the room without plants. For chess players, incorporating natural elements like plants into a room may improve overall performance during gameplay.

Scientists are establishing that natural environments are more beneficial to mental capacity than artificial ones. As this study suggests, simply adding plants to a room’s décor is one way to improve mental focus, attention span, and memory. Plants also offer a rejuvenating effect, which improves a person’s ability to maintain his directed attention while playing chess. By attracting automatic responses from the eyes, a plant helps to enhance a player’s capacity to maintain directed attention required for successful chess play.