Michael Flatt wrote:
Saying that, I'm inclined to believe that playing chess and undertaking other mentally stimulating activities have some benefit as does regular physical exercise.
The thing is Michael, there’s been a lot of research on this very point (see the link provided in my earlier post marked 'background reading' for a start). We can if we wish express our opinions as to what we do or don’t believe. Alternatively, we can make reference to the evidence. It’s up to us isn’t it?
For what it’s worth, my opinion is that it doesn’t really matter either way. That is ...
Joseph T. Coyle, M.D. wrote:... participation in cognitively demanding leisure activities in late life may provide protection against dementia,
Determining the relative contributions of genes that confer risk and environmental factors such as effortful mental activity to the pathogenesis of dementia remains an important but unrealized goal in research on dementia. In the meantime, seniors should be encouraged to read, play board games, and go ballroom dancing, because these activities, at the very least, enhance their quality of life, and they might just do more than that.
(for full reference see here: http://www.streathambrixtonchess.blogsp ... coyle.html
It seems to me fairly obvious that we could - and should - add chess to that list. The ECF and the chess world as a whole should
be encouraging older people to play chess and providing opportunities for them to do so precisely for the reasons given by Dr Coyle. Supporting scientific evidence is not necessary to justify such a programme.
you make a claim such as
There is an emerging awareness of the effectiveness of chess in delaying the onset of Alzheimers
If you do that you absolutely have to cite the evidence on which the claim is based on retract what you said. In any circumstances, but especially so if you are using that claim as part of your argument as to why chess should be considered to be a sport.