“According to research, Test scores improved by 17.3% for students regularly engaged in chess classes, compared with only 4.6% for children participating in other forms of enriched activities,” states 4-time World Champion Susan Polgar in a recent interview. In approximately 30 nations across the globe, including Brazil, China, Venezuela, Italy, Israel, Russia and Greece, etc., chess is incorporated into the country’s scholastic curriculum. Just as athletics are a part of the required agenda at schools in the United States, Chess has been that way in the European Nations abroad.
Chess has long been regarded as a game that can have beneficial effects on learning development, especially when it is played from a young age. below are some of the most critical benefits that chess can provide to a child:
- Develop analytical, synthetic and decision-making skills, which they can transfer to real life.
- Learn to engage in deep and thorough chess research which will help them build their confidence in their ability to do academic research.
- Help children gain insights into the nature of competition which will help them in any competitive endeavor.
- When youngsters play chess they must call upon higher-order thinking skills, analyze actions and consequences, and visualize future possibilities.
- In countries where chess is offered widely in schools, students exhibit excellence in the ability to recognize complex patterns and consequently excel in math and science.
Research & Studies
Countless researchers and studies have shown over the years that chess does indeed strengthen a child’s mental clarity, fortitude, stability, and overall health. Many schools are now finding chess as an inexpensive but essential way of helping kids grow mentally. In this technologically driven world, chess helps aid in the synthesis and growth of certain areas in the brain and mind where many children can benefit as they grow older from the game.
Dr. Robert Furgeson, Jr., the Executive Director of the American Chess School has prepared a review of key research studies for the chess in education conference. This review contains many charts and graphs that give detailed explanations and results of numerous studies.
Steve Sawyer, The Oklahoma Scholastic Chess Charter President, compiled “Chess: A Learning Tool”, which also gives insights into the benefits of chess on children.
Another interesting article was published in Time Magazine back in 2001 by Evan Levy about chess and learning. He discusses chess in schools.
“Chess is in many ways like life itself.” “It’s all condensed in a playful manner in a game format and it’s extremely fascinating because first of all I’m in control of my own destiny, I’m in charge. You have to be responsible for your actions, you make a move, you had better think ahead about what’s going to happen, not after it happens because then it’s too late. Chess teaches discipline from a very early age. It teaches you to have a plan and to plan ahead. If you do that, you’ll be rewarded; if you break the rules, you will get punished in life and in chess. You need to learn the rules to break the rules.” – Susan Polgar, 4 time World Champion and founder of the Susan Polgar Foundation
“Win with grace, lose with dignity!”
— Susan Polgar