Friday, May 3, 2013

Say Yes to Chess!

"Chess teaches foresight, by having to plan ahead; vigilance, by having to keep watch over the whole chess board; caution, by having to restrain ourselves from making hasty moves; and finally, we learn from chess the greatest maxim in life - that even when everything seems to be going badly for us we should not lose heart, but always hoping for a change for the better, steadfastly continue searching for the solutions to our problems." Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
My daughter is an advent chess player. I really do not know how to  play so she plays with our neighbors grown sons mainly and her cousin and tries to teach me on the side. Although the game is alot of fun can chess really improve my children's grades and make them smarter? The answer, according to my research...... YES! While chess has long been regarded as a beneficial game for learning, studies have shown even more significant benefits, especially for children.

World Champion chess player Susan Polgar states, “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."

In almost 30 nations across the globe, chess is incorporated into the country's required academic curriculum. And it seems that many schools and teachers in our country are getting the message and are bringing chess into the classroom. 

Why is chess so beneficial to young children? For starters, chess has been proven to improve or increase:
  • Science and math problem solving skills
  • Reading comprehension
  • Self-confidence, patience. and life skills
  • Logic
  • Visual memory
  • Critical thinking and independent decision making
  • Pattern recognition
  • Ability to concentrate
  • Analytical skills
The list goes on and on.

And for you adults: this game is for you too. You can learn to play at any age, and in chess, unlike many other sports, you don't ever have to retire!

How do each Chess piece move?

Pawns go forward 1 or 2 spaces the first time they are played; then they move 1 space forward or attack one space forward diagonal. Bishops move and attack only diagonally forwards or backwards, any distance. Knights always go two spaces in one direction then one space in the perpendicular direction. They can jump over pieces and can go forwards or backwards. The Queen can move in any direction and attack in any direction but can't go over pieces. The King moves one space at a time in any direction. Rooks can move any direction but diagonal and cannot go over pieces.

So who wants to learn to play?

For kids they can set up a free online account that will guide them through the game.
Chess tutorials here
Kids Chess here
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