Chess is a brilliant game of strategy. Anyone who has learned to play chess understands the “thinking” process behind this remarkable display of competition.
During the game, before making any move, a player must think it through until the end. The player must understand the possible consequences of every move, and also try to read the mind (ahead of time) of his opponent. This is what makes chess such an engaging game for the mind.
How Does Chess Benefit Children?
Children who learn to play chess at a young age are also gaining valuable experience and wisdom which can be applied to almost any situation they will encounter in life.
Here are some affects chess has had on young people throughout the years:
1. Raises Intelligence Quotient Scores (IQ)
Although a chess game doesn’t require reading the encyclopedia or anything like that, it does raise a child’s level of thinking to a much higher level. The child learns to use more of his brain in a way that’s beneficial. It also slows down the thinking process to give the child time to make correct decisions patiently. Impatience is probably the number one reason wrong choices are made (on tests and in life).
2. Teaches Children How to Make Difficult Decisions Without Consulting Another
When playing the game of chess, the child must learn to make a complicated decision without the help of anyone – completely independent of outside opinion. This will help the child to become a leader or a great decision maker later in life.
3. Generates Creativity and Original Thinking
Playing chess engages the mind into creative thoughts and original ideas. A child can learn to make entire plays in their mind before ever making a move. He/she must imagine every future move, and also imagine winning in the end.
4. Helps to Establish Problem Solving Skills
The child will learn to look at a problem from all angles and consider possible solutions. Then, once a decision (move) is made, the child will get to see first-hand the end result of his decision. Through repeating this process, he/she is developing the wonderful skill of problem solving without even realizing it.
5. Creating a Greater Ability in Reading, Math, Language and Memorization
These skills are also enhanced while playing chess. The child will be using these skills frequently throughout the game.
- Math – Calculating moves and number of squares, and also keeping score.
- Reading – Studying to play chess and studying moves to improve game.
- Language – Using communication skills throughout the game to relay what is happening as well as often engaging in conversation during a game.
- Memory – Memorizing moves while thinking ahead to possible plays and memorizing moves from prior games to improve playing skills. While learning the game, the players must memorize each game piece – where and how each piece can move during the game.
As you can see, your child can tremendously benefit from a game of chess occasionally while also having a great time. Chess can help develop these valuable skills in any child, regardless of their background or natural talents. By Candice Pardue