Chess For Kids

chess for kids

Chess is possibly the most seen tabletop game - ever. It has been by and large revered and played across the world for a seriously lengthy timespan, and has stirred one of the most notable Netflix series' lately: The Queen's Gambit.

Showing posts with label Chess Benefits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chess Benefits. Show all posts

Chess Scholarships: Paving the Path for the Next Chess Prodigies | Chess for kids

Chess Scholarships: Paving the Path for the Next Chess Prodigies | Chess for kids

“The pawns are the soul of chess.” – Francois Andre Danican Philidor

For centuries, the game of chess has continued to captivate millions of enthusiasts around the globe. It's not just a game; it's a way of life. The strategic moves, tactical brilliance, and psychological aspects of chess reflect the complexities of real-world situations, making it an exceptional learning tool.

Recognizing these attributes, various organizations across the world offer scholarships for talented young chess players. These scholarships are not only about providing financial assistance but are designed to cultivate the next generation of chess prodigies, fostering the spirit of the game and enhancing cognitive development.

This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive guide to chess scholarships: what they are, who they are for, and how to obtain them. With references to real-life cases and quotes from chess grandmasters, we will walk you through the path to winning a chess scholarship.

The Significance of Chess Scholarships

Boosting Chess Education

Chess scholarships often come with the opportunity to receive advanced chess training from some of the best coaches in the world. This unique educational experience enriches a student's understanding of the game, potentially giving them an edge in their chess career.

Empowering Students Financially

For many talented chess players, financial constraints can be a hurdle in pursuing their passion for the game. Chess scholarships can alleviate this burden by covering tuition, chess coaching, travel, and other related expenses.

Promoting Diversity in Chess

Many scholarships aim to foster diversity in the chess community by encouraging underrepresented groups, such as women or minorities, to pursue chess. These initiatives are not just about leveling the playing field but are aimed at making chess a universal game, transcending all boundaries of gender, race, or socio-economic status.

Notable Chess Scholarships

While numerous organizations offer chess scholarships, a few stand out due to their generous funding, prestige, and opportunities.

1. The Scholar Chess Player Award by US Chess Federation

The Scholar Chess Player Award is an initiative by the US Chess Federation that recognizes and encourages young chess players who exhibit extraordinary chess skills and maintain good academic standing[^1^].


Must be a USCF member in good standing.

Must be in high school, graduating senior or current college student.

Must show significant accomplishments in chess.

The recipient of the award receives a certificate and a $500 scholarship.

2. The Frank P. Samford, Jr. Chess Fellowship

The Samford Fellowship is one of the most prestigious chess scholarships in the United States. It provides financial support and chess training to exceptionally talented young American chess players[^2^].


Must be under 26 years old at the time of application.

Must demonstrate exceptional chess talent and achievement.

The fellowship grants $42,000 annually for two years and provides opportunities to study with top coaches.

3. The Dewain Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to the winner of the Dewain Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions. It includes a four-year, $500 per year scholarship[^3^].


Must be the winner of the Dewain Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions.

4. Scholarships by University of Texas at Dallas

The University of Texas at Dallas offers generous scholarships to high-performing chess players who want to be part of the school’s top-ranking chess team[^4^].


Must be an incoming freshman or transfer student.

Must maintain a high GPA.

Must have a significant record of chess accomplishments.

The scholarships cover full-tuition fees and come with the opportunity to train and compete with the UTD chess team.

Tips to Secure a Chess Scholarship

1. Improve Your Chess Skills

While it may sound obvious, the first step towards securing a chess scholarship is to improve your chess skills. Participate in local, national, and international chess tournaments to hone your skills and gain exposure. Remember the words of Grandmaster Savielly Tartakower, "The mistakes are all there waiting to be made."

2. Maintain Your Academics

While chess prowess is important, don't neglect your academics. Many chess scholarships require students to maintain a good academic standing.

3. Network within the Chess Community

Networking is a crucial part of any scholarship application process. Attend chess clubs, join chess forums, and connect with other chess enthusiasts. This will not only help you improve your game but can also provide valuable insight into scholarship opportunities.

4. Craft an Effective Application

Your application is the first impression that the scholarship committee will have of you. Make sure it effectively showcases your chess achievements, passion for the game, and academic record.

5. Seek Guidance

Reach out to your chess coach or mentor for advice on the application process. They might have valuable insights and can guide you through the process.

6. Don't Be Afraid to Apply

As Anatoly Karpov, the 12th World Chess Champion, said, "If you wait for luck to turn up, life becomes very boring." So, don't wait for the "perfect" time or the "perfect" opportunity – take the initiative and apply.

Chess scholarships are a unique opportunity for young chess enthusiasts to take their passion for the game to new heights. So, whether you're the next Bobby Fischer or a chess hobbyist looking to improve your game, there's a scholarship out there for you. It's time to move your pawns and let them pave your path to success!


"The beauty of chess is it can be whatever you want it to be. It transcends language, age, race, religion, politics, gender, and socioeconomic background. Whatever your circumstances, anyone can enjoy a good fight to the death over the chessboard." – Simon Williams


List of some chess scholarships available for Indian students and global ones.

Scholarship NameProvided ByLocationDescription
Velammal Nexus Chess ScholarshipVelammal NexusIndiaA series of scholarships offered by Velammal Nexus to support budding chess players in India.
Rajasthan Chess ScholarshipGovernment of RajasthanIndiaA scholarship for residents of Rajasthan who have shown significant accomplishment in Chess.
OIL-Duliajan Meritorious Sports Persons Scholarship SchemeOil India LimitedIndiaChess is among the sports considered for this scholarship, which is awarded to talented athletes.
The Scholar Chess Player AwardUS Chess FederationUSARecognizes and encourages young chess players who exhibit extraordinary chess skills and maintain good academic standing.
Frank P. Samford, Jr. Chess FellowshipSamford FellowshipUSAProvides financial support and chess training to exceptionally talented young American chess players.
Dewain Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions ScholarshipUS Chess FederationUSAA scholarship awarded to the winner of the Dewain Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions.
Chess Scholarships by University of Texas at DallasUniversity of Texas at DallasUSAGenerous scholarships to high-performing chess players who want to be part of the school’s top-ranking chess team.
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Chess ScholarshipUniversity of Texas Rio Grande ValleyUSAFor international students with an exceptional history of competitive chess play who will be members of the UTRGV Chess Team.

Please note that the availability and requirements of these scholarships may change over time. Always check the respective official websites or contact the providing organizations for the most current information.

The Indian government and several non-profit organizations have numerous programs and scholarships to support chess players. Below are a few of them:

Sports Authority of India (SAI): SAI, under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, plays a significant role in promoting chess in India. While they do not offer direct scholarships, their support in organizing and funding chess tournaments provides a platform for young players to gain exposure and compete for prizes.

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL): BPCL, under its sports promotion policy, provides scholarships to promising players in various sports, including chess. They have a history of sponsoring players who have represented India at the international level.

ONGC: Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) also extends support to sportspersons, including chess players, through its sports scholarship schemes.

Airports Authority of India (AAI): AAI, through its sports control board, supports chess players by providing sponsorships and conducting national-level tournaments.

Allahabad Bank: This public sector bank has a sports policy that includes chess. Promising chess players can receive financial assistance under this policy.

ChessBase India: ChessBase India, while primarily a chess news outlet and online store, regularly conducts tournaments with cash prizes. They also support promising players in their endeavors on occasion.

Various NGOs: There are several non-profit organizations in India that work towards promoting chess among young kids, especially in rural and underprivileged areas. These include Chess in Schools (CIS), ChessBase India Foundation, and others.

I would recommend reaching out to these organizations directly or visiting their official websites for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding any scholarships or financial support.

Please note that eligibility for these programs often depends on specific criteria such as age, chess rating, and more. Furthermore, most of these programs provide support in the form of sponsorship for tournament fees, travel, and accommodation, rather than direct scholarships. Nonetheless, they can significantly assist young and promising chess players in pursuing their passion.


^[^1^]: "Scholar-Chess Player Awards", US Chess Federation, Retrieved from

^[^2^]: "Samford Chess Fellowship", U.S. Chess Trust, Retrieved from

^[^3^]: "Dewain Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions", US Chess Federation, Retrieved from

^[^4^]: "Chess Scholarship", University of Texas at Dallas, Retrieved from


The Unexplored Power of Chess: A Child's Gateway to Intelligence, Strategy, and Success | Chess for kids

 The Unexplored Power of Chess: A Child's Gateway to Intelligence, Strategy, and Success | Chess for kids

Chess is a beautiful mistress.”- Larsen

The power of chess often goes unnoticed. This strategic game, played on a 64 square board, may seem simple to the uninitiated. However, as the well-known Danish Grandmaster Bent Larsen eloquently stated, chess is a beguiling entity, demanding yet giving in equal measures. And its allure does not simply lie in its intellectual appeal, but in the multitude of benefits it offers, especially to children.

Research has repeatedly pointed out how children who play chess develop a range of skills, from problem-solving and abstract reasoning to calmness under pressure and patience 1. The Armenian government has even incorporated chess into their national education curriculum, with children as young as six learning this illustrious game 2. This decision is not merely born out of cultural pride; it is a calculated move based on the tangible academic and developmental benefits chess has demonstrated.

Viswanathan Anand as a kid

This article aims to bring into the limelight the diverse benefits of playing chess and the reason why we should encourage our kids to pick up the game early in their lives.

Developing Critical Thinking Skills through Chess

Chess, at its core, is about strategy and decision-making. Each move demands careful analysis, forward-thinking, and consideration of the potential consequences. This unique combination of skills goes beyond the chessboard and permeates the players' daily lives, improving their critical thinking skills and making them better problem solvers.

Problem-Solving: Chess is essentially a game of problem-solving, where players continually decipher the optimal moves in a rapidly evolving situation. It provides an excellent platform for kids to hone their problem-solving abilities, thereby significantly improving their decision-making capabilities. This is not just speculation. A study found that school-aged children who participated in chess instruction over a week-long period significantly improved their problem-solving abilities 1.

Anatoly Karpov, Jose Raul Capablanca, Magnus Carlsen, Viswanathan Anand as kids

Abstract Reasoning: Chess helps improve abstract reasoning by enabling kids to recognize patterns and develop strategies based on those patterns. This ability extends beyond the chessboard, helping children become better at identifying patterns in other areas of their lives as well, whether in academics or everyday situations.

Calmness Under Pressure: The timed games of chess teach children to think on their feet, make informed decisions under pressure, and remain calm in stressful situations. These are valuable life skills that can be applied in various real-life scenarios.

Patience: Chess demands careful calculation and execution of moves. Hasty decisions can lead to losses, teaching children the importance of patience and thoughtful deliberation.

Sportsmanship: As in any game, there are wins and losses in chess. This constant cycle helps children become more sportsmanlike, teaching them to handle victories and losses with grace.

Creative Thinking: Chess requires players to be creative thinkers, imagining the possible outcomes of each move and quickly devising new strategies on the fly. This habit of creative problem solving translates to other areas of life, making children better problem solvers.

Pattern Recognition: Recognizing and responding to patterns is a critical skill in chess. This involves not just understanding the different move patterns each chess piece is capable of but also recognizing the potential consequences of each available move and making the right decision based on the current board state.

Strategic Thinking: Strategic thinking is the synthesis of all the above skills. As children learn chess, they develop strategic thinking abilities, learning to combine problem solving, pattern recognition, and creative thinking to make informed decisions on the chessboard.

Viswanathan Anand as kid

Chess and Academic Performance

The impact of chess extends beyond personal skills and character development. It also has a significant effect on academic performance. A two-year study in the US found that learning chess improved reading test scores and reading performance in elementary schools 2. Chess has even been linked to increased IQ scores, enhanced memory, and fostered creative thinking 2.

Playing chess does not discriminate between academically-minded and others. In fact, it serves as an inclusive activity that can be played at varying standards. Chess allows students of all backgrounds and abilities to develop skills and compete on a level playing field, fostering equity in learning.

Chess: A Universal Game

Chess's beauty lies in its universality. A four-year-old can play a centenarian, a physically impaired person can compete with a top-class athlete. The game brings people of all walks of life together, promoting an environment of shared learning and skill development.

A Tool for Future Success

Learning chess is not just about mastering the moves; it's about developing valuable life skills that set children up for future success. By fostering critical thinking, strategic planning, problem-solving, and patience, chess equips children with the tools they need to succeed in academia and beyond.

With the evidence at hand, it becomes clear why we should encourage our children to play chess. It's not just a game; it's a tool for intellectual and personal development. It’s high time we embrace the power of this beautiful game and allow our children to reap its manifold benefits.

So, let's follow the Armenians' example and instil the love for chess in our children. Let's allow our kids to navigate the 64 squares, so they can conquer the world.


[1] "8 Critical Thinking Skills Kids Learn at Chess Camp", Whitby School, Retrieved from

[2] "Should every child be made to play chess?", BBC News, Retrieved from


Practice Tactics

Welcome to Chess-for-kids (chess for kids)