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 Life Skills. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life Skills. Show all posts

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


Chess: A Timeless Game for the Aging Mind | Chess for kids

 Chess: A Timeless Game for the Aging Mind | Chess for kids

"Age is something that doesn't matter unless you are a cheese." - Luis Bunuel

Viswanathan Anand as kid and senior

In the midst of technological advancements and constant change, one ancient game has endured, outlasting fleeting trends and managing to captivate both young and old minds alike. This game is chess, a classic embodiment of strategy, foresight, and wit. For older adults, chess is not merely a pastime but a tool of remarkable potential for cognitive health, mental wellness, and social connectedness.

Despite its veneer of simplicity, chess is an intricate dance between the pieces on the 64 square board. It is a game where victory and defeat hang in the balance of a single decision, echoing life's delicate, unpredictable dance. For the aging, it offers a unique blend of cognitive stimulation and meaningful engagement.

Viswanathan Anand as kid and senior

In this article, we delve into the enchanting world of chess, highlighting its benefits for older adults and revealing why we need to ensure the game is part of our golden years.

A Game of Strategy and Wisdom: Chess as a Cognitive Enhancer

Scientific research has confirmed the age-old belief that engaging in cognitive activities can help maintain cognitive function as we age. And when it comes to cognitive stimulation, few activities are as potent as chess.

Cognitive Health: Research has demonstrated that activities like chess can stimulate brain function, improve memory, enhance concentration, and promote logical thinking, all of which can delay the onset and slow the progression of cognitive disorders like Alzheimer's and dementia 1. The process of predicting an opponent's moves, planning strategies, and adapting to changing circumstances can act as a mental workout, keeping the brain active and engaged.

Magnus Carlsen as kid and senior

Brain Plasticity: Even in old age, the brain is capable of plasticity, a fancy term for the ability to form new neural connections. Engaging in cognitively challenging activities like chess promotes this plasticity, leading to improved cognitive function 2.

Memory Retention: Remembering the rules of chess, the unique moves of each piece, and previous matches can act as a form of memory training. A study found that individuals who engaged in mentally stimulating activities had a slower memory decline compared to those who did not 3.

Chess: A Game of Connections

Beyond cognitive benefits, chess also offers social benefits. As a game, chess bridges the gap between individuals, creating a common platform for interaction and connection.

Viswanathan Anand as kid and senior

Social Interaction: Chess clubs offer a wonderful platform for older adults to interact and connect, reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation. Being socially active is linked to a lower risk for mental health issues and better overall wellbeing 4.

Intergenerational Connections: Chess provides an opportunity for intergenerational connections, allowing older adults to play and engage with younger individuals. Such interactions can offer psychological benefits and contribute to the overall happiness and satisfaction in life 5.

Magnus Carlsen as kid and senior

An Ageless Game of Life

Life is unpredictable, a challenging game of choices and consequences. So is chess. And for older adults, chess can mirror life, encouraging them to strategize, to remember, to adapt, and to face their challenges with courage and grace.

Age may be inevitable, but cognitive decline is not. Chess, with its intricate moves and countless strategies, serves as a lifeline, keeping minds sharp, souls engaged, and hearts connected. So let's dust off the old chessboards and embrace the game that transcends the barriers of age, fostering an ageless mind amid the relentless march of time.


[1] "Leisure Activities and the Risk of Dementia in the Elderly", NEJM, Retrieved from

[2] "Experience-dependent plasticity in white matter microstructure: Reasoning training alters structural connectivity", Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, Retrieved from

[3] "Mental stimulation and Alzheimer's Disease: A Quantitative Synthesis", The Journal of Aging Research, Retrieved from

[4] "Social Relationships and Depression: Ten-Year Follow-Up from a Nationally Representative Study", PLOS ONE, Retrieved from

[5] "Benefits of Social Activities for Aging Adults", Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research, Retrieved from


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