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Benefits of Chess





Chess is a game for people of all ages.


chess, unlike in many other sports, you don't ever have to retire. Age is also not a factor

when you're looking for an opponent --young can play old and old can play young.


Chess develops memory.

memorize different opening variations. You will also learn to recognize various patterns

and remember lengthy variations.


Chess improves concentration.

goal -- to checkmate and become the victor.


Chess develops logical thinking.

strategy. For example, you will know that it is important to bring your pieces out into the

game at the beginning, to keep your king safe at all times, not to make big weaknesses

in your position and not to blunder your pieces away for free. (Although you will find

yourself doing that occasionally through your chess career. Mistakes are inevitable and

chess, like life, is a never-ending learning process.)


Chess promotes imagination and creativity.

are an indefinite amount of beautiful combinations yet to be constructed.


Chess teaches independence.

only by your own judgment.


Chess develops the capability

teaches you to look both ways before crossing the street.


Chess inspires self-motivation.

plan, and the most beautiful continuation out of the endless possibilities. It encourages

the everlasting aim towards progress, always steering to ignite the flame of victory.


Chess shows that success rewards hard work.

you'll become. You should be ready to lose and learn from your mistakes. One of the

greatest players ever, Capablanca said, "You may learn much more from a game you

lose than from a game you win. You will have to lose hundreds of games before

becoming a good player."

Chess and Science.

generate numerous variations in your mind. You explore new ideas, try to predict their

outcomes and interpret surprising revelations. You decide on a hypothesis, and then

you make your move and test it.


Chess and Technology.

computers they engage in a search for the better move in a limited amount of time.

What are you doing right now? You are using a computer as a tool for learning.

Chess and Mathematics.

involves an infinite number of calculations, anything from counting the number of

attackers and defenders in the event of a simple exchange to calculating lengthy

continuations. And you use your head to calculate, not some little machine.

Chess and Research.

of the game. You can even collect your own chess library. In life, is it important to know

how to find, organize and use boundless amounts of information. Chess gives you a

perfect example and opportunity to do just that.


Chess and Art.

in the form of a game." If you thought you could never be an artist, chess proves you

wrong. Chess enables the artist hiding within you to come out. Your imagination will run

wild with endless possibilities on the 64 squares. You will paint pictures in your mind of

ideal positions and perfect outposts for your soldiers. As a chess artist you will have an

original style and personality.


Chess and Psychology.

concentration. It enhances your ability to interact with other people. It tests your

sportsmanship in a competitive environment.


Chess improves schoolwork and grades.

obtain a higher reading level, math level and a greater learning ability overall as a result

of playing chess. For all those reasons mentioned above and more, chess playing kids

do better at school and therefore have a better chance to succeed in life.


Chess opens up the world for you.

big important competitions. Even tournaments such as the US Open and the World

Open welcome players of all strengths. Chess provides you with plenty of opportunities

to travel not only all around the country but also around the world. Chess is a universal

language and you can communicate with anyone over the checkered plain.


Chess enables you to meet many interesting people.

friendships with people you meet through chess.


Chess is cheap.

need is your computer! (And we really hope you have one of those, or else something

fishy is going on here.) It is also good to have a chess set at home to practice with

family members, to take to a friend's house or even to your local neighborhood park to

get everyone interested in the game.



game ever repeats itself, which means you create more and more new ideas each

game. It never gets boring. You always have so much to look forward to. Every game

you are the general of an army and you alone decide the destiny of your soldiers. You

can sacrifice them, trade them, pin them, fork them, lose them, defend them, or order

them to break through any barriers and surround the enemy king. You've got the power!

To summarize everything in three little words: Chess is Everything!







[1] Robert Ferguson, ``Chess in Education Research Summary,'' paper presented at the

Chess in Education A Wise Move Conference at the Borough of Manhattan Community

College, January 12-13,1995.

[2] Albert Frank, ``Chess and Aptitudes,'' doctoral dissertation, 1974, Trans. Stanley


[3] Johan Christiaen, ``Chess and Cognitive Development,'' doctoral dissertation, 1976,

Trans. Stanley Epstein.

[4] Donna Nurse, ``Chess & Math Add Up,'' Teach, May/June 1995, p. 15, cites Yee

Wang Fung's research at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

[5] Robert Ferguson, ``Teaching the Fourth R (Reasoning) through Chess,'' School

Mates, 1(1), 1983, p. 3.

[6] Robert Ferguson, ``Developing Critical and Creative Thinking through Chess,'' report

on ESEA Title IV-C project presented at the annual conference of the Pennsylvania

Association for Gifted Education, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, April 11-12, 1986.

[7] Robert Ferguson, ``Teaching the Fourth R (Reflective Reasoning) through Chess,''

doctoral dissertation, 1994.

[8] Isaac Linder, ``Chess, a Subject Taught at School,'' Sputnik: Digest of the Soviet

Press, June 1990, pp. 164-166.

[9] Rafael Tudela, ``Learning to Think Project,'' Commission for Chess in Schools, 1984,

Annex pp. 1-2.

[10] Rafael Tudela, ``Intelligence and Chess,'' 1984.

[11] William Levy, ``Utilizing Chess to Promote Self-Esteem in Perceptually Impaired

Students,'' a governor's teacher grant program through the New Jersey State

Department of Education, 1987.


[12] Robert Ferguson, ``Tri-State Area School Pilot Project Findings,'' 1986.

[13] Robert Ferguson, ``Development of Reasoning and Memory through Chess,'' 1988.

[14] Louise Gaudreau, ``tude Comparative sur les Apprentissages en Mathématiques

5e Année,'' a study comparing the Challenging Mathematics curriculum to traditional

math, 1992. (The authors are Michel and Robert Lyons. The ISBN is 2-89114-472-4.

This collection has been sold to La Chenelière & McGraw Hill in Montreal. You can

reach them at (514) 273-7422. Ask for Michael Soltis.)

[15] Stuart Margulies, ``The Effect of Chess on Reading Scores: District Nine Chess

Program Second Year Report,'' 1992.

[16] Chess-in-the-Schools, Web page at

[17] Philip Rifner, ``Playing Chess: A Study of Problem-Solving Skills in Students with

Average and Above Average Intelligence,'' doctoral dissertation, 1992.

[18] Stuart Margulies, ``The Effect of Chess on Reading Scores,'' 1996.

[20] James Liptrap, ``Chess and Standardized Test Scores,'' Chess Coach Newsletter,

Spring 1999, Volume 11 (1), pp. 5 & 7.

[21] L.E. Allen & D.B. Main, ``Effect of Instructional Gaming on Absenteeism: the First

Step,'' The Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 1976, 7 (2), p. 114.

[22] Naciso Rabell Mendez, ``Report by the World Chess Federation (FIDE) to the

United Nations Organization (UNO),'' June 1988, quotes Dr. Klaus' comments.

[23] Kathleen Vail, ``Check This, Mate: Chess Moves Kids,'' The American School

Board Journal, September 1995, pp. 38-40.

[24] Yasser Seirawan, ``Scholastic Chess -- Feel the Buzz,'' Inside Chess, February 21,

1994, p. 3.

[25] Roger Langen, ``Putting a Check to Poor Math Results,'' The Reporter, December


[26] Dr. Fred Loveland personal communication.

[27] Chess Improves Academic Performance, Christine Palm, 1990.

[28] Personal letter from Dr. Calvin F. Deyermond, Assistant Superintendent for

Curriculum and Instruction for the North Tonawanda City School District.

[29] Personal letter to Allen Kaufman from Principal Cheryl Coles, June 9, 1995.


[30] Carol Chmelynski, ``Chess said to promote school performance and self-esteem,''

School Board News, July 6, 1993, Vol. 13 (12), pp. 7-8.

[31] John Artise, ``Chess and Education.''

[32] San Jose Mercury News, 4-3-96.

[33] Jo Coudert, ``From Street Kids to Royal Knights,'' Readers Digest, June 1989.

[34] ``Editorial: Chess gives hope for our youth,'' The Saratogian, March 12, 1991.

[35] Arman Tajarobi, e-mail from December, 1996.

[36] Andrew J. Rozsa, Birmingham, Alabama, Newsgroup e-mail.

[37] Harriet Geithmann, ``Strobeck, Home of Chess,'' The National Geographic

Magazine, May 1931, pp. 637-652.

[38] ``Check Mates,'' Fairfield County Advocate, Mar. 20, 1989.

[39] Terrell Bell, Your Child's Intellect, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1982,


[40] Chess'n Math Association, Canada's National Scholastic Chess Organization, 1681

Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ont. M4G 3C1 (web page at

[41] Dan Edelman, ``New Jersey Legislature Passes Chess Bill into Law,'' Chess Coach

Newsletter, Spring 1993, Vol. 6 (1), pp. 1 & 3.

[42] Math and Chess Puzzle Centre, 3550 West 32 nd Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6S

1Z2 (Web page at

[43] Alexander Taylor, ``Chessmen Come to Life in Marostica,'' The National

Geographic Magazine, November 1956, pp. 658-668.

[44] Terrell Bell, Your Child's Intellect, 1982, pp. 178-179.

[45] Scholar-Chessplayer Outstanding Achievement Award Applications.


For additional information about the studies reviewed in this summary, please contact

the United States Chess Federation by calling 914-562-8350 or by writing to: U.S.



3054 NYS Route 9W

New Windsor, NY 12553

The USCF web page address is

For a list of research available from the USCF:


For a manual and/or a CD ROM on Developing Higher Order Thinking Skills Through

Chess, a Pennsylvania State Department of Education approved course, contact the

American Chess School at 140 School Street, Bradford, PA 16701 or e-mail