WHY SHOULD YOU PLAY CHESS? WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
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.
CHESS IS FUN!
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!
 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.
 Albert Frank, ``Chess and Aptitudes,'' doctoral dissertation, 1974, Trans. Stanley
 Johan Christiaen, ``Chess and Cognitive Development,'' doctoral dissertation, 1976,
Trans. Stanley Epstein.
 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.
 Robert Ferguson, ``Teaching the Fourth R (Reasoning) through Chess,'' School
Mates, 1(1), 1983, p. 3.
 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.
 Robert Ferguson, ``Teaching the Fourth R (Reflective Reasoning) through Chess,''
doctoral dissertation, 1994.
 Isaac Linder, ``Chess, a Subject Taught at School,'' Sputnik: Digest of the Soviet
Press, June 1990, pp. 164-166.
 Rafael Tudela, ``Learning to Think Project,'' Commission for Chess in Schools, 1984,
Annex pp. 1-2.
 Rafael Tudela, ``Intelligence and Chess,'' 1984.
 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.
 Robert Ferguson, ``Tri-State Area School Pilot Project Findings,'' 1986.
 Robert Ferguson, ``Development of Reasoning and Memory through Chess,'' 1988.
 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.)
 Stuart Margulies, ``The Effect of Chess on Reading Scores: District Nine Chess
Program Second Year Report,'' 1992.
 Chess-in-the-Schools, Web page at
 Philip Rifner, ``Playing Chess: A Study of Problem-Solving Skills in Students with
Average and Above Average Intelligence,'' doctoral dissertation, 1992.
 Stuart Margulies, ``The Effect of Chess on Reading Scores,'' 1996.
 James Liptrap, ``Chess and Standardized Test Scores,'' Chess Coach Newsletter,
Spring 1999, Volume 11 (1), pp. 5 & 7.
 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.
 Naciso Rabell Mendez, ``Report by the World Chess Federation (FIDE) to the
United Nations Organization (UNO),'' June 1988, quotes Dr. Klaus' comments.
 Kathleen Vail, ``Check This, Mate: Chess Moves Kids,'' The American School
Board Journal, September 1995, pp. 38-40.
 Yasser Seirawan, ``Scholastic Chess -- Feel the Buzz,'' Inside Chess, February 21,
1994, p. 3.
 Roger Langen, ``Putting a Check to Poor Math Results,'' The Reporter, December
 Dr. Fred Loveland personal communication.
 Chess Improves Academic Performance, Christine Palm, 1990.
 Personal letter from Dr. Calvin F. Deyermond, Assistant Superintendent for
Curriculum and Instruction for the North Tonawanda City School District.
 Personal letter to Allen Kaufman from Principal Cheryl Coles, June 9, 1995.
 Carol Chmelynski, ``Chess said to promote school performance and self-esteem,''
School Board News, July 6, 1993, Vol. 13 (12), pp. 7-8.
 John Artise, ``Chess and Education.''
 San Jose Mercury News, 4-3-96.
 Jo Coudert, ``From Street Kids to Royal Knights,'' Readers Digest, June 1989.
 ``Editorial: Chess gives hope for our youth,'' The Saratogian, March 12, 1991.
 Arman Tajarobi, e-mail from December, 1996.
 Andrew J. Rozsa, Birmingham, Alabama, Newsgroup e-mail.
 Harriet Geithmann, ``Strobeck, Home of Chess,'' The National Geographic
Magazine, May 1931, pp. 637-652.
 ``Check Mates,'' Fairfield County Advocate, Mar. 20, 1989.
 Terrell Bell, Your Child's Intellect, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1982,
 Chess'n Math Association, Canada's National Scholastic Chess Organization, 1681
Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ont. M4G 3C1 (web page at
 Dan Edelman, ``New Jersey Legislature Passes Chess Bill into Law,'' Chess Coach
Newsletter, Spring 1993, Vol. 6 (1), pp. 1 & 3.
 Math and Chess Puzzle Centre, 3550 West 32 nd Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6S
1Z2 (Web page at
 Alexander Taylor, ``Chessmen Come to Life in Marostica,'' The National
Geographic Magazine, November 1956, pp. 658-668.
 Terrell Bell, Your Child's Intellect, 1982, pp. 178-179.
 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