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Benefits of Integrating Chess in Schools

The benefits of teaching Chess to kids and integrating it into the educational curriculum extend far beyond academic capabilities. Chess students learn to analyze, to plan and to perform, both over the board and in real life. The children learn how to concentrate, how to think ahead, how to solve complex problems, and how to make difficult decisions—all valuable life skills.

While it has been proven that Kids who learn chess improve important abilities like sportsmanship, respect, fairness, patience, leadership, confidence, and a healthy self-perception, numerous studies from around the world have shown a direct link between Chess lessons and academic performance—particularly mathematical and linguistic achievement. Psychological and medical research into the effects of playing Chess have found that the game improves cognitive function and intellect in children and adolescents. Chess also helps improve self-control, develop self-esteem, decrease violence, promotes situational awareness, analysis, and planning, and improves concentration. Chess has been found to be particularly helpful to kids with ADD/ADHD.


Through chess, students improve their general learning skills, learn important social/interactive skills, and an important array of intellectual skills. Many countries have officially recognized the value of learning chess and have integrated chess into the curriculum.

We’ve compiled a number of researches that emphasize and demonstrate how useful it can be to integrate Chess into the educational curriculum.

Chess Training Improves Cognition in Children (2016)

Written by Ebenezer Joseph, Veena Easvaradoss, Anita Kennedy and E. Joanna Kezia from the Department of Psychology in Chennai College, India


86 School Students, girls and boys from the ages of 4 to 15 participated in the research during a year in which they partook in Chess lessons twice a week.


The research indicated that teaching Chess to kids highly contributes to a dramatic growth in their cognitive abilities and IQ test results.

The Research:

Your Move: the Effect of Chess on Mathematics Test Scores (2016)

Written by Michael Rosholm, Mai Bjørnskov Mikkelsen and Kamilla Gumede from the University of Zurich, Switzerland.


The research testes the effect of substituting a weekly mathematics lesson in primary school with a lesson in mathematics based on chess instruction. The test group included 482 Students from first to third grade in the city of Aarhus, Denmark.


Substituting one hour of mathematics lesson a week with a Chess lesson showed an improvement in the mathematics test score of students in the research group.

The Research:

Analysis of the Efficiency of Teaching Chess in Schools (2016)

Written by Ruben Mirzakhanyana, Srbuhi Gevorgyana, Vahan Sargsyana and Hayk Daveyan from Abovyan University, Armenia.


Chess has been included as part of the curriculum in Armenian schools since 2011. The research tested the contextual factors of teaching and learning chess in primary schools. The research group included 500 students from 2nd to 5th grade.


The results of the research showed the importance of the role that Chess has played in the ministry of education as a useful and strategical tool in managing education and the personal development of the modern student. The research also showed an improvement in the students’ logical thinking, memorizing abilities, concentration and self-control.

The Research:

Research on MiniChess and its influence on mathematics knowledge acquisition and cognitive development among foundation phase learners (2015)

Written by Professor Kakoma Luneta, Dr P. Giannakopoulos, Mrs S. Coetsee and Mr G. Cheva from the Department of Childhood Education in the University of Johannesburg.


The study involved 10 primary schools and 4568 Students. The students who participated were given pre-tests in mathematics. Following the pre-tests, the experimental schools had 1 hour of chess every week integrated into the school curriculum. After one year of learning and playing chess, in January of 2015 the learners were again tested.


The experimental group showed an increase of 8%-13% in their mathematical and cognitive abilities after studying Chess for a whole year. The experimental learners were much calmer and spent time thinking about the mathematical problems before they answered. Those playing chess were more analytical and seemed to engage with the tasks at a relatively higher cognitive level than the learners that were not playing chess.

The Research:



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