For years, people have been talking about how chess can help students learn other games. Now that more and more schools offer after-school programs using chess as their main focus, there has never been a better time for you to pick up a new game!
Many school districts around the country use chess as an educational tool to teach students another board game — typically a newer one like Settlers of Catan or Choo-Choo Train. More advanced students are also able to apply what they know from chess in teaching others how to play checkers, something many kids grow out of learning when they’re young.
There is strong evidence showing that playing chess helps develop your brain. By improving your memory and logic, it enhances performance in other areas such as math and literacy. This may be why so many schools add chess to their list of extracurricular activities!
But what most people don’t realize is that even if you aren’t planning on becoming World Champion anytime soon, chess still has plenty of applications beyond just education. Here are some ways chess can benefit you…
It improves hand-eye coordination Â which means you can toss a ball around with the best of them, race down a mountain on a skateboard, or shoot baskets like Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
Develops planning skills
A chess player must be able to plan ahead, but more importantly they have to develop the ability to evaluate their own plans. This is done through knowing how to assess your position and whether a move is good or bad depending on what moves you make next.
Students in school often do not receive enough training in evaluation. They are just told to learn from their mistakes and try again, which does not help them much.
By learning how to recognize when something makes sense and when it doesn’t, students can save time spent trying to figure out why something didn’t work. They will also know when to give up and say “This isn’t going well so I might as well quit!”
Chess teaches you how to manage your resources effectively, which helps with education because teachers are limited in number. If a student is having trouble understanding a concept, they could ask for help, instead of simply giving up and leaving without an answer.
Boosts attention to detail
A chess game is just a bunch of pieces moving around a board, but there’s so much more going on in between! When you play chess, you have to pay close attention to every little thing; you have to think about where each piece should go, when it could move, and what effects your moves will have on the opponent.
This can be hard to do if you don’t take your time to focus on individual pieces and parts of the game. For example, while studying for an exam, you might quickly look through the textbook, skip class, and then try to remember what part of the theory you learned that day. It’s too late because you didn’t spend enough time focusing on one topic before moving onto the next.
With chess, this doesn’t happen because there are only a limited number of possible ways to make a move. You’re always thinking several steps ahead, so you never get a chance to lose focus on anything. This is why practicing with the rules of chess can help you learn any subject — even ones that seem completely unrelated!
For instance, learning about biology may feel like trying to figure out how atoms work, but that kind of understanding comes from physics, not biology. However, by mastering the basics of chess (which include knowing the types of pawns, knights, and rooks), however difficult they may be at first glance, you’ll eventually be able to apply those concepts to other subjects.
Helps students learn time management
In chess, you will always have a starting position and a final position. You can also add in-between positions as moves are made. This is how time is divided into discrete chunks in terms of thinking and planning.
In this way, chess helps teach time management. When a new move needs to be made, there is a transition period where people must prepare for it. This gives your mind a chance to relax and reevaluate what has been done so far before moving onto something else.
This also teaches patience because you need to wait until all parts of the game are prepared before making the next move. It also teaches discipline due to the fact that you cannot make the next move unless everything up till now has been completed.
Chess also teaches reasoning and logic. Because chess is an out-of-this world board with pieces that go around in patterns, different strategies and ideas must be considered when playing.
Improves memory skills
A chess player never really “gives up” the game, even when he or she is defeated. Rather, they quickly move onto the next phase of the game. Because chess requires you to remember what moves your opponent has made in the past as well as what their future plans are, it teaches people how to organize information and use memories effectively.
This applies to students outside of the board room! If a student learns how to play chess, then they can apply these concepts to other areas of life. For example, if someone was trying to learn a new language, then practicing games of chess would be an effective way to strengthen their vocabulary and grammar knowledge.
There have been many studies that show that playing chess helps improve one’s overall cognitive ability. These include benefits such as improved attention span, problem solving, reasoning, communication and self-confidence. All of these qualities are important for academic success.
Chess also acts as a great tool to help motivate students. When a student loses a game, they must rethink their strategy and possibly come up with something new. This forces them to look at the game from another angle and brings about a sense of motivation to study harder.
Experts agree that learning how to play chess is not only fun, but also educational.
Helps students learn to prioritize
A chess player’s first priority is to checkmate their opponent, but that doesn’t mean they don’t pay attention to the rest of the game. On the contrary, when you are thinking about how to win the next round, there are certain fundamentals that you need to know.
By giving your full attention to those things, it frees up some mental space for more important issues like “How can I make sure my king stays safe?” or “What moves will keep me strong in material?”
There are also strategies we can use to try and draw out our opponents, which may be more effective than just trying to crush them. By learning these basics, not only do they help in creating a calm state of mind, but they can even inspire creativity in other areas.
In chess, you will come across lots of different styles of play. There are very formal games that focus on perfection, but there is also an element of creative expression in the game.
Chess encourages players to be imaginative thinkers by using concepts such as checkmate to hinder your opponent’s progress. When thinking about how to approach each move, you can mix it up and use strategies not seen before.
There are even times when no clear solution exists, so you have to make a decision or risk making a mistake. This creates more room for error, which may give you a chance to find another way to solve the problem.
This concept of trying new things, making mistakes, and learning from them is important because it teaches people how to deal with uncertainty. It helps us develop our reasoning skills and self-confidence.
Furthermore, due to its logical structure, chess can sometimes inspire ideas beyond the board. For example, some famous architects were inspired by the simple shapes used in the game to create their designs.
A growing body of research suggests that learning chess is helpful for students in other areas, particularly academic ones. When you play chess, you are thinking about concepts and logic, while also practicing time management and self-control. These are all important skills for young people who need help with them.
Many educators consider chess as an effective tool to improve student engagement and motivation. It can be adapted to any level – from elementary school through college – and can be done at no cost!
There have been some studies which show that playing chess reduces stress levels. Teaching kids how to manage their emotions and relate well to others is one of the most important things we can dofor them.
Academic success is linked to emotional wellness, so it makes sense to add something fun to the classroom to see benefits in both domains.
Helps students learn to be a good listener
When you play chess, you must listen carefully to what your opponent is saying. You need to understand his or her game strategy and how they are trying to achieve their goal of winning.
The same goes for listening in conversations. If you want to get something done, you will have to pay attention to what other people are telling you and what they look like they are asking from you.
By learning how to apply the skills of chess in different areas of life, we can improve our overall social competence. This includes being able to focus on someone else’s needs and feelings while also knowing when it’s time to do things such as walk away or ask others to contribute more to the conversation.
Chess helps students to learn this by giving them an opportunity to practice applying knowledge to new situations. In addition, because chess games are won through careful reasoning and planning, it gives young players a chance to practice these skills.