Top 5 Benefits of Playing Chess for Students

According to the International Chess Federation’s director, up to 30 million children across the world take chess classes. That’s because there are many benefits of playing chess for students!

Playing chess could improve a student’s grades in math and reading comprehension. It also enhances a student’s thinking, reasoning, and sociability.

Should you let your kids play chess, too? Learn about the benefits of chess and discover the perks of making it part of your children’s activities.

1. Chess Supports Early Brain Development

The early years of a child’s life are crucial because of how fast the brain develops during this stage. According to the CDC, the foundation of learning and life success gets built during our first eight years after birth.

How well the brain develops depends on the experiences your child encounters. This is where chess comes in!

In 2017, scientists studied the influence of chess on the brain functions of school-aged children.

They found that those who played chess had better planning and flexibility than those who didn’t. They claim that chess could be an effective strategy to increase developmental activity in childhood.

What Is the Right Age to Start Playing Chess?

According to Dr. Alexy Root, author of the book Thinking With Chess, kids as young as five can start learning how to play. However, most chess instructors would agree that seven-year-olds are easier to teach.

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If you want to start teaching your children, make sure that it’s in a fun and relaxing environment. Chess can sometimes cause pressure that you wouldn’t want them to experience.

2. Chess Can Improve Grades

Chess may have a direct effect on your kid’s grades and IQ, as some studies find. Here are some subjects that your child may be good at if he’s playing chess.

1. Math

According to a 2015 study, students aged 8 to 11 who played chess did better in math. The researchers added that even short-term chess playing can have effects on math scores.

They even discovered this interesting bit of info: Children who studied chess for an hour each week had higher scores than those who studied math. In short, studying chess was more effective than studying math!

Why does chess affect mathematical ability this much?

Playing chess improves problem-solving and critical thinking. Chess also involves mental calculation, logic, and attention. These are all necessary skills when learning math.

2. Reading

Next to math, scientists see a correlation between chess and reading comprehension. The process involves brain habits and the transfer of learning.

It means that by playing chess, students learn how to acquire and select relevant information from a problem.

This is a habit that positively translates to reading comprehension!

3. Art and Sciences

Would you believe that chess players are artists? Some of us think so.

People who play chess often come up with new moves and then bring these ideas to life. It’s akin to painters marking a canvas.

Chess gives young students the ability to turn tail from traditional solutions. It allows them to treat situations with originality.

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The unconventional outlook that these children develop affects their creative thinking as well. Because of this, they may start coming up with brilliant, one-of-a-kind solutions in art and science projects.

4. Other Subjects

Aside from its direct effects on grades, chess also gives motivation to students! Researchers from Denmark found that chess improved the overall grades of children who were unhappy and bored with school.

It’s because chess instruction serves as an alternative activity. It facilitates learning and it gives the students something to look forward to.

3. Students Can Learn Valuable Life-Lessons Through Chess

When children play chess, they get a sneak peek into some of the things we learn in life.

To play chess, they’ll need to understand how to take turns and give chances to others. They also begin to grasp that rules should be followed and it’s a must to play fair.

In chess, sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. Kids can learn how to accept defeat and get up from a slump.

Lastly, whenever they win, it teaches them to have self-confidence. They learn how to overcome fear and self-doubt. It’s a way for them to thrive in the face of uncertainty.

4. Chess Is a Great Way to Make Friends

Can your kids make friends in school by playing chess? Yes, and you don’t even have to force your kids to join a chess club!

Chess is a universal lingo. There’s no language barrier, which means children can make friends with anyone. All they have to do is play it together. The game also extends to family as it’s a nice way to bond with your kids.

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In short, chess builds connections, and it brings people from all walks of life together.

Chess for Socio-Emotional Enrichment

In 2012, scientists from Spain studied chess as a social sport. They compared students who played chess to those who took up other extra-curricular games, like basketball and soccer.

They found that the chess players were comparable to the basketball and soccer players in the following:

  • Social adjustment
  • General satisfaction
  • Self-confidence
  • Sociability
  • Respect for rules
  • Joy and self-esteem

Moreover, the chess players outdid soccer and basketball players in academic adjustment as well. This means that the former adjusted to classes faster.

5. It’s a Productive Outlet for Excess Energy

Many parents enrolled their kids in online chess classes during the pandemic. Some even testify that it can keep students preoccupied for hours.

For instance, chess is a way for hyperactive children to calm down and consume energy.

Putting your children in front of a screen gives you a breather, and you’ll have confidence that they’re doing an activity that develops their brains.

Chess surely beats scrolling social media and playing mindless games as entertainment for your kids.

To Summarize

There are numerous benefits of playing chess for students.

Doing it could affect their grades and brain development. It could help them make friends and use up excess energy in a productive way too.

Overall, we believe that it should be one of your kid’s extra-curricular activities!