Chess is a game played by everyone including kids, adults, old age people, men, and women. There is no age barrier or physical strength required to play the game of chess. There are numerous individual’s who have written about the advantages and disadvantages of playing chess. Some individuals tend to think that chess improves analytical thinking or aptitude whereas other thinks it is just a waste of time or people who don’t have social life play chess.
In this article I am going to discuss why parents should teach their kids to play chess based on different surveys and research carried out across the world. Several researchers have studied the importance of chess since early 1950’s till date globally. Below, I discuss some of the important studies that were conducted to validate the significance of chess in kid’s thinking, analyzing, and intellectual development.
A four-year study conducted in early 1980’s in Pennsylvania, USA showed that chess-playing group, time and again surpassed the control group, and also betrothed in other thinking development programs. In a survey carried out by New Jersey State Department of Education in 1990’s, found that chess constantly advances self-esteem after a year of exposure. The results also show that many students’ self-images improved significantly. In a study carried out in New York City school, results showed that chess playing improved reading performance of students. In an another study carried out in New Brunswick, Canada, using fifth grade students divided into three groups, testing with the inclusion of chess to the math syllabus, showed increased gains in math problem-solving and knowledge balance to the amount of chess in the syllabus.
In a study carried out Dr. Albert Frank in Zaire (Africa), which involved 92 students from an age of 16-18, showed that the chess-playing children group showed significant (based on statistical analysis) development in numerical, spatial, and administrative-directional abilities compared to control group (non-chess playing). The chess playing group also showed high verbal aptitudes compared to the control group. The enhancements were true in spite of the absolute chess skill level achieved.
In a study conducted by Dr. Yee Wang Fung (Chinese University) in Hong Kong showed that kids who played chess have 15% improvement in their test scores for math and science.
In a study carried out by Dr. Adriaan de Groot in Belgium with the fifth grade students playing chess to the control group, results showed that the chess playing group had significant cognitive advancement in comparison to the control.
Based on the research studies and survey from above it can be concluded that playing chess in kids can; i) improve thinking development, ii) enhance self-esteem and self-image, iii) improve reading performance, iv) improve math problem solving, v) boost logical and analytical thinking, and vi) accelerate IQ.
Researchers have tried to find out what are the reasons that cause the above mentioned development and enhancement in children. I will discuss the same in my next article.
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