By NM Stephen Colding
The game of chess is an indispensable educational tool. The advantages it gives your child are varied and many. This article will discuss chess’s many benefits.
1. Chess Teaches Important Life Skills:
The skills chess teaches are:
When you fail to plan you are planning to fail.- Benjamin Franklin
How many people wander aimlessly through life? They do this because they don’t look at what is possible. Thought and reflection opens your child’s world to limitless possibilities. Chess-players are planners and that is why they earn more and are generally happier than their non chess-playing counterparts.
Bill Gates, Da Vinci, Einstein, Steve Jobs all were avid players and all master strategists. They changed the world and planned to do it. Chess-players have changed the world though out history and will continue to do so, Benjamin Franklin, Napoleon, Abraham Lincoln are a few examples to prove the fact.
“Without delayed gratification, there is no self- control.” ― Sunday Adelaja
Chess-players are elite thinker who play against other elite thinkers. In order to triumph they realize that they must sometimes lose in the short run to get better in the long. They must first endure the pain of losing so that they may enjoy the fruits of winning.
In this world where countless distractions tempt our children with the false idea of easy success chess teaches that true success only comes with sacrifice.
Patience and delayed gratification goes hand in hand That fact that patience is a virtue is understood by all but practiced by very few. Chess teaches children to be patient and determined in achieving these goals and this is the secret of success in life.
“The price of success is hard work”—Vince Lombardy
Chess is easy to learn but difficult to master. In order to compete children have to learn and concentrate and concentration is hard work. Television, video games, music video, peers pressure are not easy to stand up to but chess-players have strong wills because of their hard work and can navigate these dangerous waters with a focus and determination.
There are not more than five primary colors, yet in combination
they produce more hues than can ever been seen.
Chess is one big problem. There are more than thousands of trillions of problems in chess. In solving these problems child learn to think in many ways. Children learn to frame, think backwards, look outside of themselves, calculate and strategize.
The world needs problem solvers and since chess-players practice this skill every-time they play, your child’s skill will not only be desired but vital to the future.
“Don’t depend too much on anyone in this world because even your own shadow leaves you when you are in darkness.”— Ibn Taymiyyah
In chess there is only one player against another. The chess-player lives or dies but his ability. He realizes that only he/she has there fate in there hands. Chance in chess doesn’t exist. The player must face the problems before them alone. This teaches them to be strong and self reliant.
2. Chess Builds Children’s Self-Esteem
“For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and to provide for it.”
― Patrick Henry
With the skills of self reliance, hard work and problem solving is it any wonder that the chess-player has a great sense of their own worth. They know their limits and they know their strengths. This gives them clarity and they must be self aware in order to excel. They are constantly examining themselves and others in order to do better. Chess-player understand that mistakes are not failures of them as human beings but only a fallacies of thought.
A chess-player must be objective in their evaluations. They cannot approach their ruminations in and emotional way but must be apart and above those feelings. That is not to say that chess-players are unemotional but in problem solving they understand that feelings must be put aside until the task is completed. This helps them see the world and people and themselves more objectively. This helps them see there true worth and promise.
A strong sense of self worth serves as a coat of armor for children against many morally corrupt situations. A child does not need to conform, rather they must exert their own personality to truly be who they were meant to be. Strong self- esteem allows a child to stand strong against the vain, the weak and the tyrannical. Chess teaches your child to be their own hero.
3. Chess Expands Children’s Horizons
Meets different cultures
“It’s different cultures that make the world go ’round at the end of the day”.
Chess is played in almost every country in the world. The internet provides opportunity for children to play with people from every walk of life on the face of the planet. They will make friends who are different, who have different cultures, t and have different views.
They will meet people who speak different languages and will not be hindered by those difference but brought together through their shared love of the game of chess.
I r remember when I was a very young man of 12 or 13 meeting someone another chess-player from India. He was about my age and after the game (I forgot how it ended) we started talking. He had many questions about how I lived and I had just as many about how he lived. For the rest of the tournament we were vast friends and to this day I still keep in contact with him. Our worlds are far apart but we were able to bridge that gap and understand each other just a little better though the game that we love.
When your child plays chess he will have many chances to interact with other people from different cultures and will enrich themselves with the wondrous tapestries of the world.
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
To play chess one must travel, out of your neighborhood, city, state, country or mind. Chess has even been played in space. Maybe one day it may even be played on star ships between different world’s (see my video Chess Trek by clicking this link.) Wherever human being go chess will follow and with it respect and understanding.
4. Creates Opportunities
“If Opportunity doesn’t knock build a door”- Milton Berle
Chess gives your children better chances for scholarship because with all things being equal most will choose the chess-player. This is because of the skills and qualities that chess-players have. There is indeed scholarships geared for just chess-players. Elite schools that have chess programs are also incline to give incentives to talented players.
I have many students that have won and will continue to win scholarship after scholarship because chess enhances their qualities and gives then an edge on the competition.
A great many of the elite schools in the world have intensive chess programs. You will frequently come in contact with them if your child plays regularly. Having access to many educators and coaches also gives the talented chess-player and edge, sometime one big enough to change their life.
Chess also prepares your children for the world of business. According to AGON:
“Although chess has very low barriers to entry and is played across the socioeconomic spectrum, in the U.S. 78% of regular chess players are university graduates and among households with incomes over $120,000, 21% are regular chess-players. “
5. Chess Makes Kids Smarter!
The proposition of whether chess raises ones IQ or whether chess is played by smart people to me is irrelevant. It is well know that the smartest people play chess so if you want to be smart you must play. If you don’t consider yourself very smart, fake it til you make it. There are many studies which to me prove the fact that chess is played by smarter people but a couple (flawed in my opinion) which say it does not.
I will only relate a few facts from my experience : When I teach Pre-K students the game of chess they test higher and when I teach all other students their Math and Reading scores go up. If you would like to do your own research and determined it for yourself here are a couple fo links to studies that can help:
Hanging around smart people.
When you play chess you play and hang around with smart people and I have no doubt that this affects your world view making you possible a smarter person yourself.
Chess Raises Math and Reading Scores Here is an article on that premise
The benefits of the game of chess are vital for the development of our children. A child who does not develop these skill runs the risk of falling behind their chess-playing compatriots. Our society is faced with many problems which will have to be solved by the future generation. Chess-player have solved big problems in the past and the future. The question only remains whether your child will be a part of that. Enroll your child in a chess program today!