A collection of interesting articles and links for parents on the educational benefits of chess

Articles   a comprehensive document hosted on Chesskids.com.au

Video   parents talking about the benefits of playing chess

 Leopold Lacrimosa - coach/manager Chess Emporium

'So why are children attracted to chess? I believe that it appeals to our (their) inherited,
individualistic, competitive nature. As a child grows, he/she wants to stand on their own,
away from any parent or guardian and at the same time, when achieving a goal, say to
them, “Hey, look what I can do!”
Unlike many team sports, chess players do stand on their own. If they lose a game it is
their fault, their failure and no one else’s. They cannot blame their loss on a teammate’s
failure to pass the ball, miss the goal or in being forced to play no matter how bad at the
game the teammate may be. At the same time, when they win it is also on their shoulders.
It is because they were the ones who had put a little extra effort into learning the
intricacies of the game. They are the ones who out-thought their opponent in a long drawn
out struggle or a short trap. And after their match, that win can create an adrenaline
high that is unmatched except at the professional levels of sports.

Children who take up chess harbour deep emotions for the game. Once learned, it is with
them for life. Yet, it is only those who play competitive chess who will develop into better
players quicker than those who just learn the moves of the game. But is this healthy ? Isn’t
fostering a competitive attitude in our children supposed to be a bad thing ? I don’t believe
so, at least not in the competitive chess arena.
I’ve seen kids in chess grow up to become great kids. Kids who are jumpy, calm down; kids
who are overly hyper, sit and play for hours; kids who are too emotional, learn to take
losses and come back to play again; kids who are over achievers, learn that there is always
someone else out there who can beat you; kids who never believe that they can perform or
excel at anything, win games; kids who want to win at all costs learn that winning isn’t
everything. And I’ve seen kids, win or lose, connect with their parents at an indescribable
level when they walk out of the tournament hall.
I believe chess is good for you and is great for children.

And in the immortal words of the 13th World Chess Champion, Garry Kasparov:
“If you think it’s just a game, then you’re not playing it right!”