A collection of interesting articles and links on the educational benefits of chess
document hosted on Chesskids.com.au
Video parents talking about the benefits of playing chess
Leopold Lacrimosa - coach/manager
'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!”