Why Offer Chess in High School?
Chess is a classic game of strategy, invented more than 1500 years ago in India. Legend has it that the ruler of India asked his wise men to devise a way to teach the children of the royal family to become better thinkers and better generals on the battlefield. Chess was the result. In the centuries since its invention, chess has spread to every country in the world. While countless other games have died out, chess lives on. In the United States, it has received endorsements by many educators, ranging from Benjamin Franklin to former U.S. Secretary of Education, Terrell Bell.
2) Academic Benefits
Chess in schools directly contributes to academic performance. Chess promotes comprehensive thinking among young adults . It does so by teaching the following skills:
Focusing - Young adults are taught the benefits of observing carefully and concentrating. If they donít watch what is happening, they canít respond to it, no matter how smart they are.
Visualizing - Young adults are prompted to imagine a sequence of actions before it happens. Actually strengthening the ability to visualize by training them to shift the pieces in their mind, first one, then several moves ahead.
Thinking Ahead - Young adults are taught to think first, then act. They are taught to ask themselves ďIf I do this, what might happen then, and how can I respond?Ē Over time, chess helps develop patience and thoughtfulness.
Weighing Options - Young adults are taught that they donít have to do the first thing that pops into their mind. They learn to identify alternatives and consider the pros and cons of various actions.
Analyzing Concretely - Young adults learn to evaluate the results of specific actions and sequences. Does this sequence help me or hurt me? Decisions are better when guided by logic, rather than impulse.
Thinking Abstractly - Young adults are taught to step back periodically from details and consider the bigger picture. They also learn to take patterns used in one context and apply them to different, but related situations.
Planning - Young adults are taught to develop longer range goals and take steps toward bringing them about. They are also taught of the need to reevaluate their plans as new developments change the situation.
Juggling Multiple Considerations Simultaneously - Young adults are encouraged not to become overly absorbed in any one consideration, but to try to weigh various factors all at once.
None of these skills are specific to
chess, but they are all part of the game. The beauty of
chess as a teaching tool is that it stimulates young adultsí
minds and helps them to build these skills while enjoying
themselves. As a result, young adults become more critical
thinkers, better problem solvers, and more independent
The below video
link is a true story about a young girl from the slums of a
town in Uganda who became a Junior Chess Champion in her
country. As a result, since that time, her family has been
able to move out of the slums, and she was able to go back
|The first week of classes will be dedicated to identify beginners, mid-level and advanced players. Advanced students will focus on review of masters' strategies and recreation of actual games and competitive matches between students. Mid-level students will have a swift review of program objectives before advancing to competitive matches with the advanced level program. For the beginning student these objectives will be used as a week to week approach to teaching the fundamentals of chess.|
Draws: Stalemate, 3 Move rule, 50 Move rule
Denver Public Schools - Tournament Information
Lake Chess Tournament - February
Colfax Chess Tournament - November 15, 2014