Differences in Teaching Chess for Academic Success

Chess instruction for schools

In recent years, interest in chess as a tool for improving the lives of youth has grown. At last year’s London Chess Conference, presenters discussed chess as a therapeutic tool, the value of chess for improving academics, training teachers to teach chess, and more. Increasing numbers of schools are adopting chess as a way to develop cognitive and academic skills based both on the compelling intuitive case and years of accumulated research. Yet, overall research has been mixed (learn more here and here). Factors such as duration, frequency, particular aspects of instruction, instructor chess and teaching skills, coach-student relationship, teacher stereotypes and expectations, parent involvement, student confidence and environment (e.g., classroom space, how well resourced the school is, temperature, time of day) make consistent and comparable experimentation challenging. In addition, the studies conducted rarely implement the same thesis or seek the same outcome (e.g., chess as an intervention for substance abuse versus to improve math skills). Continue reading “Differences in Teaching Chess for Academic Success”

5 Martial Arts Concepts to Improve Your Chess Game

GM Maurice Ashley & Sensei Brian Hill
GM Maurice Ashley & Sensei Brian Hill

Sensei Brian Hill has dropped by our chess camps multiple times to teach students about Aikido (Japanese Martial Art) concepts that apply to chess. Some of you might not think that chess and martial arts have a lot in common, but sometimes looking at concepts from a different perspective facilitates learning.  Here are a few things we learned from Sensei Brian:

1. Respect your partner. In Aikido, you bow before practicing with a partner.  In chess, you shake hands.  This is a sign of respect which encompasses the reminder not to underestimate them.  In Aikido, chess and life, overconfidence, not respecting others, can lead you not to give your all. Continue reading “5 Martial Arts Concepts to Improve Your Chess Game”

More on Gender Issues in Chess ~ Implications for STEM

Gender Factors in ChessThis article is well worth the read.   The referenced study is an important addition to the ongoing discussions about why women and girls are less likely to play chess, but it also applies to girls and women in STEM areas.

To deepen the discussion, you might want to read the introduction to the topic of stereotype threat here.  It’s worth the read (or watch, there’s a video introduction in that post as well) because, first, you’ll be hearing more and more about this important concept, and, second, it is thought provoking.

Continue reading “More on Gender Issues in Chess ~ Implications for STEM”

MATCH Response to the News Debate about Whether Females are at a Biological Disadvantage for Becoming a Strong Chess Player

Women and Girls in Chess Debate

If you have been following chess news at all, you will have read about the controversy regarding GM Nigel Short’s comments about women’s “natural” chess playing abilities (see links below for more information). Continue reading “MATCH Response to the News Debate about Whether Females are at a Biological Disadvantage for Becoming a Strong Chess Player”