Why to make chess as mandatory part of the school curriculum
OUR brain is the most important/vital organ in our body. It contains billions of neurons that make trillions of their connection networks.
Neurons are responsible for carrying information throughout our body. They use electrical and chemical signals to coordinate all functions of life.
Your brain is the command centre for all that you think, feel and do. The left side of the brain is involved in analytical thinking, whereas the right side is involved in creative activity.
Both sides of the brain become highly active when anyone is engaged in the game of chess which is an activity of enormous potential for our mind.
It develops mental activities that are used throughout life. Several studies have shown the advantages of chess in education.
Chess teaches basic life skills that all kids should know to lead a successful and productive life.
There are so many benefits for kids who learn and play chess. Some of these are:
1.Can help to deepen focus: Kids who play chess regularly significantly improve their visual memory and concentration.
2.Develops creativity and critical thinking: Chess makes kids to be able to think through changing variables and possibilities.
These skills are very important for the game and hence for life. Chess requires kids to use cognitive skills such as thinking, reading and analysis.
Robert Ferguson, who is Executive Director of American Chess School in Pennsylvania, has discovered that kids who play chess develop 35% higher creative and 15% higher critical thinking than kids who do not play chess.
3. Builds up confidence and improves memory: Dr Diane Horgan, Dean of the Graduate School of Counseling and Educational Psychology at University of Memphis in Tennessee, established that chess not only improves visual memory but also helps enhance reasoning ability.
4. Develops problem-solving skills: Research studies have shown a strong correlation between chess and math’s scores.
Even a short time practice of chess is very effective tool to enhance kid’s mathematical abilities.
So chess can be used as an instrument to enhance problem solving skills.
4. Teaches us Foresight: Chess teaches us foresight by forcing us: (a) to make a plan ahead, (b) to be vigilant (c) to keep watch over the entire chess board (d) to restrain from making hastily moves (e) increases Intelligence Quotient (IQ) levels.
It has been proved that the game of chess increases brain power and enhances IQ levels. One study in Venezuela has shown that 4000 grade-II students showed marked improvement in overall IQ scores in just 4 months of play. So, chess indeed raises a child’s IQ significantly.
5. Reduces the Risk of Developing Degenerative Brain Diseases Research has shown that playing chess can help to reduce the chances of mental illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Chess promotes brain growth and healthy stimulation of neurons. Thus, it can make brain stronger and faster.
Chess can provides kid’s the opportunity to enjoy a mentally entertaining quiet game. It is more entertaining and beneficial than any other game.
It keeps kids away from loud, violent and4 often silly online games. Chess is in the school curriculum in about 30 countries worldwide.
In USA, Russia and all the countries which were part of USSR etc, the game of chess is mandatory part of primary school curriculum.
Since 2011, all the children in Armenia from 6 to 8 years have had compulsory chess lesions.
Armenian authorities say teaching chess in schools is about building character, a sense of responsibility and organization among school children.
Chess develops important array of intellectual skills. Chess fosters independent strategic thinking among future generation at school, at work and in society.
International Chess Federation (FIDE) and European Chess Union (ECU) have issued a survey report on May 28, 2021 about chess in schools.
According to this survey, 25,600,000 children are participating in chess activities in school environment.
Out of these 15,000,000 children are in India, 5,000,000 in China and 5,600,000 in rest of the world.
This report will be used to suggest an operational and financial plan for FIDE 2021-2025 concerning chess in schools.
—The writer is Vice President Chess Federation of Pakistan.