Playing Chess Can Give You an Academic Edge

Chess is a game played by millions worldwide. It can be played by anyone regardless gender, race, religion, or athleticism. It’s no wonder that it has become prolific in schools across the country.

Learning chess carries a myriad of beneficial skills including problem solving, critical thinking, caution, calculation, and thinking ahead. Many schools, including Glenbard West, have taken advantage of this opportunity and founded chess clubs at their schools.

Joining these chess clubs has statistically proven to be beneficial. A study published by James Liptrap for Chess Life magazine found that non-honors elementary students who joined the school’s chess club “showed twice the improvement of non-chess players in reading and mathematics.” These improvements are significant – they prove that learning the game can be beneficial to a student’s learning.

Results are also striking among more gifted students. Senior and Glenbard West chess veteran, Andy Swiston, said that chess provides the benefits of “[e]njoyment, mental challenge, and growth.” There is general consensus that chess is a mental challenge that can be related to other aspects of life.   A study done in Bradford, Pennsylvania and published by Robert Ferguson showed that students with an IQ above 130 received significantly higher scores on standardized tests when they received chess instruction. There is overwhelming evidence that schools that teach chess provide their students with a service that is beneficial in the short term and the long term.

Chess installs mental skills inside students that will be useful to them throughout their entire lives. But besides the extra benefits, chess is also a beautiful game that someone can play for their entire lives. Chess provides a unique opportunity to acquire important skills while enjoying one of the greatest games ever played.