The Role of Chess in Modern Education

role of chess

Children who learn to play chess have many advantages over children who are never exposed to the game. The mental, social and even physical benefits of chess for children are all excellent reasons to encourage young chess players to develop their interest in the game even at an early age. Buying children chess sets UK is one way that parents can encourage their child’s interest in chess—but many educators are hoping to take an interest in chess far beyond parental encouragement. Let’s take a closer look at the current role of chess in modern education. 

Educational Benefits of Chess

There are many educational benefits that children who play chess receive, ranging from mental benefits such as improved concentration and memory to physical benefits such as reduced stress levels, all the way to social benefits that develop as children learn to navigate clubs, tournaments and one-on-one games with other players. 

Chess and Curriculum: A Brief History

The documented educational benefits of chess are the primary reason why educators are interested in utilizing chess as part of an official curriculum. Modern educators are not alone in their interest in chess from an educational standpoint. 

In Russia, chess as part of school curriculum has a decades-long history; in Russian schools, children were encouraged to learn how to play chess as part of the standard curriculum. Students who showed promise were sometimes even tutored by professional Russian chess players, typically in the hopes of encouraging a new generation of Russian chess players to hone their skills for an international stage.

Chess also has a long history in Western schools in the form of chess clubs. Chess clubs are the most common way that school-age children become familiar with the game, especially during the earliest years of elementary school when higher stakes chess (such as tournaments and similar matches) are not as common.

Continued Role of Chess in Modern Education

The most visible role of chess in modern education lies in the aforementioned chess clubs, which are a hub of chess activity starting from elementary school all the way through high school. In addition to teaching chess club members how to play chess, these clubs may—especially once the students are in the upper ages of elementary school—go to tournaments, hold tournaments of their own, host chess related events and more.

Some educators are hoping to incorporate chess more completely into school curriculums due to the many benefits that chess can have on students. The most common suggestion for chess as part of a modern school curriculum is quarter-semester units which will teach children how to play the game in the hopes of sparking a continued interest in chess.  

Final Thoughts

Chess has been a mainstay of modern schools for decades, usually in the form of chess clubs; today, however, the role of chess in modern education is on the brink of expanding thanks to the efforts of educators who are interested in bringing the many benefits of chess to a much broader range of students.

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