When odds appear stacked against us - self confidence
and a sharp mind help us to succeed.

Students, as Socrates knew, are capable of discovering truth if given the opportunity. Tests that require memorization do not teach analytical thinking skills. Students must be required to solve problems, often time finding multiple solutions to these problems (and perhaps an optimal one) and to challenge ideas with well substantiated ideas of their own. Bill Beattie, an American author, stated it best: “The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think - rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men.

Of the emerging non-traditional educational tools, few have shown such promising results as the study of chess. Decision making skills, power of concentration, logical thinking, imagination, the ability to think ahead are just some of the qualities that chess has shown to be develop and strengthen. Chess boasts a wide variety of distinguished advocates, but none more articulate than Benjamin Franklin.
    The game of chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired and strengthened by chess, so as to become habits, ready on all occasions. For life is a kind of chess, in which there is a vast variety of good and ill events, that are, in some degree, the effects of prudence or the want of it. By playing at chess, then, we may learn:
1. Foresight, which looks a little into futurity, and considers the consequences that may attend an action; […]
2. Circumspection, which surveys the whole chess board, or scene of action, the relations of the several pieces and situations, the dangers they are respectfully exposed to, the several possibilities of their aiding each other; […]
3. Caution, not to make our moves too hastily […]
4. And lastly we learn by chess the habit of not being discouraged by present bad appearances in the state of our affairs, the habit of […] preserving in the search of resources.

Benjamin Franklin, Pennsylvania Gazette 1779
Chess is a natural way to teach children critical thinking, planning, and decision making. Children learn and hone these life skills while playing and enjoying one of the world’s oldest games. Just like polishing a diamond increases its value, by polishing the mind, chess unleashes more of the mind’s hidden potential.

  • Dr. Robert C. Ferguson "The Use and Impact of Chess"
  • "Benefits of Chess for Academic Performance and Creative Thinking"
  • Results of an 18-months pilot chess program at a local elementary school. The result of the pilot study confirms that professionally introduced chess program delivers direct academic benefits.
  • What do educators say about benefits of chess education?