Harry Hoag Chess Club had approximately 30 students in grades 3rd – 6th participate in Chess Club this year. They met on Tuesdays in the Elementary School library where they learned about the “Game of Kings” over the last three months. They were guided in their discovery by advisors Mr. and Mrs. Arndt. Several high school student volunteers, including Bradley Najdek (grade 10), Shawn Murphy, Chris Burgess and Cameron Tamsett (all grade 8) assisted the chess club.
Club members practiced fundamentals including board set-up and starting combinations and learned important skills. More advanced players studied beginning and intermediate level strategy.
According to ConnectionsAcademy.com, some benefits for elementary students who play chess are:
Chess playing improves concentration and memory. According to studies done at the University of Memphis, playing chess significantly improves children’s visual memory, attention span, and spatial-reasoning ability.
Chess playing enhances reading and math skills. Researchers found that students who played chess showed more improvement in reading and/or math assessment scores than their non-chess-playing peers.
Chess playing fosters logic, critical thinking, and creativity. Chess favors the “if–then” thinker. “If I move here, then my opponent may move here, here, or even here.” That’s logic and critical thinking in action.
Playing chess also encourages and rewards hard work. Chess offers immediate feedback. Lose your focus, lose a piece.