Is Chess For Boys and Girls?

If you research, there are numerous analysis papers and articles on the benefits of playing chess.

The New York City Chess-in-the-schools program ( is one good source of information on this. It’s been around for over twenty years, provides chess instruction for elementary and middle school kids as a part of their school day.

Since its inception, the School Program has taught over 400,000 kids to play chess.

Here are some of the benefits of chess as written by Christine Palm in her New York City Schools Chess Program Report in 1990:

Chess instills in young players a sense of self-confidence and self-worth.

Chess dramatically improves a child’s ability to think rationally.

Chess increases cognitive skills.

Chess improves children’s communication skills and aptitude in recognizing patterns.

Chess results in higher grades, especially in English and Math studies.

Chess builds a sense of team spirit while emphasizing the ability of the individual. 

Chess teaches the value of hard work, concentration and commitment.

 Chess makes a child realize that he or she is responsible for his or her own actions and must accept their consequences.

 Chess teaches children to try their best to win, while accepting defeat with grace.

Chess provides an intellectual, comparative forum through which children can assert hostility i.e. “let off steam” in an acceptable way; 

Chess can become a child’s most eagerly awaited school activity, dramatically improving attendance.

 Chess allows girls to compete with boys on a non- threatening, socially acceptable plane.

Chess helps children make friends more easily because it provides an easy, safe forum for gathering and discussion.

 Chess allows students and teachers to view each other in a more sympathetic way.

Chess, through competition, gives kids a palpable sign of their accomplishments.

Chess provides children with a concrete, inexpensive and compelling way to rise above the deprivation and self- doubt which are so much a part of their lives.

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