Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Youth Chess and Outcomes

A University of Chicago Law School graduate, Jared Kawalsky enjoys chess. In addition to playing the game himself, Jared Kawalsky shares his enjoyment of this classic game with young people as a volunteer chess teacher at an elementary school.

Teaching young people to play chess has been studied extensively, and many of the studies have indicated that children greatly benefit from learning this classic game. Children who play chess improve their visual memory, spatial reasoning, and attention span while playing the game. One study indicated that two hours of chess instruction per week was enough to enhance children's intellectual performance on many axes, including development of verbal skills. Some assessments also indicated that top chess players have more activity in the parts of their brains devoted to problem-solving and recognition.

That said, this doesn't mean every child has to study chess as much as possible as early as possible. Children should start slow, learning the game in stages and with a strong emphasis on sportsmanship.