Chess Maths & Science Centres


What do Math and Chess have in common?
• Understanding what you are doing;
• As you apply what you know to solve unfamiliar or non-routine problems; and
• Being able to reason about what you have done.

Farhad Kazemi et al. / Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 32 ( 2012 ) 372 – 379
Some evidence shows that playing chess can enhance meta-cognitive skills and some other tasks that may be important for success during challenging tasks, such as mathematical problem-solving.

About the influence of chess, Milat (1997) says:
• Chess increases intelligence creativity, enhances strategic thinking skills and enriches problem-solving ability. Furthermore, it increases self-esteem.
• Chess improves and develops higher order thinking skills (that is meta-cognitive skills); in addition, youngsters evaluate the actions and results and predict future possibilities.
• When chess is highly practiced in specific countries, practicing students show the ability to be among the top in math’s and science and recognize complicated patterns as well.

Given the academic benefits of chess, Meyers (2005) asserts that “we have brought chess to school
because we believe that it can directly contribute to academic performance. Chess makes children smarter.
It does this function by teaching following skills:
• Focusing: children are taught to learn about the advantages of observing and focusing. In addition,
children cannot respond to what is happening unless they watch it.
• Visualizing: children are encouraged to imagine a series of actions before it occurs by training and
asking them to visualize and to move pieces in their mind, first one move, then several moves ahead.
• Thinking ahead: children are taught, first of all, to think and later to move on or act. We educate them to ask themselves “if I do this, what may happen later and how can I respond? Chess helps to develop calmness or attentiveness.
• Weighing options: children may learn they don’t have to express whatever first occurs to their mind,
they learn to find out other choices and take into account the advantages of different actions.
• Analyzing concretely: children learn to assess the results of particular actions and arrangements. Does this sequence help me or hurt me? It is better to make a decision based on logic instead of impulse.

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