Strategy, thinking through consequences, building self-esteem… chess is a perfect game for our teens. Little did we know that they would love playing it!
Now we have a little dilemma – not enough chess boards for the number of teens who want to practice and play!
One of our staff loves the game and thought he would introduce the kids to it. He really wasn’t expecting much but hoped one or two might appreciate the game. Turns out, they like the thoughtfulness and strategy of the game. And the competition, of course.
Why does chess matter to us?
The benefits of playing chess align well with the skills and behavior we want the kids to exhibit.
Chess improves memory and cognitive skills. Chess requires the player to memorize and learn moves. Constant training and memorizing the moves helps our teens concentrate better. Their memory power improves, and they are able to learn things quicker and more efficiently. There is a clear impact on their studies at school as their improved memory and concentration help with study skills.
Chess develops planning skills and foresight. Chess makes one think one step ahead of your opponent. This involves thinking and planning on what your opponent’s move might be and planning your moves accordingly. Realizing the outcomes and consequences of certain moves (and decisions) help the teens to make better ones!
Chess is a solo game. Players make all the right decisions by themselves, and they are solely responsible for the outcome. There is no one to blame for a loss or to share the credit for a win. This gives the kids a sense of responsibility and makes them more self-confident. They also come to realize that the wrong move (or desicion) can negate all the right moves they previously made. It makes them cautious and ensures they take calculative steps.
Chess can alter and improve mental states. When both the right and the left hemispheres of the brain are working, it helps battle anxiety in kids. It also helps boost other brain functions. It teaches patience. It teaches how to prepare oneself for crucial moments
Chess helps improve problem-solving skills. that come in handy in math and figuring out puzzles. Thinking of the right combination of moves requires a lot of practice and calculating all the possibilities.
Chess is a great combination of everything that improves your IQ. Logical reasoning, puzzle-solving abilities, calculations, and memorizing.
Chess encourages good sportsmanship. Players have to play a lot of games in order to get better, which means they will also have to lose a lot of games. This shapes players into better sportsmen. They work on handle losses and learn to deal with them in a better way.
Chess requires creative thinking. While playing on the board, the teens are constantly thinking – What will happen if I do this. This is original thought. And every game is unique in itself so players have to bring their creative best on the board..