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Why all children should learn to play chess

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Numerous studies show that children who play chess obtain a higher reading level, maths level, and have a greater learning ability overall as a result.

There is also growing support for the idea of putting Chess on the national curriculum. So far, 175 primary schools in England and Wales have introduced chess into the curriculum.

So, how does playing chess help? Just some of the reasons are:

Chess improves concentration. During the game players are focused on only one main goal – to checkmate and become the victor.

Chess develops memory. Many players learn to recognise patterns and remember variations.

Chess develops the capability to predict and foresee consequences of actions. It teaches players to look at everything before making a decision.

Chess and psychology. Chess is a test of patience, nerves, will power and concentration. It also tests sportsmanship in a competitive environment.

As children develop and grow, the skills that they learn from playing chess will be adapted into everyday situations.

About the author

Sheela runs Chess Masters in Hertfordshire alongside Lorin D'Costa, an International Chess Master. Chess Masters is recognised by the English Chess Federation as a Centre of Excellence. www.chess-masters.co.uk

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