Chess & Achievement

Assertiveness Self-esteem Consensus-decision making, teamwork Self control Coping with victory and defeat Patience Sportsmanship Mental balance, taking turns
Planning ahead Thinking abstractly Juggling multiple considerations Visualizing Problem solving Mental discipline Perseverance Contingency planning
Critical thinking Concentration Organization Attention span Comprehension; Logic and reasoning Attention to details Immediate and delayed gratification
Pattern creation and recognition Geometric reasoning Estimation Triangulation methods Visual discernment Counting, angle measurement Solving, using a multi-prone approach
Beginning with the end in mind; caparison and contrast; working forwards and backwards


This article surveys educational and psychological studies to examine the benefits of children studying and playing chess. Studies demonstrate that chess can:
  • Raise intelligence quotient (IQ) scores
  • Strengthen problem solving skills; teach how to make difficult and abstract decisions independently
  • Enhance reading, memory, language and mathematical abilities
  • Foster critical, creative and original thinking
  • Provide practice at making accurate and fast decisions under time pressure, a skill that can help improve exam scores & more importantly improve life skills
  • Teach how to thing logically and efficiently; learning to select the “best” choice from a large number of options
  • Challenge gifted children while potentially helping underachieving gifted students learn how to study and strive for excellence
  • Demonstrate the importance of flexible planning, concentration and the consequences of decisions
  • Reach boys and girls regardless of their natural abilities or socio-economic backgrounds

Given these educational benefits, the author concludes that chess is one of the most effective teaching tools to prepare children for a world increasingly swamped by information and ever tougher decisions.

*General edits and revisions to the original research page have been applied to the aforementioned in accordance to what we have found to support the above.