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Chess is a game played by everyone including kids, adults, the elderly, men, and women. There is no age barrier or physical strength required to play the game of chess. There are numerous individuals who have written about the advantages and disadvantages of playing chess. Some individuals tend to think that chess improves analytical thinking or aptitude where others think it is just a waste of time and that people who don’t have social life play chess.

In this article I am going to discuss why parents should teach their kids to play chess based on different surveys and research carried out across the world. Several researchers have studied the importance of chess since early 1950’s till date globally. Below, I discuss some of the important studies that were conducted to validate the significance of chess in thinking,and analyzing skills, and intellectual development.

A four-year study conducted in early 1980’s in Pennsylvania, USA showed that chess-playing group, time and again surpassed the control group. A survey carried out by New Jersey State Department of Education in 1990’s, found that chess advances self-esteem after a year of exposure. In a study carried out in New York City school, results showed that chess playing improved reading performance of students. In an another study carried out in New Brunswick, Canada, using fifth grade students divided into three groups, testing with the inclusion of chess to the math syllabus, showed increased gains in math problem-solving. in proportion to time spent playing chess

In a study carried out Dr. Albert Frank in Zaire (Africa), which involved 92 students from an age of 16-18, showed that the chess-playing children group showed significant (based on statistical analysis) development in numerical, spatial, and administrative-directional abilities compared to control group (non-chess playing). The chess playing group also showed high verbal aptitudes compared to the control group. The enhancements were true in spite of the absolute chess skill level achieved.

A study conducted by Dr. Yee Wang Fung (Chinese University) in Hong Kong showed that kids who played chess had 15% improvement in their test scores for math and science.

In a comparative study carried out by Dr. Adriaan de Groot in Belgium with chess playing fifth grade students to the non playing control group, results showed that the chess playing group had significant cognitive advancement in comparison to the control.

Based on the research studies and survey from above it can be concluded that playing chess; i) improves thinking development, ii) enhances self-esteem and self-image, iii) improves reading performance, iv) improves math problem solving, v) boosts logical and analytical thinking, and vi) accelerates IQ in school going children

Researchers have tried to find out what are the reasons that cause the above mentioned development and enhancement in children. I will discuss the same in my next article.

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