Why Learn Chess?

There are several reasons why parents or schools want their children to learn chess.

Which one most applies to you?

  1. I want my children to learn chess because it sounds like a fun game for young children.
  2. I want my children to gain extrinsic benefits from chess which will enhance their academic performance.
  3. I think chess might be a great lifelong hobby for my children.
  4. I want my children to become chess champions.

Back in my day, no parents would even have considered any answer except 3. But now very few parents seem to choose chess for their children for that reason.

It’s fun for young children to learn about the pieces and move them round the board, but they’ll soon lose interest. On the other hand, there are very many fun games suitable for young children which can be played using subsets of chess.

There is little evidence that chess provides any unique and long-lasting academic benefits for children – although, again, simpler games can, if used with discretion, provide some benefit.

Of course it’s great if your children do become chess champions. Teaching your children chess for that specific reason can work if they have a combination of talent and passion for the game, but my view is that you should start by looking at chess just as a hobby.

Let’s get back to the concept that parents – and schools – promote chess and other extra-curricular activities as great hobbies; for their intrinsic rather than extrinsic benefits.

If you share my views, feel free to look round the site and, if I can help you in any way, get in touch.