Chess in school and kindergarten

chess in school and kindergarten

"The Game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired or strengthened by it, so as to become habits, ready on all occasions. For life is a kind of chess, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a vast variety of good and ill events, that are, in some degree, the effects of prudence or the want of it."
(Benjamin Franklin - American statesman, natural scientist, inventor & writer)

In 2012 the European Parliament adopted a declaration endorsing the "Chess at School" programme for all EU countries. The European Parliament recognises that chess is more than just a game. The document emphasises that chess

  • is an easily accessible game for all children, regardless of their social status
  • has an integrative effect and
  • can support EU policy objectives
    • as social integration,
    • the fight against discrimination,
    • dthe reduction of the crime rate and
    • even the fight against various dependencies.

Therefore research papers on the topic "Chess in school and education" were filtered out and summarized in a separate table. Interested persons are able to get a better overview of this specific area of research. The research papers report therapeutic successes using chess in ADHD or weaknesses in mathematics. The integrative effect of chess and the positive effect of chess on social behaviour are also presented.

Many politicians on all continents know that a good education is indispensable to lead people out of poverty and to enable children to lead a self-determined life.

With the start of the PISA studies in 2000, the OECD made the participating countries aware of strengths and weaknesses in their national education systems. The study by the University of Trier (Germany) entitled "Does chess instruction in primary schools promote the intellectual development of children?"* showed that chess instruction significantly improved mathematical skills, language comprehension and reading skills, also social skills improved. Studies in other countries show similar results.

For those who want to inform themselves about the state of "chess as a teaching subject" in Europe and the world, the following documents are recommended:

  • In 2018, the Israeli government provided the Knesset with extensive material on "Chess in the Israeli Educational System" and chess as a teaching subject in other countries of the world. Link
  • London Chess Conference invites every year to exchange ideas between scientists and chess players Link
  • School Chess Commission of the World Chess Federation FIDE Link
  • Brochure of the School Chess Commission of the World Chess Federation FIDE from 2014 Link
  • "Karl" the German cultural chess magazine – Ausgabe 2/ 2013 Link
  • Worth reading article from Russia "Chess sport: Present situation and national and global progress trends“ Link


* original title in German: "Fördert Schachunterricht in der Grundschule die geistige Entwicklung der Kinder?"