Leah Martin Dagher


How Chess Improves a Child's Critical Thinking Skills

Chess is one of History’s most well-known games. In my book, “Classroom Chess: The Primary Teacher’s Handbook,” I can show you how to introduce Chess to your Kindergarten- through Third Grade classes.


If you are considering introducing your class to this classic game, here are some skills you can expect them to develop:

  1. Problem-solving

Chess is like a giant puzzle., In order to solve this puzzle, players must incorporate strategies to help them ‘win the game’. Selecting the right moves and pieces can either work in your favor or against it.

  1. Ability Keep Calm (Under Pressure)

Chess requires mental discipline; it’s often referred to as a thinking man’s game.  One trademark of many great players is the ability to think ahead.   Thinking two or even three steps ahead to reach a goal is called foresight. If a player gives in to distraction or time pressure, this can backfire and cost them a win.

  1. Creative Thinking

Like abstract reasoning, creative thinking involves recognizing patterns and using the knowledge you gain to pick the best response. However, specific outcomes in chess may differ from your prediction. Creative thinking aids you in these problems by helping you choose the next best solution.

  1. Abstract Reasoning

Abstract reasoning (sometimes referred to as fluid intelligence) is the ability to reason effectively with the information at hand and solve problems. The study of Chess helps a person gain abstract reasoning skills by studying the other games, familiar patterns and predicting the best possible outcome.

  1. Strategic Thinking

Strategic thinking goes hand in hand with Thinking Creatively and Abstract Reasoning. . After all, it takes some degree of creativity to devise a plan that will end in your favor. Strategic thinking also requires resourcefulness, adaptability, and patience and efficiency.

Chess Myths:

Chess is not just a game for the elite. Anyone can benefit from learning this game, but it is especially noticeable in young children. As with any endeavor, it helps to encourage your child to keep playing, even if it’s difficult at first.

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