Chess Champions Feb 2014.jpg

Studies in cognitive neuroscience indicate that the game of chess has a number of cognitive benefits in children.  An exercise of infinite possibilities for the mind, chess develops mental abilities used throughout life.  Some cognitive benefits of the game of chess include:
Chess boosts brain power in kids
Chess has shown to enhance the analytical, critical thinking, and visualization skills of students in elementary through high school….and did you know that the skills of students in the third grade were particularly impacted?  This is attributed to the rapid development of children in these age groups.
Chess improves IQ
One study revealed that children who took chess classes for 4 ½ months increased their IQ points.  Researchers attributed this to the concentration and logical thinking called for in the game.

Chess enhances arithmetic skills
Chess play has also been linked to the improvement of a child’s mathematical skills. These results have been attributed to the influence of chess on perceptual ability, which is a child’s capacity to deal and provide meaning to sensory stimulus.  As well, other studies reveal that objective reasoning, or the ability to think a few steps ahead, as the major reason why chess players demonstrate proficiency in math.
Chess hones verbal skills
So how does chess enhance verbal skills, despite the absence of words or verbal communication in the game?  One researcher believed that chess improves verbal skills since it utilizes all the abilities of an individual, or faculties of the mind (mathematical and administrative-directional tasks) whenever the game is played. Interesting result!
Chess sharpens critical thinking skills
It is not surprising that studies indicated enhancement of a child’s  critical thinking and good judgment skills with the playing of chess.
Chess boosts emotional intelligence and psycho-social skills
Intelligence is not merely measured by IQ points; emotional intelligence plays a big role as well.  Emotional Intelligence, or EI, is defined as the person’s ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions. Regardless of race and socioeconomic status, chess has been shown to improve EI as well as psycho-social skills.
Chess works because it is self-motivating.  The game has fascinated humans for almost 2000 years, and through the goals of attach and defense culminating in checkmate, the game calls for mental acuity and perceptiveness among many other skills. 
Congratulations to our Ridgeview Chess Team for their recent second place finish at the North Shore Regional Tournament. Ridgeview teammates include:  grade 6 students Jeremy, Noel, May, Philip, and Naomi and grade 4 student Brendan.  Congratulations to all!