The Benefits of Chess

There has been a multitude of studies which have demonstrated academic benefits of learning and playing chess. A New Brunswick, Canada research study involving 5th graders showed students’ math scores and comprehension increased by as much as 19.2%. Similar studies in New York and Michigan showed it increased between 15-27% with short term exposure to chess education. Not only have math scores shown dramatic improvement but reading comprehension has also shown similar improvement in students playing chess.

The research studies and experience of educators has show that the benefits of chess apply across the spectrum of students from the advanced or particularly motivated students, to the students of all levels, ages, economic backgrounds, degrees of motivation, and even to special needs students.

The educational and academic benefits of chess are discussed at length in the research and studies because they have the most quantitative results, some of which are:

  Increased Grades

  Increased IQ

  Increased Reasoning Ability

  Increased Concentration

  Increased Comprehension

  Increased Verbal Skills

  Increased Mathematical Skills

In addition to the educational and academic benefits, chess offers many equally important benefits to students and children. One can not lose sight of the fact that chess is a game and games should be fun. While chess is typically thought of as a one-on-one game, it is commonly taught in group settings with group interaction, and many tournaments are structured as team tournaments. While individuals play each game they are playing for their school, club, or team.

The social benefits of chess are as important and in many cases more important than the academic and educational benefits. Some of the more notable social benefits include:

  Good Sportsmanship

  Learning to play within a defined set of rules


  Conflict Resolution

  Self Respect

  Respect of others

  Associations with students of all backgrounds and experiences