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Win with grace. Lose with dignity. Edward
Rural Arizona, USA, Cuba
Anytime is a great time for shoklett ~ Hi! WeLcOme! Are you thinking of picking up chess?
I love chess :) Chess dramatically improves ones ability to think rationally.
Chess increases cognitive skills.
Chess improves a ones communication skills and aptitude in recognizing patterns, therefore:
Chess teaches the value of hard work, concentration and commitment.
Chess instills in players a sense of self-confidence and self-worth.
Chess makes one realize that he or she is responsible for his or her own actions and must accept their consequences.
Chess teaches one to try their best to win, while accepting defeat with grace.
Chess provides an intellectual, competitive forum through which one can assert hostility, i.e. "let off steam," in an acceptable way.
Chess allows girls to compete with boys on a non-threatening, socially acceptable plane.
Chess helps one make friends more easily because it provides an easy, safe forum for gathering and discussion.
Chess provides children with a concrete, inexpensive and compelling way to rise above the deprivation and self-doubt which are so much a part of their lives (Palm, 1990, pp. 5-7).
Chess accommodates all modality strengths.
Chess provides a far greater quantity of problems for practice.
Chess offers immediate punishments and rewards for problem solving.
Chess creates a pattern or thinking system that, when used faithfully, breeds success.
Competition fosters interest, promotes mental alertness, challenges all students, and elicits the highest levels of achievement.
A learning environment organized around games has a positive affect on student’s attitudes toward learning. This affective dimension acts as a facilitator of cognitive achievement. Instructional gaming is one of the most motivational tools in the good teacher’s repertoire. Children love games. Chess motivates them to become willing problem solvers and spend hours quietly immersed in logical thinking. These same young people often cannot sit still for fifteen minutes in the traditional classroom. Chess is an exercise of infinite possibilities for the mind, one which develops mental abilities used throughout life:concentration, critical thinking, abstract reasoning, problem solving, pattern recognition, strategic planning, creativity, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation, to name a few. Chess can be used very effectively as a tool to teach problem solving and abstract reasoning. Learning how to solve a problem is more important than learning the solution to any particular problem. Through chess, we learn how to analyze a situation by focusing on important factors and by eliminating distractions. We learn to devise creative solutions and put a plan into action. Chess works because it is self-motivating. The game has fascinated humans for almost 2000 years, and the goals of attack and defense, culminating in checkmate, inspire us to dig deep into our mental reserves. To the players, the game is like an unfolding drama; the players live through the emotions of an exciting story.
Chess has a powerful aesthetic appeal. The best chess games are works of art. They are the products of original and creative thinking. The beauty of chess is as compelling and pleasure giving as any other art form. The endless opportunities for creating new combinations in chess are perhaps comparable to painting or music.
Several benefits accrue from the teaching and promoting of chess to children:
Chess limits the element of luck; it teaches the importance of planning.
Chess requires that reason be coordinated with instinct [intuition]; it is an effective decision teaching activity.
Chess is an endless source of satisfaction; the better one plays, the more rewarding it becomes.
Chess is a highly organized recreation….
Chess is an international language…. It can be a lifelong source of interest, amusement, and satisfaction. Chess provides more long-term benefits than most school sports (Hall, pp. 4-5).
Chess clearly is a problem-solving tool, an “ideal way to study decision-making and problem-solving because it is a closed system with clearly defined rules” (Horgan, 1988). When faced with a problem, the first step is to “analyze [it] in a preliminary and impressionistic way: sizing up the problem” (Horgan, 1988, p. 3), possibly looking for patterns or similarity to previous experiences. “Similarity judgements may involve high levels of abstract reasoning” (Horgan, 1988, p. 3). As in mathematics, which might be defined as the study of patterns, pattern recognition in chess is of prime importance in problem solving. After recognizing similarity and pattern, a global strategy can be developed to solve the problem. This involves generating alternatives, a creative process.
A good chess player, like a good problem solver, has “acquired a vast number of interrelated schemata” (Horgan, 1988, p. 3), allowing for good alternatives to quickly and easily come to mind. These alternatives must then be evaluated, using a process of calculation known as decision tree analysis, where the chess player/problem solver is calculating the desirability of future events based on the alternative being analyzed.
Chess builds life skills and critical thinking. Clearly, one crucial lesson all young people must learn is to think before they act. Chess teaches this skill in an authentic way: every move in chess has consequences, and successful players must learn to anticipate these consequences many moves in advance. An opponent’s expected response is what guides the player’s decision to make or avoid a certain move.
As students play chess, they naturally engage in the process of metacognition, asking themselves questions such as "Now, what led me to move there?" "Why did my opponent make that move’ "How did she put me in checkmate? And how can I avoid it next time?" This constant reflection on causes and motives, as well as anticipation of future actions, builds an important skill that students will use in all aspects of their lives.
Chess is more than a game. Chess is an interactive, authentic, three-dimensional activity that naturally encourages and supports marginalized students in successful transitions toward expanding their vision of the world beyond their home turf and toward academic proficiency and confidence.
HaPpY CheSsing EveryOne ~
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