Inspiring Chess to Children

Inspiring Chess to Children

Jun 22, 2014, 1:08 PM |

Inspire your Children


The age of technology is upon us, and, in most instances, influence is at the tip of our fingertips. Therefore, it’s important to think of the future and the people who hold it in their hands: our children and grandchildren.


The benefits of chess for the young minds have been studied and proven. It can improve critical thinking, focus, self-confidence, memory, and that’s just scratching the surface. What better way to prepare and train them for the brutality of the “real” world than to play chess?


How can we inspire our little ones to take up chess?


Associate chess with happiness When playing chess with your child, try and have a few laughs here and there. Some kids may not be so receptive to mind numbing chess puzzles and need more time to appreciate the intricacies. Serious skill development and grinding does not need to happen every game. Those will come in time. Hopefully, your child will eventually begin to associate chess with having a good time.


Play chess yourself In the vast majority of cases, parents are the most influential person in a child's life. When parents show genuine interest in the game, it’s much easier for the child to be interested as well. Inspire your child playing other players in the family or online. Be a good sport, and this will model great behavior for your child as well.


Look for puzzles Puzzles are a great way to introduce the fundamentals of chess in a non-committal way. They’re short and typically last 2-10 minutes, perfect for a growing mind’s attention span. It also quickly helps the child acclimate to the nature of the game.


Introduce them to chess idols and super stars Current and past celebrities can show how interesting the competitive side of chess is and the glory associated with the game. Whether it be a Will Smith or Magnus Carlsen, famous role models bring an immediate excitement that builds desire to play the game.


Show what chess is capable of  In some instances, you may be able to just teach children chess, but you can also show them what doors chess can open. With the advent of high stakes chess, real glory is very accessible, and not just to the very top tier of players. Or for those who won't win big events, many chess scholarships are available to higher institutions of learning. Chess has also helped kids from poor backgrounds to achieve national prominence. Watching movies like Brooklyn Castle, Knights of the South Bronx or Searching for Bobby Fischer can inspire a child to believe that one day he or she can become a champion as well.