Chess Winners are the Best in Math Assignments: Astonishing Facts

Chess Winners are the Best in Math Assignments: Astonishing Facts

Apr 21, 2017, 2:45 AM |

Studies have shown that chess winners are best in math assignments. Perhaps, that’s because there is something about chess and math that goes hand-in-hand. Actually, there is evidence that supports the use of chess as an effective educational tool. According to Howard Gardner, a psychologist that formulated the Theory of Multiple Intelligences and authored Frames of Mind, chess skills depend on mathematical, spatial, and logical intelligence. Since chess is a competitive game, it requires interpersonal intelligence too.


According to a study that was conducted by James M. Liptrap, a Klein High School’s chess sponsor, in 1997, chess-playing learners make more improvement in mathematics and reading than students that do not play chess. During this study, the improvement was measured using the Texas Learning Index. Another study was conducted 10 years later by the Chess Academy at the Chicago Public School. It showed that 26% of all students improved by 24% in mathematics after participating in a chess tutoring program. Clearly, there is a correlation between chess and math that can’t be ignored.


Chess and problem solving skills


A study that was conducted in New Brunswick, Canada in 1990-92 showed that playing chess develops problem solving skills in young children. Teachers raised the average scores in problem solving tasks among students by integrating chess in the traditional math curriculum. Students that emerged as chess winners scored higher in problem solving tasks than the other students. Overall, students that participated in chess game scored far higher than students that took a standard course in mathematics.


The correlation


It’s apparent that chess is good for mathematics because chess winners are the best in math assignments. Studies have shown that students that receive chess training or instructions are likely to record higher scores in math assignments than students that take traditional math courses. And, both fields have an intrinsic connection because champions of chess often succeed in mathematics.

Perhaps, this connection can be attributed to the fact that both chess and mathematics relies on the student’s ability to solve problems, use logic, strategize and follow rules. And, like new chess players, mathematics students learn from their failures and their successes too. Beginners in both chess and math play for the rules only. That’s because they are yet to understand much. In chess, this means making a legal move just to ensure that a piece is not taken immediately. In mathematics, it means swinging an algebraic sword blindly just to make progress.

At first, doing either of these seems just fine. But, if the teacher is experienced, the newbie will be rewarded or punished accordingly and their ideas shaped for a next round’s strategy.


The logical aspect


Chess winners perform better in math assignments because the basis of both chess and math is logic. A chess move and a mathematical move can be turned into a basic and formalized logic system. That’s why it’s possible to have chess computers and calculators for math.


In chess game, every element is properly defined. That’s why it is possible to theoretically grasp chess moves through mathematics and logic. Actually, it is the imagined complexity that causes less defined concepts and themes. However, both chess and math are easier to grasp. This explains why people that are good at math and chess are also good at applying logic and tactics. Both chess and math share other concepts like algorithms, patterns, calculations, and matrices.


Chess as an educational tool


The fact that chess winners are the best in math assignments is enough to qualify chess as an educational tool. Playing chess has proven to be a fun way to learn how to think and solve diverse and ever-changing problems. Every game has many possibilities. Players face new problems and positions continually. These problems cannot be solved using memorized answers or simple formula. Instead, calculations and analysis that depend on general patterns and principles, as well as originality and creativity, are required. These are skills that many student need to complete their daily tasks at school.


Perhaps, most important is the fact that learning chess systematically raises the academic and IQ scores of students. It also strengthens their mathematical and reading skills. This correlation is a clear indication that chess can be a powerful tool that can aid the development of students in different areas.