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Playing chess helps children excel in maths

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Chess is a thinking game. It is a fair game in that the player is responsible for the fate of the game and there is no other thing intervention in the game either in the form of luck or in the form of chance. One thing that can be said to be a chance or luck is nothing but the mistake of the opponent. In general, the player needs to think, analyze, visualize, plan, decide and execute a series of moves applying tactics and strategies to say “checkmate” to the opponent.

If children were taught this noble game at their tender age and encouraged to play the game, they will perform better in their academic career and outshine others – this is a finding of a research study. Many countries have introduced the game of chess as part of their school curriculum and have made it a subject or game that each child should learn and play regularly.

How the game of chess will help children perform well in mathematics? Read on….

One of the important subjects that a child is taught in his schooling days is the subject of mathematics. This is a very important subject and one needs to master it to have a better score in the examinations and also to pursue higher studies.

The importance of the subject of mathematics is that it cannot be learned by memorizing it by heart. If you are learning a subject like history or literature, then it is easy to memorize the lessons, reproduce the things memorized in the examination hall, get enough marks to promote to the next grade. You can safely forget about that subject, because history is not going to help you lead a life unless you want to choose to become a historian or an archeologist.

But that is not case with maths. You cannot just memorize the formulas of algebra, reproduce it in examination and get away. The basics of mathematics such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division needs to be understood thoroughly and will be of use during your lifetime. Memorizing the nuances of mathematics and making use of the same at times of necessity is next to impossible. One needs to understand the concept thoroughly and apply thinking to solve the problems of mathematics.

Thinking, concentration, problem-solving and analytical abilities are the pre-requisites for the game of chess as well. And the good thing is that these good skills are taught in a fun way. Children enjoy the game and as part of their play, they learn these good skills.

Understanding the concepts, applying concentration, attention and analyzing the various types of problems is what is required in mathematics.

Playing chess will not only help children perform better in mathematics, but also teach very important and invaluable lessons to the children. According to research, it has been found that playing chess helps children to develop and enhance their:

  • visual memory
  • attention span
  • spatial reasoning skills
  • capacity to anticipate events
  • capacity to predict events
  • ability to use analytical skills to make decisions, and
  • ability to evaluate alternatives.

Most of these things are used to learn and excel in the subject of mathematics and also to face the problems with confidence and lead a successful life.

Now, teaching children the game of chess and encouraging them to play the game with fun has become much easier, thanks to the advancement of technology and the increased use of the Internet. Online chess helps children learn the game in a playful way with innumerable puzzles and tutorials.

It is true that children would live to play a lot in their young age. Involving in physical exercises, games, and sports activities make their body stronger and healthier. If the game of chess is also taught to the children, their brain would also be exercised and the children will become a healthy one – both physically and mentally, filled with confidence.

Online chess helps improve the skills quickly

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The game of chess is a thinking game. More than providing just fun and entertainment, the game stimulates the mind and trains the mind in such a way that a person can face the life with more confidence, take wise decisions and have a better quality life.

Now with the advent of technology and the spread of Internet at a faster pace across the world, the number of people taking advantage of online chess is on the rise. Online chess has many advantages. There is no need to go in search for a partner as was the case earlier before the advent of Internet.

One more disadvantage in chess in earlier days was that a chess player, in his novice stage, would not get more opportunities to play with other novices and invariably there would be a mismatch between the two players playing in academic and amateur tournaments or games. Lack of encouragement at the early stages of the learning process also diminishes one’s appetite for the game and many people lose out in early stages due to this recurring problem.

It is in this context that online chess comes to the assistance of the chess player. He can find partners across the net at any point of time. He need not worry or go about searching for a partner to play the game. The skill set of the partner can also be decided in advance and such partner who is at par with your skill or slightly better than you can be chosen from the Internet. In this way, you can have a better experience and excitement playing with a player of equal skill than a game involving a mismatch of skill sets.

With online chess, a player can find the right partner to compete with and this helps in a long way in mastering the skills and improvising on the same at a relatively quicker time.

As there is no room for chance, luck or other outside influence in this game, the player will be ultimately responsible for all that he does in the game of chess. If he makes a wrong move or overlooks a threat to one of its pieces, then he is bound to lose that piece and ultimately the game itself.

The onus lies on the player to think, concentrate, calculate, analyze and then make an appropriate move aimed at cornering the opponent’s King. This practice of thinking before acting and taking wise decisions helps a player not only win the game, but also take important and wise decisions at real life. The more one practices the game of chess, the more matured and intelligent he will become in his approach towards the game, and towards the life in general.

Online chess has other advantages as well. The internet is storage for vast number of games played by grandmasters and others and some millions of games are available in the Internet.

A person aspiring to excel in the game of chess, can exploit this vast storage of data in the Internet to look at the great games played by grandmasters since the 1900s when the first professional championship tournaments began up to the latest tournament. Looking at those games, playing out those moves, analyzing the moves and their ultimate objectives will go a long way in helping a player gain the much-needed insight about the game. This will help in understanding the game to its core and help in improving the skills.

How to Find Stronger Opponents

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You now have been playing the game of chess for a few months against your family and friends. You are noticing more and more that you are beating them all and usually for you it no longer requires you to do a lot of thinking and planning on your part when you challenge them to a game.

Congratulations, you are now moving past the point of being a beginning player and now are moving towards the intermediate level of chess. But to keep your interest in chess and continue to increase your skill level, what can one do? Where are other chess players with the same or even greater skill-set as you? The following are three places or areas where you can visit to find a higher caliber of chess player.

For most casual chess competitions, one doesn’t have to look further than their own public park. Many parks offer concrete chessboards, all you need to bring are your own chess pieces. While at the park, other people will want to challenge you. Take them up on it. Many chess masters have gotten their start due to the exposures of varying style of chess play with the different players available. If no chess areas are available at your local park, check your phone book for chess clubs and / or organizations in the surrounding area. Getting in touch with these local chess clubs will help you and introduce you to many other chess lovers in your own vicinity.

When you finally decide that you are ready to try your hand at chess tournaments, always remember if there are any certain “rules” that you need to follow and watch for, as well as paying attention to certain etiquettes associated with the tournaments. One of the most common forms of chess tournament rules is the use of the chess clocks. During a tournament game, players cannot think about their move forever, so types of time limits have been installed to ensure a quicker game play. Using a time clock, a device that contains two clocks will keep track of the amount of time for each player during his or her turn. Typically in tournament play, a player will have a maximum of 30 minutes to finish the entire game. If either player exceeds his or her allotted time, then he or she forfeits the match.

The third way a player can go about and find better opponents is through the internet. Many sites, such as Yahoo, will offer a place on their site where chess players from across the world can meet online and challenge one another to an exciting game of chess. The chess players meet in the “game” section of the website. From there, they click on the link for chess, and they are ready to begin. Playing online has become one of the fastest ways to increase one’s knowledge and tactics for chess. You can literally have a chess game anytime you want—twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. You finally now can have a chess game that finally fits your schedule.

Ye all non-believers, have faith: Chess is an easy game!

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Capablanca (1888 – 1942) was a World Champion from Cuba during 1921 to 1927. In his heyday, he used to play such deceptively simple chess that the game seemed to move ahead all by itself. Capablanca himself probably realized this aspect when he lost his touch in the later period of his life.

But if you play through his games from his better period, you will appreciate the sheer beauty of his play.

Here is a sample from 1935 with Capablanca playing as Black. The first 15 moves were as follows.

1. d4 Nf6
2. c4 e6
3. Nc3 d5
4. Bg5 Be7
5. e3 0-0
6. cxd5 Nxd5
7. Bxe7 Qxe7
8. Nf3 Nxc3
9. bxc3 b6
10. Be2 Bb7
11. 0-0 c5
12. Ne5 Nc6
13. Nxc6 Bxc6
14. Bf3 Rac8
15. a4 cxd4


The position after 15 moves looked like this.


So far things appear to have moved along fairly expected lines though White has played some strategically wrong moves e.g. his KN has made 3 moves to capture Black’s QN which has just made its first move, losing opportunity to retain initiative or to challenge Black’s intended control of c-file with one of his rooks at c1.

But apparently, the position looks equal with neither player having a decided advantage. Would you agree?

But there is some ‘tension’ in the position with the central pawns and the bishops facing each other. The idea of tension as a chess strategy is something we could add to the list of 50 chess strategies as creating and maintaining tension is fairly common when a player defers a possible exchange. The opponent will keep worrying about your intentions or timing and has to keep an eye on the attacked piece lest he loses it at a wrong time. Once the exchange has taken place, the tension in the position is resolved and your opponent is relieved of some burden. Thus maintaining tension is a strategy whereby you inhibit free play by your opponent but go for the exchange when it suits you.

White probably had a plan to move his queen to attack on the left (or did he have weaker nerves?) but by going for the exchange of bishops, he again handed over a tempo to Black who advanced his rook on the go and could now have his rooks doubled on the open c-file, a chess strategy we have discussed.

In line with another chess strategy, Black later takes possession of the 7th row (from his angle) due to White’s unwise Queen moves away from the battle area.

Another defensive strategy we did not discuss is the creation of an escape square for the king when the big guns (Queen and Rooks) start having free play. This is to avoid getting caught on the wrong foot when these pieces can deliver a baseline check. Black’s advance of KNP to g6 takes care of it and without any worries on the weakness created as there is no enemy bishop to take advantage along the black diagonal.

All these take place duting the following moves.

16. cxd4 g6
17. Bxc6 Rxc6
18. Qd3 Qb7
19. Rfb1 Rfc8
20. h3 a6
21. Qa3 Rc2


The position now looks like this.


Black gave an illustrative demonstration of chess strategies (discussed in 50 chess strategies ) for controlling an open file, controlling the 7th row (from his angle), and control of long diagonal (a8-h1) to enemy king’s position by his Queen.

In the above position, White played 22. Qd6 with plans to attack black pawns on a7 and b6, but Black was one step ahead because of earlier gains in tempo. He had also followed the strategy of safeguarding those pawns before launching his attack. While White was concentrating on Black’s pawns, Black’s 22nd move came as a bolt from the blue even though it was a natural outcome of his positional advantages and White should have seen it coming.

22. Qd6 Rxf2
23. Qg3 Re2
24. Resigns


23. Kxf2 only brings 23. … Rc2+ followed by 24. … Qxg2 with mate to follow soon. But the text play only delays the inevitable as White will be forced to exchange rooks to prevent doubling of black rooks on row 2 (by Rc2) which would keep pressure on KNP. Once Black exchanges the big powers, his pawn superiority and White’s scattered pawns in three islands will make Black’s win a technicality!

Was there anything complicated about this chess game?