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Chess is Life

Updated on November 8, 2014

Chess club

When my boys were younger we signed them up for chess club. Here they learned the specifics of the game, competition and a bit of patience. There was different skills to master, different levels to move up to and some fun competitions to win along the way. And although my children were not prodigys, nor did they become chess masters they did enjoy their time in the world of chess.

picture from wikimedia commons
picture from wikimedia commons

An introduction to chess

Chess is a two-player game played on a checkerboard. It is a game of strategy using 16 pieces each (pawns, rooks, knights, bishops, a king and a queen). Each piece moves differently on the board with the goal to attack and capture the opponents pieces and finally causing no escape for the king which would be a checkmate.

The first world chess champion was Wilhelm Steinitz who claimed the title in 1886.

Bobby Fischer who did not discover chess, nor was he the first champion, is widely considered the greatest of all grandmasters. Bobby brought "life" to the game of chess.

picture from wikimedia commons
picture from wikimedia commons

Bobby Fischer

Robert James Fischer, “Bobby”, was preoccupied with the game of chess since the age of six. To him, chess was life. When he became the world champion, chess became the game to play. Bobby had introduced the sport of thinking into American culture.

photo by Sandra Wilson
photo by Sandra Wilson

A Chess Set

When Bobby was six, he received a chess game as a gift. He taught himself the game from the instructions in the box. For many years he played chess and he lost. But, in 1958 when he was fourteen years old, Bobby won the U.S. chess championship and became the youngest ever to win that title. Bobby followed that win with eight more U.S. championship titles.

picture from wikimedia commons
picture from wikimedia commons


In 1972 Bobby played Russian Boris Spassky for the world championship. It became an America versus Russia title bout. Many people who once considered chess boring found themselves rooting in front of their television screens. Bobby won that bout and reigned as world champion for the next three years.

photo by Sandra Wilson
photo by Sandra Wilson

The value of learning chess

It is believed that chess can be used as a learning tool, to increase higher level thinking skills, advance math and reading skills, and build self-confidence.

Chess can help children develop thinking skills by understanding where to not move their piece, or the best way to attack their opponent and even how to get out of check.

The chess board can offer a lesson in coordinates since each square is identified by a letter and number.

It offers a science experiment of hypotheses and tests with each game played.

It is a history lesson as chess was developed in India over 1500 years ago and was predominantly played during the Middle Ages.

Predicting outcomes and recognizing the interaction of characters in chess can develop into reading comprehension as well.

Chess, which is usually associated with intelligence can be a self-confidence booster for those children who learn the game and then are in the bracket of smart thinkers.

Chess can also level the playing field amongst children, adults, race, religion and more because on the chessboard, everyone is equal.

Above all, Chess is a game, and is fun which can make children realize that learning can be fun.

About the author

Sandra Wilson

I am an experienced home educator with a passion for writing. Joining together these two passions I create interesting unit studies for my children, and now for yours!

I am owner and operator of an educational resource centre where our focus is making learning fun!

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    • lclchors profile image

      lclchors 5 years ago

      It is neat you are already teaching your boys