28 August 2016

Does Chess.com Make You Smarter?

In my previous 'chess in schools' (CIS) post, 'Chess in Primary Schools' Studied, I promised to 'take a closer look at the EEF study', where EEF stands for the U.K. based Education Endowment Foundation. First, here's a recent video from Chess.com's Youtube channel.

Does Chess Make Kids Smarter? With GM Ian Rogers (3:06) • 'Renowned chess journalist and grandmaster Ian Rogers gives his two cents on the recent UK study that suggests chess does not improve math skills among kids.'

This links to another Chess.com video, ChessCenter: Does Chess Make You Smarter?, where the title covers a few minutes of discussion between IM Daniel Rensch and WFM Alexandra Botez starting at 6:20 into the clip. The commentators ask viewers to leave a comment on the survey question 'Do you think chess makes you smarter?'. (I recently featured the series in a Video Friday post, Chess.com's ChessCenter, June 2016).

GM Rogers penned a corresponding article on Chess.com, titled School Chess Fails PR Test, where he started,

Boris Gelfand’s musings in a recent interview on the benefits of children playing chess for its own sake - “Only a fraction will play professionally, but the rest will acquire the skill of strategic planning and the habit of thinking, taking responsibility for their actions and respecting their opponent; very useful skills.” - has proven remarkably prescient.

The original Gelfand interview can be found at Gelfand on missing the Baku Olympiad (chess24.com; 2 July 2016). As if all that weren't enough, Chess.com has another comments-only forum post, Playing chess doesn't make your children any smarter, study finds, which starts with a copy of the Telegraph article (13 July) that I referenced in my previous post. Of course, Chess.com isn't the only chess organization looking at the EEF study: more about that in my next post.

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