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Posts Tagged ‘Chess and research’

Digital Time – Boldriaan [schaakkunst.nl]

Ballet dancers – Irma Stern

Flowerseller – Irma Stern

 

The Hunt – Irma Stern



Chess is an art. Chess is a science. Chess is music.  Chess is a game. Chess is cool. Chess is fun. Chess is Chess! There are always people ‘arguing’ about what Chess actually is and I really find these ‘conversations’ [if you can call it a conversation] really boring. I think it’s mainly bored people on chess sites just wasting time around topics like these. The same with ‘men are better than women’ – also one of the most boring topics. Can Chess players not have more intelligent conversations in the Chess forums than these boring topics? – or is it just me in a ‘mood’.[haha]

Here’s some musical fun!  Click on this link for the  FUN  and enjoy! The link will open in a new window and you need to use your mouse to click the rain drops and you create your own melody too.

From a document found on the US Chess_trust site, I’ve copied a few paragraphs, but once again, this is just another ‘confirmation’ of what I’ve said in many entries on my blog before. So much evidence is available – research done by many people in the past and you will find plenty of documents on my blog to support it – to prove the benefits of chess for children and their learning. These quoted paragraphs are just a tiny drop in the bucket of all the evidence available. Whilst it’s Easter Holiday, I feel to take time out to enjoy a ‘trip’ to some fine ‘art galleries’ and fine  ‘music theatres’ of the ‘world’ and would like to share with you Irma Stern’s art. I’ve found you some info about Irma Stern on Wikipedia and her house [now an art gallery-museum]-link can be found near the bottom of this entry too. The three music files are some of my favourite music and it’s by Waldo de los Rios [and his orchestra] and you can read about the Toy Symphony on my blog on the link at the bottom of the entry. [copy/paste the link in your browser]. These files are not complete files – as you will notice. I hope you can hear the clock – at the start of the first file. Haydn’s ‘Clock’. [Turn the volume up if you don’t hear the clock] Lastly, I had to add a file from Mantovani and his orchestra: Elizabeth Serenade

She was born in Schweitzer-Renecke, a small town in the Transvaal, of German-Jewish parents. Her father was interned in a concentration camp by the British during the South African War because of his pro-Boer leanings.[1] Irma and her younger brother, Rudi, were thus taken to Cape Town by their mother. After the war, the family returned to Germany and constant travel. This travel would influence Irma’s work.

In 1913 Stern studied art in Germany at the Weimar Academy, in 1914 at the Levin-Funcke Studio and notably from 1917 with Max Pechstein, a founder of the Novembergruppe. Stern was associated with the German Expressionist painters of this period. She held her first exhibition in Berlin in 1919. In 1920 Stern returned to Cape Town with her family where she was first derided and dismissed as an artist before becoming an established artist by the 1940s.

In 1926 she married Dr Johannes Prinz her former tutor, who subsequently became professor of German at the University of Cape Town. They were divorced in 1934.

Irma Stern travelled extensively in Europe and explored Southern Africa, Zanzibar and the Congo region. These trips provided a wide range of subject matter for her paintings and gave her opportunities to acquire and assemble an eclectic collection of artifacts for her home. Stern was to travel extensively in her lifetime: in 1930 to Madeira, in 1937 and 1938 to Dakar, Senegal, 1939 Zanzibar, 1942 Congo, 1945 Zanzibar, 1946 Central Africa, 1952 Madeira, 1955 Congo, 1960 Spain and 1963 France. Stern travelled extensively in South Africa, for example in 1926 to Swaziland and Pondoland, in 1933 to Namaqaland, in 1936 generally, and in 1941 to the Eastern Cape. In 1931 she visited Madeira and Dakar, Senegal, in 1937 and 1938. Irma Stern refused to either travel or exhibit in Germany during the period 1933 – 1945. Instead, she undertook several exotic journeys into Africa; going to Zanzibar twice in 1939 and 1945 and then planned three trips to the Congo region in 1942, 1946 and 1955. These expeditions resulted in a wealth of artistic creativity and energy as well as the publication of two illustrated journals; Congo published in 1943 and Zanzibar in 1948.

Almost one hundred solo exhibitions were held during her lifetime both in South Africa and Europe: including Germany, France, Italy and England. Although accepted in Europe, her work was unappreciated at first in South Africa where critics derided her early exhibitionsin the 1920s with reviews titled “Art of Miss Irma Stern – Ugliness as a cult”.

The Irma Stern Museum was established in 1971 and is the house the artist lived in for almost four decades. She moved into The Firs in Rondebosch in 1927 and lived there until her death. Several of the rooms are furnished as she arranged them while upstairs there is a commercial gallery used by contemporary South African artists.

On the 8th of May 2000, one of her works sold at Sotheby’s South Africa in Johannesburg for an all time record of R1.7 million.[2] This record was soon broken, however, and in March 2007 Stern’s work was sold for R6.6 million.[3] Stern’s Gladioli was sold for an all-time high of R13.3 million in October 2010[4], but was then followed by the sale of Bahora Girl for R26.7 million later that month[5] – both were also records for sales of South African art at the time.

Quote from the Chess document, you can find it at the end of the entry. It is a PDF document and will open in a new window.

Chess clearly is a problem-solving tool, an “ideal way to study decision-making and problemsolving because it is a closed system with clearly defined rules” (Horgan, 1988). When faced with a problem, the first step is to “analyze [it] in a preliminary and impressionistic way: sizing up the problem” (Horgan, 1988, p. 3), possibly looking for patterns or similarity to
previous experiences. “Similarity judgements may involve high levels of abstract reasoning” (Horgan, 1988, p. 3)

When faced with a problem, the first step is to “analyze [it] in a preliminary and impressionistic way: sizing up the problem” (Horgan, 1988, p. 3), possibly looking for patterns or similarity to previous experiences. “Similarity judgements may involve high levels of abstract reasoning”
(Horgan, 1988, p. 3). As in mathematics, which might be defined as the study of patterns, pattern recognition in chess is of prime importance in problem solving. After recognizing similarity and pattern, a global strategy can be developed to solve the problem. This involves generating alternatives, a creative process. A good chess player, like a good problem solver, has “acquired a vast number of interrelated schemata” (Horgan, 1988, p. 3), allowing for good alternatives to quickly and easily come to mind. These alternatives must then be evaluated, using a process of calculation known
as decision tree analysis, where the chess player/problem solver is calculating the desirability of future events based on the alternative being analyzed. Horgan (1988) found that “the calculation may go several to eight or ten moves ahead. This stage requires serious concentration and
memory abilities…[or]…visual imagery” (p.4).

The mathematics curriculum in New Brunswick, Canada, is a text series called “Challenging Mathematics” which uses chess to teach logic from grades 2 to 7. Using this curriculum, the average problem-solving score of pupils in the province increased from 62% to 81%.

Click on the following link Why Chess to read more to convince yourself why Chess is so important for children to develop their thinking/reasoning skills at a young age.

http://www.irmasternmuseum.com/artist.htm

https://chessaleeinlondon.wordpress.com/2008/07/31/waldo-de-los-rios/

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This document- benefitsofchessinedscreen2 -has got all the information you’re looking for. The benefits of chess and also research that was done. The link will open in a new window.

CHESS IMPROVES ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
Chess has long been recognized throughout the world as a builder of strong intellects, but only recently has the United States begun to recognize chess’s ability to improve the cognitive abilities, rational thinking and reasoning of even the least promising children. Chess brings out latent abilities that have not been reached by traditional educational means. It promotes logical thinking, instills a sense of selfconfidence, and self-worth, improves communication and pattern recognition skills. It teaches the values of hard work, concentration, objectivity, and, commitment. As former World Chess Champion Emmanuel Lasker said, “On the chessboard lies and hypocrisy do not survive long.”

….in chess, unlike in many other sports, you don’t ever have to retire. Age is also not a factor when you’re looking for an opponent –young can play old and old can play young.
Chess develops memory. The chess theory is complicated and many players memorize different opening variations. You will also learn to recognize various patterns and remember lengthy variations.
Chess improves concentration. During the game you are focused on only one main goal — to checkmate and become the victor.
Chess develops logical thinking. Chess requires some understanding of logical strategy. For example, you will know that it is important to bring your pieces out into the game at the beginning, to keep your king safe at all times, not to make big weaknesses in your position and not to blunder your pieces away for free. (Although you will find yourself doing that occasionally through your chess career. Mistakes are inevitable and chess, like life, is a never-ending learning process.)
Chess promotes imagination and creativity. It encourages you to be inventive. There are an indefinite amount of beautiful combinations yet to be constructed.
Chess teaches independence. You are forced to make important decisions influenced
only by your own judgment.
Chess develops the capability to predict and foresee consequences of actions. It teaches you to look both ways before crossing the street.
Chess inspires self-motivation. It encourages the search of the best move, the best plan, and the most beautiful continuation out of the endless possibilities. It encourages the everlasting aim towards progress, always steering to ignite the flame of victory.
Chess shows that success rewards hard work. The more you practice, the better you’ll become. You should be ready to lose and learn from your mistakes. One of the greatest players ever, Capablanca said, “You may learn much more from a game you lose than from a game you win. You will have to lose hundreds of games before becoming a good player.”
Chess and Science. Chess develops the scientific way of thinking. While playing, you generate numerous variations in your mind. You explore new ideas, try to predict their outcomes and interpret surprising revelations. You decide on a hypothesis, and then you make your move and test it.
Chess and Technology. What do chess players do during the game? Just like computers they engage in a search for the better move in a limited amount of time. What are you doing right now? You are using a computer as a tool for learning.
Chess and Mathematics. You don’t have to be a genius to figure this one out. Chess involves an infinite number of calculations, anything from counting the number of attackers and defenders in the event of a simple exchange to calculating lengthy continuations. And you use your head to calculate, not some little machine.
Chess and Research. There are millions of chess resources out there for every aspect of the game. You can even collect your own chess library. In life, is it important to know how to find, organize and use boundless amounts of information. Chess gives you a perfect example and opportunity to do just that.
Chess and Art. In the Great Soviet Encyclopedia chess is defined as “an art appearing in the form of a game.” If you thought you could never be an artist, chess proves you wrong. Chess enables the artist hiding within you to come out. Your imagination will run wild with endless possibilities on the 64 squares. You will paint pictures in your mind of ideal positions and perfect outposts for your soldiers. As a chess artist you will have an original style and personality.
Chess and Psychology. Chess is a test of patience, nerves, will power and concentration. It enhances your ability to interact with other people. It tests your sportsmanship in a competitive environment.
Chess improves schoolwork and grades. Numerous studies have proven that kids obtain a higher reading level, math level and a greater learning ability overall as a result of playing chess. For all those reasons mentioned above and more, chess playing kids do better at school and therefore have a better chance to succeed in life.
Chess opens up the world for you. You don’t need to be a high ranked player to enter big important competitions. Even tournaments such as the US Open and the World Open welcome players of all strengths. Chess provides you with plenty of opportunities to travel not only all around the country but also around the world. Chess is a universal language and you can communicate with anyone over the checkered plain.
Chess enables you to meet many interesting people. You will make life-long friendships with people you meet through chess.
Chess is cheap. You don’t need big fancy equipment to play chess. In fact, all you may need is your computer! (And we really hope you have one of those, or else something fishy is going on here.) It is also good to have a chess set at home to practice with family members, to take to a friend’s house or even to your local neighborhood park to get everyone interested in the game.
CHESS IS FUN! Dude, this isn’t just another one of those board games. No chess game ever repeats itself, which means you create more and more new ideas each game. It never gets boring. You always have so much to look forward to. Every game you are the general of an army and you alone decide the destiny of your soldiers. You can sacrifice them, trade them, pin them, fork them, lose them, defend them, or order them to break through any barriers and surround the enemy king. You’ve got the power!

On this link on my blog you can read more about chess and maths… https://chessaleeinlondon.wordpress.com/2007/08/28/maths-and-chess/

On this next link…how your kids can work with money when they know everything about chess..

https://chessaleeinlondon.wordpress.com/2007/12/30/teach-your-kids-chessand-they-know-how-to-work-with-money/

Celone (2001) “Chess significantly increased student scores in non-verbal intelligence, which reflected increased abilities in abstract reasoning and problem solving.”

Smith and Sullivan (1997) “Chess education has a substantial positive effect on analytical thinking skills which are important in math, engineering and the physical sciences. The impact was particularly strong among girls.”

Rifner (1992) “Problem solving skills that chess teaches will transfer to tasks in other academic domains, including reading comprehension and math, and to enhanced performance on standardized tests of academic achievement.”

Van Zyl (1991)(South Africa) “Chess nourishes latent learning abilities, and reinforces skills in logical and abstract thinking, impulse control, endurance and determination. This was manifest as a significant improvement in both verbal and non-verbal IQ scores after three years of chess instruction.”

Liptrap (1997). “Students receiving chess instruction scored significantly higher in standardized tests of both math and reading.”

 Chess is fast track to brainier kids
Hero of US movie teaches local schools the art

April 10, 2006 Edition 1

Robyn Cohen

Fifteen years ago, David MacEnulty began teaching chess at a school in the South Bronx in New York. His students – many came from unstable backgrounds – not only turned into champions but developed self-esteem and excelled in their careers after leaving school.

MacEnulty’s experiences are fictionalised in Knights of the South Bronx, a film starring Ted Danson, which premiered on American TV late last year.

David MacEnulty is the author of three books, published by Random House: The Chess Kids Book of Tactics, The Chess Kids Book of the King and Pawn Endgame, and The Chess Kids Book of Checkmate.

He has written six e-books (two in collaboration with grandmaster Miron Sher) for the Official US Chess Federation Software and produced three videos of chess instruction.

David Berman, a South African who lives in New York for nine months of the year, saw the film in the US. Berman, who is a hedge fund manager, lives in Bantry Bay with his family for the rest of the time. Somehow, between the deal making and commuting between the Big Apple and Mother City, he also finds time for chess.

He is passionate about the game and has taught his children to play from a young age. Shortly after seeing Knights of the South Bronx on TV, he was at a chess tournament in which his son Yaakov was playing.

Someone pointed out MacEnulty: “You see that guy over there – he is the one in the film.” Berman promptly invited MacEnulty to Cape Town – “to go to the beach, maybe play a little chess”. That meeting grew exponentially to a chess road show in our city which has sparked an excited reaction from children and staff at local schools.

The film was screened at the Labia in Orange Street and received standing ovations. Schools phoned the two Davids begging them to visit.

During their two weeks in Cape Town, they went to about 20 schools; sometimes with 300-400 pupils attending. They went to private and disadvantaged schools; addressed student and staff bodies after screening the film and answered questions.

The response was “unbelievable” – with children and teachers clamouring for more. They want chess at school.

Berman’s motivation in bringing MacEnultyto Cape Town? His reason, he said, was to produce “conclusive evidence that chess makes kids smarter. It enhances creativity, problem solving, memory, concentration, self-esteem, maturity and other abilities that a parent or teacher would desire”.

I attended a screening at a school in the southern suburbs and, despite poor sound and picture quality and constant interruptions, the children were riveted.

It is a classic story of triumph over adversity with chess as the ticket out of a life with limited prospects.

MacEnulty as mentor and teacher extraordinaire provided a catalyst, motivating children to excel at chess and apply their newly acquired self-esteem to other aspects of their lives.

After the screening, MacEnulty answered questions. In the flesh he is even more charismatic than Ted Danson and it is easy to see why this dynamic teacher has inspired so many children to stretch their brains in directions they had never considered possible.

He also has a terrific sense of humour. The film, he admits, is a somewhat fictionalised account of the facts. In real life, it took his team years to get to championship status – not the one year depicted in the film.

There’s a moving scene in the film where a child plays chess with his dad who is in prison. This did not happen in real life. The jails were far away, but it is true that several of the children had parents behind bars.

The characters are largely composites of the real-life children he taught. But, as with the real life children, he had to teach the child actors how to play chess. As to whether his wife is still moaning about his life as a lowly substitute teacher (as depicted in the film): “Well, let’s put it this way, I no longer have a wife.”

In the film he is a corporate type who has ended up in the Bronx as a substitute teacher, but the real MacEnulty was employed as chess coach. He has also been an actor and musician.

Still, it makes for a compelling film and the star is undoubtedly chess – which is the bottom line. It gets the message across, loud and clear, and children throughout city schools are buying into the prospect of getting into this game.

That is good news for parents and teachers. Research indicates that chess accelerates learning skills in a huge way. The two Davids cited a number of dazzling statistics showing chess can improve IQ and comprehension retention rates.

They were results of a survey undertaken by the America’s Foundation for Chess (AF4C). Numerous studies confirm the benefits of chess instruction on students and academic performance, especially maths and reading. The studies all pointed out that “there is a positive effect of chess on intellectual achievement; not a single report fails to find such a connection”.

The researchers investigated and documented the impact of chess on a broad spectrum of academic areas: improved performance by students of diverse ages, intellectual abilities, economic and cultural backgrounds.

Chess, they report, has made a difference to children all over the world. For example, Smith and Cage (2000) observed southern, rural, black, secondary school students and found students who were taught chess scored “significantly higher on all measures of academic achievement, including math, spatial analysis, and non-verbal reasoning ability”.

Closer to home, there is Van Zyl (1991), who studied South African high school students. After three years of chess instruction, he concluded that there was a “significant improvement in both verbal and non-verbal IQ scores”.

He surmised that “chess nourishes latent learning abilities and reinforces skills in logical and abstract thinking, impulse control, endurance and determination”. The studies cited in this survey are impressive.

As a parent, it seems we all need to get wise to the benefits of chess. That is easier said than done. Our children’s concentration spans are often ambushed by TV, cellphones and other distractions.

Let’s face it, it is easier to switch on the telly than to haul out a chess board. Not all of us know how to play. “You don’t know how to play – why should we?” chorus the children – and they are correct.

As with everything, it is not enough to extol the virtues of a topic. It has to be presented in a way which makes it exciting.

Take the following example: My husband taught our children (then in grade 1 and 2) the rudiments of the game and they loved it. They attended sessions with chess whiz kids at their school and had a great time. The young teachers – national champions – gave prizes to their students which added to the excitement.

It ended when the young mentors were unable to continue due to their schedules at middle school.

My daughters learnt chess at school, but soon gave up. Why? It was boring. The teaching lacked the buzz they had been accustomed to. Chess was not part of the curriculum. It was the grudge activity where pariahs hung out because they had no one else to play with at break. Or that was the perception.

In actual fact, there were some seriously good players at the school but it seems that if you were a newcomer, this wasn’t an exciting gig.

I have seen children playing the game at home, but they would not go near a board at school because it wasn’t cool; because the teacher shouted or because they felt inadequate, playing with the brains of the school.

It seems this is not uncommon. Berman e-mailed comments to me from Peter, a SA chess coach who cautions: “Just a warning: I see the old disease of schools supporting only the top 15 players and maybe a few reserves. Chess is for all; it is a language; it helps all pupils to bring order into their academic careers and speed.”

Indeed, chess teachers need to take cognisance of the abilities of all students and need to frame the learning process as an exciting adventure – just as MacEnulty has done at the schools he has taught at in the Bronx and elsewhere.

There is a need to train the trainer. Berman is doing everything in his power to get MacEnulty back in town during the winter holidays (June/July) to run programmes with teachers.

The long-term goal would be to get chess into schools as part of the curriculum – taught during school hours. Chess is for all and with that in mind, they are hoping to get funding so the game can benefit all children.

Berman is also keen on twinning schools to encourage social interaction. A programme like this takes funding, and Berman is hedging his moves and encouraging corporations and others to make some good financial moves in getting chess into action at curriculum level.

The day after watching the film and hearing MacEnulty speak, my daughters and their friends hauled out the chess board and dusted it off. They played a game on Saturday evening which went on for hours. They were all exhausted and remarked that it was a jol, but that they were tired – their brains were sore.

Source:http://www.capetimes.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=272&fArticleId=3197176


Image from the movie: Knights of the South Bronx

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