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Posts Tagged ‘chess research’

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I had no intention to blog about what you’re going to read in this post. My intention was to blog about the type of chess player you might be – do you see yourself in one of the photos in the above image? –  and to put the question to you: What kind of chess player are you? Do you think carefully about your move…do you make the move instantly?…Are you a careless player? There are many more questions I could have asked you – I think you know them all. Maybe the picture ties in- in some way – with what I’ve found and which I want to share with you.

In my SEARCH  I came across this link and thought to add the information- for readers who haven’t read it before or haven’t read something similar on my blog before. The next question is: Have you got what it takes to be a chess player? [a serious chess player – I might add] Even children sometimes turn up in large groups very eager to play/learn and then discover that chess is actually not for them – or not what they thought it is all about. At the bottom of this entry you’ll find a link to an entry on my blog about Chess Personalities and a link to Brunel University about research they’ve done. Enjoy the reading from the above link quoted:

Traits of a Good Chessplayer
Quote of the Month: Not all highly intelligent people play chess well, and not everyone who plays chess well is highly intelligent (although if you ask them…!) A beginner often wonders if he has what it takes to become proficient at the Royal Game. The answer is that there are many aspects of intelligence and personality that correlate with the potential to become a good chess player. Almost everyone realizes that a lot of hard work will be necessary to climb the ladder of chess success, and few want to put in many hours of work with little prospects for reward. Knowing that you have some of the requisite talents is always helpful in keeping up your spirits. Several lists of applicable chess traits have been published, so I thought it would be fun to give it a Novice Nook spin. I have separated the traits into four groups:
“IQ” Aspects
Physical Traits
Personality Traits
Emotional Traits
…but there is quite a bit of overlap, so these are really just rough groupings. “IQ” Aspects
Memory – The ability to remember things is certainly a “no-brainer”, insofar as being helpful for chess. First there is the obvious ability to retain more chess patterns and what you know about them, including opening and endgame knowledge, tactical positions and ideas, positional maneuvers. In addition, there is also everything else you “know” about chess – including guidelines, how to handle a six-hour World Open game, and the information in Novice Nook. The better the memory, the better you can store the information and retrieve it quickly and accurately. It is also well documented that memory is not as sharp when you get older, so age does degrade this ability. Note: “Knowledge” is not an ability, but it is the information you retain better with a good memory. It is also worth noting that knowledge is not correlated one-to-one with your playing strength; for example, a player who reads more books and retains more knowledge is not always better than one who has read much less. As one of my chess friends once said, “Never confuse ignorance with stupidity” – the corollary being “Never confuse knowledge with intelligence.”

Spatial Relationships – I call the special vision which enables one to
understand what is happening on a chessboard “Board Vision”. But the
general ability to process spatial relationships is more than just that chessspecific skill; it is the capability to see and/or imagine what is happening in two or three dimensions. An example of how this is tested would be the type of IQ test question where they show you an unfolded cube and you are asked to fold it in your head and select which of four folded cubes could be created from the fold. The ability to visualize geometric patterns is valuable in chess when you are trying to look ahead and imagine a possibly occurring position. An example of an error using this ability would be a “retained image” – when you fail to see that a piece has moved off its square and you visualize it doing something on a later move when, in fact, if that line were actually played that piece would no longer be there!

Deductive Logic – This is the “If A implies B and B implies C, then A
implies C” type of logic. In chess you need deductive logic to figure out what
is forced and what is not. For example, during analysis of a position you need to be able to look at a move and deduce something like “Because of so-and so, if my opponent does not stop my killer move (or whatever), then I can do this, so he must make move A or move B to prevent it or else I win.” A common deductive error would be assuming your opponent will make a move that you think is forced when in fact another move is better. Of all the skills in chess, I believe that this one is perhaps the most popularly recognized by the general public. Your deductive logic is another part of the thinking process that slows as you get older.

Physical Traits
Concentration – Playing chess correctly requires a lot of thought(!) The
better able you are to concentrate and focus your thoughts on the task at hand, the better. If your mind is wandering – even thinking about a mistake you made earlier in the game – that can only hurt you. Lack of concentration
detracts from your ability to perform from the task at hand, which is usually
finding the best move in the current position within the given time available.

Stamina – This is the physical ability to sit and play without excessive
tiredness or fatigue throughout not just a long game, but possibly even a long series of games in a tournament or match. One of the problems older players have is lack of stamina; they get tired more easily. You can increase your stamina by eating and drinking correctly before and during a long game, getting proper rest, and entering the event in good shape. That is why it is helpful to have an aerobic sport, like tennis, jogging, or swimming, to
augment your chess lifestyle – these are beneficial for your non-chess
welfare, too!

Nerves – In the course of chess history, it has been stated about several toplevel grandmasters that were not serious World Champion candidates because they did not have the nerves for top-level play. Playing chess for fun is one thing, but playing for your livelihood – or your place in history – is quite another. It requires strong nerves to play chess at the highest level, but having “bad nerves” affects your play negatively at any level.

Personality Traits
Carefulness – Of all the traits that make for a good chess player, one of the
most important is the ability to take your time on each move and try to find
the best one. And of the personality traits that support this ability, being
careful is the key trait. Interestingly, one can be too careful and, in that case,
you may even be afraid to move for fear of making a mistake. This fear
inevitably leads to time trouble, requiring fast moves and resulting in even
bigger mistakes than the ones you had been avoiding by taking 12 minutes
instead of 6. Therefore, the best chess players are the ones that are careful, but not pathologically so. It should be noted that players who are not naturally careful in life can learn to be careful in chess! I have seen several players who were able to overcome their natural tendencies, but of course to do so one has to feel strongly that it is worth the special effort!

Caring – This trait is different than carefulness, and is actually more closely
related to some of the emotional traits below. You want to care about your
move, your result, your rating, and your reputation, but not too much. If you don’t care at all, you won’t work to improve it/them, and if you take these too personally then chess becomes too involved with your personal image and you will find it hard to take the necessary risks to play and improve.

Determination – This is one area in which I score well. I will not stop at
something until I get it right. My wife thinks I am a little nutty because I once took almost a year on the same tough cryptogram – I would not skip it or take a hint or look up the answer. She is right, of course, but that same
determination paid me good dividends when I wanted to become an expert, a master, and get my FIDE rating (back in the days when you had to have a
FIDE rating of at least 2205 to get one). One should differentiate game-time
determination to obtain the maximal outcome (“will to win” or “fighting
spirit”) with the longer-term career goal determination to do whatever it takes to become the best player you can. During a simultaneous exhibition at a local high school, I once met a student who, when he found out I was a chess master, said “Really? Wow! That’s cool. I live for chess.” I was a little
amazed by this pronouncement, so I said, “If you live for chess, then why
don’t you play in tournaments? For example, come a few miles down the road and play in some of the big events at the Adam’s Mark Hotel.” His
disappointing reply, “Oh no! I couldn’t possibly do that!” I guess that makes
him like a kid who lives for baseball but cannot possibly think of playing in
Little League! His answer was not a mark of determination!
Note: “Killer-instinct” is not the same as “fighting spirit”. Killer-instinct is an
intense desire to either beat down the opponent, or at least finish off a won
game. Good chess players seem to have either one of two special traits: killer
instinct or expert problem solvers. Without one of those two traits it is hard to have the determination and perseverance to play hard each move, game after game. I am more the problem solver type – I want to find the best move each and every time and I am not trying to wound my opponent’s ego.

Perseverance – This trait is similar to determination, but it represents not the will to do well, but the ability to carry on that will despite whatever
roadblocks are presented: lack of time to play and study, unexpected and
unnerving losses, the skepticism of others, etc. Again, there is short-term
game-time perseverance and the more common long-term career goal
perseverance. Surprisingly, I find a lot of students who have the
determination (otherwise they would not hire me as their chess coach), but
lack the perseverance – they want quicker results than is possible, get
discouraged at the inevitable setbacks, and cannot maintain their chess
determination for the years that are required to reach their lofty goals. Since
extensive chess progress can only be measured in years, it is not surprising
that many players cannot persevere in what it takes to maintain improvement over that time period. Note: I did not forget “Willpower”, but it is mostly contained within determination and perseverance.

Capability to overcome natural shortcomings for the good of your chess
play – This is a special type of trait which enables you to not dwell or be held
back by any shortcomings you have, but to be able to rise above them due to your strong desire to play well and improve. Almost every player thinks, “I’m not this or I am not that.” Everyone has shortcomings in one area or
another. No one has a great memory and great deductive logic and great
nerves and everything else – even the Fischers and Kasparovs are not perfect (but they are a lot closer than the rest of us!) However, some players let their concern about these shortcomings hold them back. Further, in some cases, these shortcomings can mostly be overcome by will. For example, suppose you are naturally impatient or not very careful. It still may be possible, when sitting down at the chessboard, to say to yourself, “OK, I am naturally impatient (or not careful), but if I am going to play good chess I have to take my time on every move and be very careful on every move or else I can let the game slip away just by that one bad move.” If you are able to say this to yourself, you may be able to overcome your natural impatience for the good of your game. Once you get in the habit of consistently practicing correctly, then it becomes easier and easier, despite any natural tendencies otherwise.

Confidence – Like many of these other traits, either extreme is bad: too much confidence is overconfidence, which often leads to carelessness, or lack of respect for the opponent. On the other hand, if you play with lack of
confidence your results will surely suffer. Chess is a mental sport, and one’s
lack of confidence often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Let me augment
this observation with a brief story: As a teenager I had a friend who played
regularly and studied chess diligently. For example, in the openings he
learned the English and the Caro-Kann. But in tournaments his low rated
opponents did not play into his study lines and he suffered from very poor
results, getting an 1100 rating based on several events. He then quit playing.
Ten years later he had not played nor picked up a chess book, but asked to
play in one of my invitational round robin tournaments, filled with players
rated 1300-1500. Despite not having played in a decade and being the lowest rated player, he finished in second place with a performance rating of almost 1700. I asked him how this was possible. He said that maturity made the difference – he no longer worried about what his opponents were doing and just enjoyed playing. Whereas before he doubted his ability and was affected by his opponent’s weird play, now he was confident that he could just play well and do the best he can. So the extra 500 points or so of playing strength was almost all due to his new-found confidence and lack of worry.

Awareness – A player who can keep his awareness and be cognizant of what
is important has a big advantage. For example, when an experienced player
starts to realize that the time is running short and time management is
becoming a bigger and bigger part of the play, he has an advantage over an
opponent who either is not as aware of the importance of this change, or is so but does not change his priorities. Similarly, being aware of possibilities, such as unexpected opponent blunders, or sudden changes in the phase of the game, is a distinct asset.

Flexibility – In a similar manner to awareness, flexibility of plan and action is a big asset. If you are not flexible enough to adapt to the change in state, then being aware of that state is not much use. It is also very important to be
flexible in your learning. This flexibility is related to the next trait, openmindedness.
Open-Mindedness – The ability to listen and to consider new ideas (or
realize that the old ones you have are at least somewhat misbegotten), is very important. It is very difficult to learn if you “know” you are right or not open to new ideas, or possibilities of what you are doing wrong. A brilliant,
stubborn beginner probably will never get past the beginner stage since it will be very difficult to learn from his mistakes, even (or especially!) if they are pointed out to him. The good news is that in chess if you are not very openminded you tend to retard your own progress. Therefore, if you can recognize the cause of this lack of progress, it may jar you out of your complacency.

Emotional Traits
Ability to deal with losses as a learning tool – This is a very important
indicator of how good a chess player someone is going to become. Suppose a player take losses so hard and personally that you can’t speak to them and they don’t want to review or think about the game. Then not only will they not be able to optimally learn from those losses, but eventually the realization that they are going to lose thousands of games in order to become a good player will wear them down. At the other extreme we have someone who doesn’t care at all if they lose – they, like the tough loser, will also not review their games, because “it is just a game” and why should they spend effort to avoid repetition of their cause of defeat if it does not matter? These players are doomed to repeat their mistakes over and over and never get much better. The best outlook is somewhat in between: you cannot take your losses too personally but you have to be the type who vows never to lose the same way twice. A player who takes great interest in their shortcomings and studies them in such a way as to minimize the chance of recurrence will usually be much better than the players who are at each extreme.

Pride in your moves and your reputation – I think this trait is a little
underrated. Players who take pride in each move have an advantage over players who are don’t care that much about each move. These latter players are often surprised when I ask them about what considerations went into a particular move, as if to say “Why should you care? It is not that important to me” or “This is just a medium speed internet game – why should I try my best?” But almost all strong players share the concern that they put in the proper effort on each move (time permitting) and try to reach the correct decision, or at least do the best they can. Can you imagine Garry Kasparov annotating one of his games and writing, “I made this move without much thought – I really didn’t care if it was a good one or not”?!
Ability to deal with setbacks, bad moves – This is different than
perseverance, which enables you to maintain your will after setbacks of any type. Perseverance is therefore part of this trait, but not the only part. For example, the ability to maintain equanimity – not lose your cool – when things have gone wrong, is important. Players who get upset and let previous moves affect their judgment of the current move, or even think about the previous move instead the current move, are almost making a big mistake. Playing chess is fun – This is the most common trait shared by chess players. Humans who lack this trait may become good scientists, doctors, lawyers, engineers, golfers, bridge players, video game champions, businessmen, or whatever, but they won’t become good chess players. Studying chess is fun – This is the flip side of the previous trait: take random chess players at a chess club and hand them Capablanca’s Best Games and ask them to read it, a certain percentage will decline and the rest will gladly accept. The ones that accept almost always find that doing chess work is fun. Assuming they have not already read this book and that no extraneous factors are at work, the ones that decline usually like to play chess, but find the studying side tedious. When I work with beginning chess players of all ages, this is one of the first things I notice: everyone wants to get better, but only the ones who find doing the “work” side fun will ever have a chance of getting anywhere. No matter how much the others are determined to get better, they can never overcome the fact that doing the “unfun” work on a hobby like chess cannot last very long.

Coachability – Despite some fiction to the contrary, no one becomes really good at chess in isolation. Many factors, including some of the above, can contribute to this trait. A player might have many reasons they are less coachable: bad listening skills, stubbornness, know-it-all, doesn’t care enough, lack of maturity, or just believes that books alone can make him a great player. In any case, coachable players obviously have an advantage in the long run.

Conclusion
Next time you run into someone who says, “So-and-so is really smart – he would make a good chess player”, consider how well that person fits some of the above, “non-IQ” criteria. And how well did you score? If you were above average on most of the critical requirements, that may mean that you have a promising career ahead – assuming you are not damagingly low on a couple of others! A player is usually only as good as his weakest link will allow him to be.


Click HERE to read about Chess Personalities and research done by Brunel University. The link will open in a new window.

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chess girl

Chess and your personality
chess personality king's gambit

[All links in this post will open in a new window.] Have you thought about the chess openings you like and think that it might be that you prefer certain openings – as those openings just feel like it is “you” – like your personality. You feel you associate yourself with certain openings or you feel like you’re in your own “comfort zone” when playing those openings? Well, that’s me. I think I’m that type of player playing most of the time certain openings. The silly quiz I’ve taken said I’m a  King’s Gambit-person, but I stronly disagree. I looked at a few of my chess games and I’m certainly not the King’s Gambit-player-type …in the games I’ve been looking at. In most of the games I looked at, the Indian Opening or Philidors Defence were the most common, but again, I only looked at about 10 of my previous of about 5000 games.  If you take the quiz, you will not be told what type of personality you’ve got, only the type of opening. Click here for the quiz. Bear in mind, this quiz has for sure been drawn up by some wandering, loose pawn-on-the-run and not by an educated Bishop… or a Knight with a black belt…haha…in all of these games’ graphics of my games, I played the colour nearest to you, i.e. the bottom colour. From the next image you can see statistics from the chess site where I played tournaments [this is only half of the statistics – of my games/tournaments] and you can see from the column to the right – the opening played during those games.

Click in the image for a larger view

Brunel University has done a study. Interesting – the chess personalities. Do yourself a favour and read the PDF-document. I’ve quoted a few paragraphs here for you as a taster. Please click here for the pdf on research done by Brunel  about personalities in chess. They used 169 children in their study. I wonder why not 170? That sounds so not right to use an unrounded number…maybe another pawn got away…hehe…

Children who score higher on Intellect/openness and Energy/extraversion are more likely to play chess while children who score higher on Agreeableness are less likely to be attracted to chess. Boys with higher scores on Agreeableness are less likely to take up chess than boys with
lower scores. Considering that girls score higher on Agreeableness, this factor may provide one  of the possible reasons why more boys are interested in chess. Although none of the Big Five factors were associated with self-reported skill level, a sub-sample of 25 elite players had significantly higher scores on Intellect/openness than their weaker chess playing peers.

Chess is an adversarial game where one has to take into account the opponent’s intentions and not just focus on one’s own plans. Chess is also a game where just a small mistake can ruin the efforts of the previous long hours. Hence, players should be more suspicious and orderly than non-players. That is exactly what Avni, Kipper, and Fox (1987) demonstrated – chess players scored higher than non-players on the measures of orderliness and unconventional thinking in the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory In addition, it was found that more competitive players, as measured by the number of games played, were more suspicious than non-players.

We applied the Big Five Questionnaire for Children which measures Energy/extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional instability, and Intellect/openness, on primary school children aged eight to eleven. Our main goal was to find out what are the personality characteristics of children who decide to take up chess, as well as to see whether personality factors can differentiate between strong and weak players. We also wanted to see whether personality factors could shed some light on the issue of the large discrepancies in the participation rates of girls and boys. Based on previous results with adult we hypothesised that children who play chess would score more highly on Conscientiousness but less highly on Energy/extraversion than children who do not play chess. Given that chess is often perceived as an intellectual endeavour, we also hypothesised that Intellect/openness will differentiate between children who take up chess and those who do not. The same personality factors could
be expected to differentiate between strong and weak child chess players.
Since women score higher on Emotional instability and Agreeableness. Two factors previously not shown to be associated with chess skill, it is difficult to have clear-cut predictions as to how these factors are related to gender differences in chess skill. On the other hand, chess has a competitive side where players encounter constant conflicts and confrontations which may be less appealing to children who score more on Agreeableness. Consequently, it is possible that Agreeableness provides clues about
the differences in the number of girls and boys who take up chess as a hobby. Read on the PDF-link the complete research-article.

Some openings and the moves – click on images for a clear view

bishops opening

 Bishops Opening: Philidor counter attack

chess Indian C20 e2d2e4d3

Indian Opening – C20 – e2d2e4d3 – one of my previous games

 chess Indian opening

Indian Opening

e2d2e3d4

e2 d2 e3 d4
e4 e5
 1. e4 e5 2. d3 Bb4+ 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. Nf3

e4e5

Another e4 e5-game of mine

 fork

Fork 1 – oh how do I love thee…let me count my knights! Some people prefer Bishops, other Knights and I certainly prefer to keep my Knights. They do work for me.

fork1

Fork 2 – same game as in the previous image

fork2

Run! – the sequal continues…old King Cole…

fork4

Defeated! A position I never had a player in before or after

chess opening sicilian dragon yugoslav attack

This opening is called: Sicilian Dragon, Yugoslav Attack

I do like the dragon, I love the formation of the white pieces…hehe

pawn

This next game was featured in the James Bond movie “From Russia With Love.”

Event “URS-ch”]
[Site “URS-ch”]
[Date “1960.??.??”]
[EventDate “?”]
[Round “?”]
[Result “1-0”]
[White “B Spassky”]
[Black “Bronstein David”]
[ECO “C36”]

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 d5 4. exd5 Bd6 5. Nc3 Ne7 6. d4 O-O 7. Bd3
Nd7 8. O-O h6 9. Ne4 Nxd5 10. c4 Ne3 11. Bxe3 fxe3 12. c5 Be7 13. Bc2
Re8 14. Qd3 e2 15. Nd6 Nf8 16. Nxf7 exf1=Q+ 17. Rxf1 Bf5 18. Qxf5 Qd7
19. Qf4 Bf6 20. N3e5 Qe7 21. Bb3 Bxe5 22. Nxe5+ Kh7 23. Qe4+ 1-0

 Boris Spassky’s victory over Fischer using the Kings Gambit:-

[Event “Mar del Plata”]
[Site “Mar del Plata”]
[Date “1960.03.29”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Spassky,Boris V”]
[Black “Fischer,Robert James”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “C39”]
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.h4 g4 5.Ne5 Nf6 6.d4 d6 7.Nd3 Nxe4 8.Bxf4 Bg7
9.Nc3 Nxc3 10.bxc3 c5 11.Be2 cxd4 12.0-0 Nc6 13.Bxg4 0-0 14.Bxc8 Rxc8 15.Qg4 f5 16.Qg3 dxc3 17.Rae1 Kh8 18.Kh1 Rg8 19.Bxd6 Bf8 20.Be5+ Nxe5 21.Qxe5+ Rg7 22.Rxf5 Qxh4+ 23.Kg1 Qg4 24.Rf2 Be7 25.Re4 Qg5 26.Qd4 Rf8 27.Re5 Rd8 28.Qe4 Qh4 29.Rf4 1-0

I found this next quote on the chess site..and it was funny

I know some dog lovers who play the Colle.  Some Italians I know play the Sicilian Defense.  I have some Polish friends who play 1.b4.  It seems that bird lovers like to play 1.f4.  Some Catholics I know like the Bishop’s Opening.  I see the Danish Gambit played by a lot of pastry lovers.  I’ve played a few folks from the U.K. and they seem to play the English Opening.  I’ve played a gourmet cook who opens with the Fried Liver Attack.  Anand seems to play the Indian Defenses a great deal.  I’ve played a few drunks who opened up with the Scotch. 

Philidor’s Defense

On the first link you can look at the Philidor’s variations and the second link you can play through some chess games in this opening.

 http://www.exeterchessclub.org.uk/Openings/lessphld.htm

Chess openings: Philidor’s Defense – games as early as the 1500’s

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessopening?eco=C41

As this next piece of info was on draft for ages, I can’t remember where I got it from, but thought not to delete it anyway.

‘You are Crazy! But Does It Matter?’

Translated from ‘Schaaklezen’ written by Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam. It’s a collection of dutch chess columns.

Show me your games and I tell you who you are. Is it possible to draw conclusions about the nature of somebody’s character when looking at their chess games? A tempting hypothesis, which seems to be as easily proven as it is challenged. The book ‘Snow Falling on Cedars’ from David Guterson which has received numerous literary awards in the United States, describes a lawyer who believes his personality is reflected in his chess games. At least you come to that conclusion since he uses his chess style as a business card.
When Nels Gudmundsson for the first time visits Kabuo Miyamoto, accused of murder , he does not want to waste any time talking about why he is the man for the job to defend him, instead straight out he offers to play a game of chess. They draw for colour and the lawyer has white: ‘The old man doesn’t seem to bother to castle at all. He is not faintly interested in the endgame. His strategy is to give up material in the beginning-phase of the game in favor of the position which occurs, give up his pieces to get an undefeatable bind on the board. He won , even though Kabuo saw what he was doing. No fiddling. And the game ended abruptly.’ The reader might now expect he knows how Gudmundsson will set about his defense and also has inadvertently faith in his qualities. When going through two books about the great Akiba Rubinstein which first was released by the International Chess Enterprises, I was wondering in which extend the sober playing style of the Polish genius was a reflection of his excessive desire not to be a burden on his surroundings. various people of his time testified Rubinstein never sat at the board when it was not his move because he was terrified to disturb his opponent. As soon as he pressed his clock , he would stand up, duck under the cord which separated the players from the audience and if possible even hid behind a big plant until it was his move again. This complete effacing of himself and his reluctance against all blatancy is also shown is his games. As Nimzowitsch wrote in his tournament book about Karlsbad 1929: ‘Another characteristic property of Rubinstein is his aversion to melodrama. Hollow bombast and pretentious moves shock him deeply in his soul! All his moves are soaked with a natural elegance , almost contiguous to severity.  His moves are always normal, you could call them ‘ordinary’. Closer study brings to light that these simple, common moves are in fact extraordinary deep.’ This correlation between his nature and chess style produces a fine parallel, which undoubtly contains a core of truth, but sells Rubinstein short. Was his style indeed as sober as Nimzowitch outlined? Maybe so if we compare him to a lot of his contemporaries. Hypermodern and
neoR0m@ntic players might consider him pretty boring and dogmatic despite his great strength, nevertheless Rubinstein’s concept of many positions give you the feeling he was way ahead of his time.
Rubinsteins games to this day deserve to attention of every serious chess student. Only therefore alone John Donaldson and Nikolay Minev cannot be praised enough for all the material the put together in ‘Akiba Rubinstein:Uncrowned King’ en ‘Akiba Rubinstein:the Later Years’ On the basis of roughly thousand chess games, many accompanied with annotations and testimonies the reader gets a clear picture of the luster and sadness in the ‘Curriculum Vitae’ of one of the greatest chess players ever lived. thrilling as the wave of success was between 1907 and 1912 , when he stood above everybody else as a tourney player ,so compelling was the turn around after world war one , which amplified his mental state drastically. The expected match against Lasker was cancelled due to that reason.A few years later Rubinstein’s dream to concur the highest title definitely shattered when he was unable to gather the needed money to be able to play a match against Capablanca. More and more he was haunted by ghosts in his head, although he occasionally still showed his enormous talent. He managed to will a strong tourney ahead of Aljechin and Bogoljubov. During tourneys his peculiarities could not be unnoticed, but never it received more then a shrug of ones shoulders. Typical was the reaction of a neurologist from Munchen who examined him at the instance of Mieses Because Rubinstein constantly complained about a buzzing fly crawling on his face during a tourney in San Sebastian. Without hesitation the doctor said: ‘My friend, you are crazy! But does it matter? You are a chessmaster!’ Rubinstein had to stop playing chess in 1932. The rest of his life was totally grief.The Rubinsteins were very lucky they survived world war two in a by Germans occupied Brussels. To make sure he was stationed in a sanitarium for five years.For this act of charitable the family received a sum of 49500 Belgian Franks Once in a while he played chess with his son Sammy, a Master class chess player who still lives in Brussels or with the master O’ Kelly. It was not until 1961 when the relieving death came. Donaldson and Minev tried very hard to establish a honoring for Rubinstein, but a definite tribute their books cannot be called. For this the material needs to be reordered and reproduced and a few gaps need to be filled. This would be very convenient for the binded book which to my enjoyment is available.The will to improve is still there. in version two of the book are many adjustments and corrections. As a tribute to Rubinstein a piece of classic clarity . Even now when someone wants to engross himself in the Tarrash defence can take advantage of the refutation which Rubinstein showed in 1908(!)

White: Akiba Rubinstein
Black: George Sawle

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 c5 3. c4 e6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Nc3 Nf6 6. g3 Nc6 7. Bg2 cxd4 Be7 8. Nxd4 Qb6 9. Nxc6!  bxc6 10. 0-0 Be7  11. Na4! Qb5 12. Be3  0-0 13.Rac1 Bg4 14. f3! Be6 15. Bc5 Rfe8 16. Rf2! Nfd7 17. Bxe7 Rxe7 18. Qd4 R7e8 19. Bf1 Rec8 20. e3!  Qb7 21. Nc5 Nxc5 22. Rxc5 R8c7 23. Rc2 Qb6 24. b4 a6 25. Ra5 Rb8 26.a3 Rca7 27.Rxc6 Qxc6 28.Qxa7 Ra8 29. Qc5 Qb7 30. Kf2 h5 31. Be2 g6 32. Qd6 Qc8 33.Rc5 Qb7 34. h4 a5 35. Rc7 Qb8 36. b5 a4 37. b6 Ra5 38. b7 and black resigned.

snow falling on cedars

Book cover: Snow falling on cedars

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world_chess_game

Image: pda.88000.org/wallpapers/12/World_Chess_Game.jpg

I’ve blogged before about Dyslexia, Hyperactivity, Chess Research and also about the Irlen Syndrome. Irlen Syndrome is an eye condition that relates to Dyslexia. All the links about these topics are at the bottom of this post and all links  will open in a new window. If you’re Afrikaans speaking, then you will find Juffer’s entry about severe low muscle tone interesting or click here to read about it in English, it’s also called hypotonia. Some children with low muscle tone sometimes find it hard to stay focused on activities in class and therefore have concentration problems. You do get different degrees of low muscle tone.

chess-comic

Image: edcollins.com/chess/chess-comic
I’ve had parents with children in the lower grades in Primary School whose children were diagnosed with ADHD. They’ve heard or read that chess is one solution to solving concentration problems. Yes, it is, but if your child has no interest in chess or he’s not motivated, why would you bother to burden him/her to learn the game to improve his concentration?  I can’t see the point as those children will not concentrate on the game and will only attend the chess club because: “my mum/dad said I have to“. You’re really not doing your child any favour of  forcing him/her into chess, nor the teacher that has to produce the results!  Parents also expect the results within a short period of time and sometimes don’t understand that it’s not possible…and if it doesn’t happen in that short period of time…they don’t believe that chess is good for their child’s concentration. Of course you will reap the fruit if you’re child is interested/motivated! I’ve had one little boy and he ended up playing chess for Gauteng Junior Chess…but not with my help only…it was more his coach of course, but at least his dad gave me the credit for getting him enthusiastic about the game…hehehe..What I also found interesting each year, (when starting with a new group – especially if they were Grade 1/Grade 2 ) I could immediately identify the little ones with concentration problems and could then point them out to their teachers and that helped them to know who needs support in that field quite early on.

I have an article for you to read and a couple of links. On the two links – near to the bottom, you can read more about ADHD too, but I would like to advise you to follow my blog-links first as you might find more useful information/links than the two near the bottom.

Playing chess may well help child diagnosed with ADHD
Parenting by Dr. Marilyn Heins
Tucson, Arizona | Published in the Arizona Daily Star: 07.22.2007

I recently was introduced to our neighbor´s 8-year-old grandson, who has been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The child has been extensively evaluated by medical practitioners, pediatricians and psychologists, and he has been on medication for five weeks.

I´m still reading up on this matter, and I saw some of your articles. However, before I was aware of his diagnosis, I was told that he had a problem sitting still and concentrating for any length of time. I immediately suggested that he be exposed to the game of chess, because my experience is that playing this game improves concentration and thought processes, and builds self-esteem. Some time ago, I also read a doctoral thesis from South Africa that dealt with chess as a tool to help children with learning difficulties.

I´ve been teaching this boy to play chess for about two weeks, and he´s able to sit still for up to two hours while playing. I´m pleasantly surprised by his grasp of the game and his thought processes. Do you have any views on teaching chess to children with ADHD? I´d also like to know whether one can overstimulate a child with playing chess, and if so, what´s the maximum time this child ought to be playing the game?

The relationship between chess and acquiring math, reading and critical-thinking skills is fairly strong. One study showed critical-thinking skills improved by seventeen percent in students taking chess classes, compared with five percent for other classes. Chess also teaches patience and courtesy while waiting for your opponent to make a move. I think one reason playing chess can enhance learning is that the child realizes chess, unlike other games dependent mostly on chance, demands skill and a plan to win. This makes winning such a game so much fun that kids may want to translate skills and planning to other areas, such as schoolwork.

There are no real data, but there are lots of anecdotes about chess improving concentration and focus in ADHD kids. And this can translate into better school performance. Indeed, professional chess players in international tournaments are tested for Ritalin, a drug that improves focus, just as athletes are tested for bodybuilding steroids. However, some children with ADHD become more distracted with the stress of competing, so parents can´t assume that chess is a panacea for everything.

The best thing about chess is that it provides attention from an adult and time away from TV! Both factors benefit all children, whether or not they have ADHD. When you think about it, zoning out in front of a television set is the direct opposite of focus. You just figuratively inhale what the network presents, commercials and all.

My father taught me and all his grandchildren how to play chess. For me, it was a very precious time. I knew my father played postcard chess with a brother who lived across the country. (These were the days before cheap cross-country flights and long-distance calls, so my father and uncle did not often meet.) My dad kept one chessboard set up for this cross-country game and looked forward to his brother´s next move.

I knew this game was special for my father, and it was a great honor when I was considered knowledgeable enough to move Uncle George´s men on the board. Playing a game of chess with my father was a great treat. Winning was like being awarded an Oscar.

I don´t play chess anymore, and neither do my children, but it taught me a lot about thinking ahead and planning a strategy. Chess also taught me something about family ties and the importance and joy of imparting the skills you´ve learned — whether they be chess or cooking or fishing — to your child.

It sounds as though the boy you´re teaching is taking to the game of chess very well, and it´s improving his ability to concentrate, which I hope will translate into better school performance. There´s no danger of overstimulation — either the child will stop playing or the adult can tell from the child´s behavior and body language that it´s time to stop.

Dr. Marilyn Heins is a pediatrician, author, newspaper columnist, lecturer, wife, mother, step-mother, and grandmother.
She has written over 800 parenting columns published in the Arizona Daily Star. Resource :
http://www.internationalchessinstitute.org/ChessAndADHD.asp

chess-adhd

 

On this link you can read about chess  in schools as a subject in different countries.

The next PDF-link will open in a new window too and you can read about it or even save it on your pc for some midnight reading before you turn the lights out…and of course if I didn’t like chess and need to learn this wonderful game, I would love to have a chess set like the one in the next image! That will get me into chess..haha…

https://chessaleeinlondon.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/chess-and-content-orientated-psychology-of-thinking.pdf

art_chess

Image: ursispaltenstein.ch/blog/images/uploads_img/art_chess.jpg

Great chess players are great thinkers

adhdart

Read on the next two links about ADHD.

http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/lens/article/?id=75

http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/lens/article/?id=74

Links on my blog..for you to read more…
On
this link you can read about the Irlen Syndrome and HERE about Dyslexia and Hyperactivity…and HERE about Chess Research…and education…that was carried out a few years ago. Even South African female chess players agree about the benefits of playing chess. The news article is in Afrikaans unfortunately.

Update: September 2009 -On this next link you can read about chess research that was done in Germany.

http://clevergames.wordpress.com/2009/09/11/games-news-chess-and-education-in-germany/#comment-264

SA vroueskaak

Drie van Suid-Afrika se skaak-Groot-5. Carmen de Jager (19), Daleen Wiid (17) en Ezet Roos (17) was in van die topvyf-posisies wat die junior vroue tydens die Afrika- junior skaakkampioenskap onlangs in Bronkhorstspruit verower het. Foto: Leon Botha.
Kliek op hierdie link vir die oorspronklike artikel. Die link sal in ‘n nuwe bladsy oopmaak.
http://www.news24.com/Beeld/Suid-Afrika/0,,3-975_2450553,00.html 

5 SA vroue is Afrika se junior skaakkampioene
Jan 08 2009 08:48:07:700PM  – (SA)

Leon Botha

Suid-Afrika het die vyf topposisies vir vroue verower tydens die Afrika- junior skaakkampioenskap wat die afgelope week in Bronkhorstspruit aangebied is.

Melissa Greeff (14) van Kaapstad, drie Pretorianers – Ezet Roos (17), Daleen Wiid (17) en Carmen de Jager (19) – en Nicola Alberts (17) van Port Elizabeth het onderskeidelik die eerste vyf plekke voor die neuse van hul mede-Afrikane opgeraap. Altesame 12 lande, waaronder Libië, Angola, Botswana, Kenia en Uganda het aan die kampioenskap deelgeneem.

Ezet, Daleen en Carmen speel al bykans tien jaar lank saam skaak. Hulle het al in 2001 in die Wêreld-jeugskaakkampioenskap saam deelgeneem.

“Die lekker van skaak is om iemand se brein te klop,” verduidelik Ezet.

“Skaak leer jou baie meer oor die lewe as net die spel. Jy leer om geduldig te wees en om te konsentreer. Dit leer jou ook uithouvermoë en om altyd ’n oplossing vir probleme te vind; met skaak sit jy heeltyd met ’n probleem voor jou.”

Daleen vertel dat die meeste vroulike spelers verdedigend speel. “Die belangrikste is om jou skaakstukke op die bord te ‘ontwikkel’, die koning veilig te kry en dan vir jou opponent se swak punte te kyk.

“Maar jou gemoedstoestand speel ook ’n rol. Soos jy daar (by ’n kompetisie) instap, gaan jy klaarmaak; wanneer ’n mens af is, waag jy net minder kanse.

“In skaak moet jy ’n plan hê. Dit moet so ’n agtskuifplan wees. Jy moet ook meer as een plan reghou. As jy byvoorbeeld voor twee moeilike keuses staan, leer skaak jou om die situasie te ontleed. Skaakspelers dink in detail; ons is nie impulsief nie. ’n Mens moet ook skaakfiks bly en gereeld speel,” sê Daleen.

“Die ander Afrika-lande se skaakspelers is sterk spelers,” meen Carmen, “maar hulle het nie genoeg diepte nie. Skaak is egter baie groot in Afrika.”

 

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Images: chesshouse.com

I have a couple of articles/posts on my blog about chess and the link between chess and academic performance, the  research  that was done by various people, the reasons why your child should play chess etc. Today’s article is no difference and I’ve added an article about chess and the 7 dimensions, which you might enjoy and then 3 of my own games. I’ve taken out my opponents’ nicknames this time. Two games were friendlies and the last game was a rated game. As Ray mentioned the other day on his blog- (if you love playing chess, please play him on chess.com, his blog-link is on my blog roll and you can leave him a message on his blog, but be aware, he’s no softy when it comes to chess! Don’t come back to me crying! lol!) -that I used to blog only games where my opponents were defeated…(no comments…:) Anyway…I have blogged  awhile ago some of my games where I was the complete loser!  Enjoy the games here…You will notice that I played white in all three the games. You can play through these games, the game-links will open in a new window. If you wanna play me, I do play now on chess.com. If you follow the link on my sidebar, register, then you will automatically be a friend of me and we can play!

You will also find an article you might not be able to read…that’s Afrikaans! The article is about Ezet, she took part in the World Youth Championships that ended last week in Vietnam. The link of the Saffa-players and their results is also available to be viewed. On this link here you can find the official site of the World Youth Chess Championships in Vietnam. The link will open in a new window.
http://wycc2008.vietnamchess.com/index.php

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 self‑confidence and self‑worth, and 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 Marina, CA, an experiment with chess indicated that after only 20 days of instruction, students’ academic performance improved dramatically. George L Stephenson, chairman of the Marina JHS math department, reported that 55% of students showed significant improvement in academic performance after this brief smattering of chess instruction.

Similarly, a 5‑year study of 7th and 8th graders by Robert Ferguson of the Bradford, PA School District showed that test scores improved 173% for students regularly engaged in chess classes, compared with only 4.56% for children participating in other forms of “enrichment activities” including Future Problem Solving, Dungeons and Dragons, Problem Solving with Computers, independent study, and creative writing. A Watson‑Glaser Thinking Appraisal evaluation showed overwhelmingly that chess improved critical thinking skills more than the other methods of enrichment.

Educators at the Roberto Clemente School (C.I.S. 166) in New York report that chess has improved not only academic scores, but social performance as well. In 1988, Joyce Brown, an assistant principal and supervisor of the school’s Special Education department, and teacher Florence Mirin began studying the effect of chess on their Special Education students. When the study began, they had 15 children enrolled in chess classes; two years later they had 398‑

“The effects have been remarkable,” Brown says. “Not only have the reading and math skills of these children soared, their ability to socialize has increased substantially, too. Our studies have shown that incidents of suspension. and outside altercations have decreased by at least 60% since these children became interested in chess.”

Connie Wingate, Principal, P.S. 123 in New York, says of a New York City school chess program, “This is wonderful! This is marvelous! This is stupendous! It’s the finest thing that ever happened to this school. I am most sincere. It has been an absolute plus for the students who were directly involved as well as for the rest of the school… If I could say one thing to funders, it would be this. If they ever walked down 140th St. and 8th Ave. and had the opportunity to see where our children come from, they would know that these children deserve every single break that they can get. They are trying, through chess, to apply themselves and do something to better themselves. And that filters into the entire school and community… More than anything else, chess makes a difference… what it has done for these children is simply beyond anything that I can describe. The highest scoring student in out school is a member of the chess team. He became the highest scoring kid in the school after he joined the chess team. All four are in the top quarter of the school, and they weren’t before. Academically, they are doing much better in class, and it’s in no small part because of chess. Just how they feel about themselves, their self‑esteem, makes them all winners.”

Jo Bruno, Principal, P.S. 189, ‑Brooklyn, NY:. “In‑chess tournaments the child gets the opportunity of seeing more variety and diversity. There are kids who have more money than they have, but chess is a common denominator. They are all equal on the chessboard. I believe it is connected academically and to the intellectual development of children. I see them able to attend to something for more than an hour and a half. I am stunned. Some of them could not attend to things for more than 20 minutes.”

Jerome Fishman, Guidance Counselor, C.J.H.S 231, Queens, NY: “I like the aspect of socialization. You get into friendly, competitive activity where no one gets hurt. Instead of two bodies slamming into each other like in football, you’ve got the meeting of two minds. It’s strategic, and you use logic to plan an attack scheme. Aside from being good for the cognitive development of these youngsters, chess develops their social skills, too. It makes them feel they belong. Whenever we get a child transferred from another school who may have maladaptive behavior, our principal (Dr. Wilton Anderson) suggests chess as a way of helping him find his niche. It also helps kids learn how to be better friends. They analyze the game and talk it over afterwards. I even had a couple of kids who never had much in common start going to each other’s houses to play chess and swap Chess Life magazines. We’ve got kids literally lining up in front of the school at 6:45 am to get a little chess in before classes start.”

Source for most of the above: New York City Schools Chess Program by Christine Palm, copyright 1990
https://www.chesshouse.com/articles.asp?id=115

http://knightofchess.com/34/the-role-of-chess-in-modern-education/

http://knightofchess.com/31/chess-makes-kids-smarter/


On this link you will find these articles to read.
Articles on Chess.. The link will open in a new window.
Chess Improves Academic Performance
More Schools Learn Power of Checkmate
Chess Makes Kids Smarter
From Street Kids to Royal Knights
Role of Chess in Modern Education
One Boy’s Chess Story
Chess is the Gymnasium of the Mind
Chess and Education

World Youth Chess Championships…see the official link in top of this entry.

http://www.sajca.com/wycc2008.html Uitslae van die Suid-Afrikaanse spelers. Die link sal in ‘n nuwe venster oopmaak.
 

Ezet het aan die Wêreld Junior Skaakkampioenskappe deelgeneem en op die link kan die uitslae gevind word.
 Ezet Roos, ’n gr. 11-leerling van die Afrikaanse Hoër Meisieskool in Pretoria, gaan in Oktober vanjaar baie min van haar skoolbank sien.
Dié talentvolle skaakspeler gaan aan twee toernooie in dié maand deelneem. Sy gaan eers na Beijing vir die World Mind Games en daarna na Viëtnam om aan die Wêreldjeugkampioenskap deel te neem.

Ezet het al ses keer na dié kampioenskap gegaan en het al elke jaar sedert sy tien jaar oud was Suid-Afrikaanse kleure gekry.

Ezet het ook haar skaakvermoëns in verskeie lande ten toon gestel.

“Ek was al in Spanje, Griekeland, Rusland en Turkye. Rusland is ’n vreemde land, maar die mense speel baie goed skaak. Hulle begin baie jonger as ons speel.”

Hoewel sy meen die Oos-Europese lande se gehalte van spel is veel beter as hier, sê sy Suid-Afrikaners hoef glad nie terug te staan vir lande soos Australië of Nieu-Seeland nie.

“Ons sukkel dalk teen lande soos Rusland, maar verder doen ons heel oukei.”

Volgens haar vereis skaak ’n ander soort fiksheid as ander sportsoorte.

“Mense dink skaak is nie ’n sport nie, maar net soos ander sportsoorte is dit onvoorspelbaar. Jy kan so hard oefen soos jy wil, maar jy weet nooit wat gaan gebeur nie.

“As jy in toernooie speel, moet jy vyf uur lank konsentreer. Jy is dalk nie soos met ander sporte uitasem nie, maar dit maak my baie moeg en ná ’n wedstryd wil ek net slaap.”

http://www.news24.com/Beeld/Sport/Skolesport/0,,3-63-2372_2385625,00.html

Chess game 1

Nikita1 vs. Bg

Chess game 2

Nikita1 vs. The…

Chess game 3

Nikita1 vs. bir..

“The chessboard is the world, the pieces are the phenomena of the Universe, the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature and the player on the other side is hidden from us”
(Thomas Huxley)

 7 – Dimensions of Life article submitted by: Dr J Slobodzien The link of the article is at the bottom of the post and it will open in a new window.

1. Social / Cultural Dimension – I started seeing that your chess pieces are like family members and significant others in your life that you try to protect the best you can. We are all alike (black or white in chess) and we try to move and communicate in ways that will support our mutual goals. Unfortunately though, you end up losing the ones you love.

2. Medical/ Physical Dimension – In order to maintain a healthy body we must maintain a balance of moving (exercise), eating (our opponents pieces), and resting (knowing when not to move).

3. Mental/ Emotional Dimension – Chess forces us to think really hard about our actions, the consequences of our actions, and how our behavior affects others and the world around us. It also gives us opportunities to experience and deal with emotions – like anger, revenge, grief, and joy, etc.

4. Educational/ Occupational Dimension – Chess develops our attention span, concentration abilities, and memory – so that we can learn, be trained and skilled, and maintain satisfying work experiences.

5. Spiritual/ Religious Dimension – I didn’t notice a spiritual side to chess until one of my pawns first got transformed (born-again) into a Queen. At that point, I realized that our weakest members in life have the potential to become our strongest heroes. Chess also develops our faith in a set of organized beliefs and practices much like religion.

6. Legal/ Financial Dimension – Chess teaches us that there are consequences for not obeying the law (not playing by the rules of the game). There are also rewards for logically and systematically making the right moves in life.

7. Self-Control/ Higher Power Control Dimension- Chess teaches us that even though we may follow all the rules, all of the time – we do not have total control of our destiny (who wins the game and who loses). As Thomas Huxley so eloquently put it in his famous quote above (“the player on the other side is hidden”).

http://searchwarp.com/swa305229.htm

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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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This article comes from the Scientic American magazine- front cover scanned here too as you can see. It’s a very interesting article and you can easily copy the images to read it later. I want to quote from the first paragraph….”The year is 1909, the man is Jose Raul Capablanca of Cuba, and the result is a whitewash 28 wins….” and in the second paragraph..”I see only one move ahead,” Capablanca is said to have answered, “but it is always the correct move.” phew… I sometimes have only one move to make! and the move I know it’s the right move…but in most games you have to observe the board closely to see what your “enemy” is about to do and what evil plans he’s got up his sleeve! and that means you have to see about 2 or more moves ahead…as chess player myself, I can quote a lot from this article and comment on it…but I’m no master/grandmaster! I think every person has a different view/opinion….do spend some time to read it, it’s definitely worth spending the time on it! (I do apologise for the paint on the front cover! – zoom into the images once you’ve clicked on it to have a larger view)

On my blog I’ve done several posts about chess and research.
Please click on this link – links will open in a new window – to read about the Male/Female brain when it comes to chess and HERE about Chess and Altzheimers. On this link you can read how important chess is for your kids to work with money! and….on THIS SITE all the benefits why your child should play chess. Here’s a link on my blog about Maths and Chess .. Enjoy this movie about chess! and research.
People have different opinions about chess…is it a sport or not? I say it is…and if you disagree…well, that’s your opinion… and I’ve come across this very clever South African and he apparently organised the first multi-cultural chess game in SA…but sadly he’s been recruited to the USA…lucky Americans having him now! http://www.jurispro.com/VernonNeppeMDPhDFRSSAfFAPAFRCPC


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On  ChessWorld, in the chess forum, we had a discussion about male/female players.  The question was… are meneuwe
better at chess….? and some wondered why men are/were better…  Some people think chess is a male game. I didn’t play chess when I was at school, although I could play, as there were always only boys playing…as I said before on my blog… I felt intimidated by those boys giving me the look of…”hey… you’re a girl…and you play chess!”… as if it’s actually a boy’s game…I think nowadays boys/men have accepted  that chess is also a girls/female game and that we can actually also play the game, and sometimes even a bit better…also, I think it’s just a matter of statistics. For some men on the site, it’s even hard to lose a game to a woman! I experience it every now and then and quite recently had again such an experience of a male player that couldn’t handle the fact that a female was beating him.

We have also two tournaments going…where there are equally male/female players in both… I’m in the one tournament…and in this tournament the outcome looks positive for both sexes…in the other tourney it seems to be the females that will walk away as the winners…How do you feel? Are men better…is it a male game…what’s your opinion? 

On THIS LINK you can follow the discussion about male/female chess on CW. This forum link will open in a new window.

 In the following chess game, I played white. My opponent – this game was played more than six months ago, before this entry – was about 400+ ahead of me although he’s actually a 2000+ player, which means he would then be 800 ahead of me.  He resigned at the end. You can click on the link and it will open in a new window to play through the game. I think it was also a bit of luck on my side. He wasn’t really impressed with the fact that I was beating him. Then, best of all, the game got more attention in the chess forum as an annotated game with a title: “Underdog wins”…Here is the game link ….Nikita1 vs. No6

chessart roger morin

This chess art is a brilliant piece of art by Roger Morin

I came across a site with very useful information… a very extensive site where you can read more about the research/study that was done about the female/male chess player! Read here an extract and you can follow the link to read the entire article! There is more to read than just this extract… you will not regret reading more!

After examining the data the researchers made four statements summarized below:

They found that men and women differed in chess ability in all age groups even after differences like frequency of play (read: level of training) or age were taken into account. The disparity between men and women in ability exists at the beginning and persists across all age groups. At least ostensibly this would lend credence to the ability distribution hypothesis in the sense that it suggests the mean ability between men and women are innately different. The last piece of data looks at whether that is true.

They found no greater variance in men than women. It had been suggested that since science selects for individuals at the upper tail of the distribution, a higher variance in men than women might explain their greater representation. However, the researchers found that — with respect to chess — if anything in most age groups women had a higher variance then men. Upper tail effects do not explain the differences in the numbers of grandmasters.

They found that women and men do not drop out more or less frequently when ability and age are factored out. For example, if you are not very good at chess you are more likely to stop playing tournaments, but girls and boys that are equally good are equally likely to stop playing. This strikes a blow at the differential dropout hypothesis.

Finally, here is the interesting part. If you look at the participation rate of women and relate that to performance, you find that in cases where the participation rate of women and men is equal the disparity in ability vanishes. Basically, this means that in zip codes where there are equal numbers of men and women players there is no great disparity between male and female ability — and certainly not a disparity in ability large enough to explain the difference in the numbers of grandmasters…read moreHEREabout the research/study.

Update: 26Dec 2008: You can read on THIS LINK new info on a new “gentle research that was done by a chess player from the Oxford University to prove that it’s only statistics when it comes to male/female GM’s…the link will open in a new window.

On this pdf-link you can read more about male/female chess players and the personality of chess players.

http://people.brunel.ac.uk/~hsstffg/preprints/Bilalic%20et%20al%20-%20Personality.pdf

Click on here to find out if you have a male/female brain. The link will open in a new window.

I had this chess game in this post annotated, here is the annotation if you’re interested.

1.e4 e5 2.d4 d5!? Playable, but not the best. Black can’t afford to mimic White’s moves, especially when it comes to centre Pawns. The obvious (2…exd4) is best.

3.f3 Weakening the King’s position. Best is simply (3.dxe5 dxe4 4.Qxd8+) and Black loses the castling priviledge, although with the Queens off the board this isn’t too critical.

3. … Bb4+ Wastes time, as White will simply interpose the c-pawn and the Bishop will have to retreat. Best is (3…exd4).

4.c3 Bd6 5.exd5 exd4 6.Qxd4 Nf6 7.Bg5 O-O Since the shaky first three moves, both sides have played quite well, but here (7…Nbd7) is better, as White will now be able to shatter Black’s King’s position.

8.Bxf6 gxf6 [8…Qxf6 may be safer, if not better, for if 9.Qxf6 gxf6], Black has the same Pawn formation as in the game, but White’s main attacking piece (the Queen) is gone.

9.Bd3 Qe7+ Since White can cover the check with a developing move, it may have been better to start chipping away at the White centre with (9…c6). Also worth considering is (9…Be5).

10.Ne2 b6 11.Be4 An unnecessary moving of the same piece twice in the opening. White should complete her development with (11.Nd2), followed by castling (Queenside being safer in this case, because of the semi-open g-file).

11. … Bb7 Logical, given his previous move, but (11…f5) would’ve forced White to retract her last move.

12.c4 Another unnecessary move, as the d-pawn was amply protected. White should once again have played (12.Nd2).

12. … Nd7 It’s hard to knock a move that develops a new piece, but (12…Be5) was stronger here.

13.Nd2 White finally makes this move, but as long as the c-pawn is no longer preempting c3, this Knight would be better placed there.

c5?? Once again, (13…Be5) would have been an uncomfortable move for White to face. The text is a blunder which should lose a piece.

14.dxc6 Be5? Wrong time for this move now, as it just compounds his previous error. Better is (14…f5 15.cxb7 Rab8 16.Bd3) etc.

15.Qd3?! Good enough to maintain the advantage, but (15.Qxd7 Qxd7 16.cxd7 Bxe4 17.Nxe4 Bxb2 18.Rb1 Be5 19.f4) is much stronger.

15. … Bxb2? Here Black had a chance to avoid the worst with (15…Nc5 16.Qc2 Bc8 17.Bxh7+ Kg7).

16.Rb1 Good, but better is (16.cxb7 Rae8 17.Rb1 Nc5 18.Qe3) etc.

16. … Ne5 (16…Bxc6) is probably better, although Black would still be losing.

17.Qc2 Ba3 Again, (17…Bxc6) is better, but perhaps Black was trying to confuse the issue.

18.cxb7 White now has an overwhelming advantage, and should win with reasonably careful play.

Rab8 19.O-O Prudent, but White should have played (19.Bxh7+) while the opportunity presented itself.

19. … Bc5+ 20.Kh1 Qd7 Here Black might have tried getting rid of the thorn in his side with (20…f5 21.Bxf5 Rxb7).

21.a4 There’s still no reason why White can’t play (21.Bxh7+).

21. … Nc6 Seals off White’s b-pawn, but (21…Ng6) would have saved Black’s h-pawn …

22.Bxc6 … except that White doesn’t seem to want Black’s h-pawn for some reason.

Qxc6 23.a5 Worth considering is (23.Qe4).

23. … Rxb7 Black finally eliminates White’s advanced Pawn, but is not yet out of the woods. For one thing, he’s still a piece down.

24.a6 More of an annoyance move than anything else. (24.Ne4), with the idea of exchanging off Black’s Bishop, is better.

24. … Re7 25.Nf4 (25.Ne4) is still probably the better move, but the text isn’t bad, either.

25. … Be3 Flashy, but inconsequential.

26.g3!? A bit dangerous. With (26.Nd5) White would be assured of eliminating Black’s Bishop.

26. … Bxd2?! Obliging White by exchanging the Bishop himself, thinking only of winning the c-pawn. Something like –26…Rd8– is probably better.

27.Qxd2 Qxc4 Black regains a Pawn, but the real threat was White moving her Knight to h5, followed by Qh6 threatening mate in two. Therefore, (27…Re5) is safer.

28.Ra1 Fortunately for Black, the above-mentioned threat doesn’t occur to White.

Qc6 29.Kg2 Once again, [29.Nh5 would force 29…Re5, then 30.Qh6 threatens mate in two, so Black would have to play 30…Rxh5], losing the exchange.

29. … Rd7 30.Qc1 Offering the exchange of Queens, which isn’t a bad idea, as White is a piece ahead.

Qxc1 Black should have avoided the exchange of Queens by, say, (30…Qb5).

31.Raxc1 Rd2+ Black gets more mileage out of this move than he should.

32.Kh3 Better would be (32.Rf2), when Black would either have to exchange Rooks or retreat.

32. … Ra2 33.Nh5 White trades her a-pawn for Black’s doubled f6-pawn, not a good deal as Black will now have two connected passed Pawns. Better is (33.Ra1).

33. … f5 Of course, Black doesn’t have to let the forward f-pawn go easy, but it would have been better to take the a-pawn.

34.Nf6+ Once again, better is (34.Ra1).

34. … Kg7 35.Nd7 Rd8 36.Ne5 Here White might have tried [36.Rc7, and if 36…Rxa6, THEN 37.Ne5].

36. … Rdd2 Black doubles Rooks on the second rank, normally a very strong manoeuvre. However, it’s stronger when White’s King is still on the first rank.

37.g4!? Much safer would be protecting the h-pawn with (37.Rh1).

37. … Rxh2+ 38.Kg3 Rag2+ It was at this point that Nikita asked me to look at this game. My comment at the time (not giving her any actual advice as to which move to make, of course) was, “If you can avoid checkmate in the next few moves, you may have a chance at winning.” Prophetic, as it turned out.

39.Kf4 Ra2?! Back to attacking the a-pawn, but he should have first played (39…fxg4).

40.gxf5 The natural move to make, but (40.Rc7) is much stronger.

40. … f6? Gives White the game. (40…Ra4+) would have made a fight of it.

41.Rc7+ Kg8 42.Rg1+ Rag2 Forced, as —42…Kf8 43.Rf7+ Ke8 44.Rg8– is mate.

43.Rxg2+ Rxg2 44.Nd7 Rg7 It makes little difference what Black plays now.

45.Rxa7 b5 46.Ra8+ A bit of a slip. (46.Nxf6+) would have won quicker.

46. … Kf7 47.Nc5 And now (47.Rf8+) is stronger, but White is wrapping up the point.

47. … Rg8 48.Ra7+ And here exchanging Rooks was quicker, but it would be hard for White to lose this game almost regardless of what she plays.

Kf8 49.Rxh7 Even better would be [49.Ne6+), but the text is still good enough to win, as Black can’t stop White from queening the a-pawn. Black rightly resigned at this point.
49. …

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chess_board11.jpg

Source : http://www.nuwireinvestor.com/articles/teaching-kids-about-money-51386.aspx

Please click HERE to read about the movie: Knights of the South Bronx. Links will open in a new window.

Teaching Kids About Money: 10 Tips
Ways for parents to teach their children about money

Published on: Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Written by: Trista Winnie

Parents have been giving financial advice to their children for ages. “Neither a borrower nor a lender be,” Polonius told his son Laertes in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. As with good hygiene and good manners, most parents strive to teach their children lessons on how to be good at handling money.“If you can teach your child the difference between needs and wants, how to budget and how to save, your child will know more than many adults,” according to Scott Reeves of Forbes. “But if you get it wrong, your child is likely to join the millions of Americans who rack up huge credit card debt and get stung each month by stiff interest payments.”
In other words, no pressure.The lives of children who understand money, its value and how to handle it will be far easier than those of children who don’t.
Here are 10 tips for teaching your kids about money, focusing on saving and investing money, so they will grow up and use it responsibly.

– on the link  at the bottom of the page, where the article can be found…point 3 says…

3) Teach them critical thinking

While not directly a lesson in money, kids who learn how to think critically will make better decisions when it comes to money because they will be able to consider the short, medium and long term effects of their decisions, as well as plan for contingencies.

One great way to teach them how to plan, strategize and think critically is to teach them chess. Chess is a game in which cause and effect, concrete rules, analysis and planning for different scenarios are all crucial. Chess can also help kids hone their ability to recognize when to take risks and when to play it safe, which is a critical investment skill.

A real life example of this can be found in the story of David MacEnulty, an English teacher who taught a group of inner-city, low-income students in the South Bronx how to play chess. These students went on to compete and win in chess competitions and their critical thinking skills put them on the path to success. The story was documented in the 2005 movie, Knights of the South Bronx

knights-of-the-bronx

Knights of the South Bronx
bronx.jpg

The most captivating, entertaining chess movie since Searching for Bobby Fischer! You’ll be thrilled. It’s inspirational.A business man decides that he wants to teach school in the inner city and chooses a tough school in the South Bronx. He teaches the children how to play the game of chess, and along the way they learn a lot about life.Richard’s entire class is lifted out of nothingness and boredom to fight for life, success, and the thrill of achievement! He helps his entire class discover chess one day, much to the dismay of school authorities. Richard’s mind is torn as even his wife disapproves when he turns down a lucrative job offer to stay with low-paying job… “his kids” and his class. But Richard cannot be swayed from helping the kids find new hope in life. When Richard’s class is reaching new levels of achievement in their studies the tide is turned, his wife comes to his side, and his Knights of the South Bronx battle their way to winning championships and battling all signs of defeat… often from within their own minds and ranks – their classmates. But they encourage one another and overcome, inspired by the game of chess.

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We all know that Chess helps  to improve children’s concentration, maths, reading, thinking processes, ability to make choices in life, dyslexia, etc. etc… but this video shows us how you can combine Chess with boxing!!! hehehehe….so, all you guys that want to be great boxers!! come on, play Chess!!! Chess isn’t for the “softies”…like some people think!
Read my earlier post about a  research that was done by a South African lady…about it. See the second link in this post. (scroll down with the slider once you’ve clicked on the link) I’ve copied a section of the article from the first link here…PS: All links will open in a new window.

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

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.

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.” Resource: The American Foundation for Chess…click on this link:

http://af4c.memfirstclubs.net/club/scripts/library/view_document.asp?DN=RESEARCH&NS=FMPI&APP=80

Click HERE to play through Master’s Chess games.

 
And now…Chess Boxing!

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