Did you know that chess originated in India? Well, it did! The earliest precursor of modern chess is a game called chaturanga, which flourished in India by the 6th century. Unfortunately, Chess hasn’t gained the popularity & momentum it deserves.
Recently, DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter learned that the World Youth Chess Championship 2019 is being hosted in India for the very first time! Over 65 Chess Playing nations and 700+ kids under the age of 18 will be battling for 6 championship crowns.
During an exclusive interview with Dr Parinay Fuke, President of All India Marathi Chess Association a lot of useful insights about chess were revealed. As a mother of two growing kids, I was naturally curious and wanted to know more about the sport.
Parents often question:
Why should children learn chess?
What are the benefits of learning chess for children?
What does chess teach a child?
What is a good age to learn chess?
To seek answers to parents’ questions, DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter met up with Ravindra Dongre, Tournament Director, World Youth Chess Championship 2019.
Mr. Dongre is the first Indian to be elected to the Ethics Commission of the World Chess Federation (FIDE). At present, he is also the President of Asian Zone 3.7. Though he has a successful family business, those in the chess community view him as an individual who has dedicated his entire life to Chess.
Mr. Dongre helped us with outlining 9 benefits of making your child learn to play chess:
Chess helps increase focus & concentration
Parents today often wonder that the children of this generation are always on the phone and their screen time too much and their attention span is a bare minimum. Chess is a sport that requires complete attention and this increases focus and concentration.
Chess makes kids assertive by teaching them to win & lose with equal grace
Chess is a mind-game and the one with stronger mental strength tends to win. Losing doesn’t mean that you are low on mental strength, it only allows you to accept your thought process at that moment which made you choose a wrong move. Chess teaches you to accept defeat and win with grace alike.
Chess-playing makes kids astute planners with prudent foresight
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Chess is a sport which requires a lot of planning and strategising. A good player has to plan so many moves ahead and has to think through what moves the opponent can make. This surely aids children to hone their thinking skills so that they can become better planners of life.
Chess raises your child’s Intelligence Quotient (IQ)
IQ is an outcome of brain exercise. Chess as a sport always ensures that the brain as a muscle is flexed continuously. It inculcates a habit of thinking and makes your brain sharper.
Chess increases children’s problem-solving skills
There are more moves in chess than there are atoms in the universe. Yes, chess teaches you strategy and also allows you to think ahead and think fast. Solving problems too requires a lot of fast thinking and to think ahead to anticipate arising problems. If one is a chess player, chances are that he/she will be a great problem solver.
Chess improves your child’s spatial skills?
Engineers, Architects and other special career require spatial skills. It is a skill, which require you to imagine and visualise objects which are not there in front of you and you are still able to see them clearly. A chess player does this all the time and is very good at spatial skills.
Chess improves the memory of your child
A chess player has to remember not only his/her moves, but also what the opponent has played or what all can he play in response to your moves. Only a child with a good memory can store and remember so many moves which are dynamic in nature.
Chess exercises both sides of the brain & thus aids your child’s whole brain development
Spatial skills require right-brain thinking and logical thinking requires left-brain thinking. Chess allows a child you use both sides of the brain and thus enhances the holistic development of the child.
Chess increases your child’s Creativity Quotient
Right brain fosters creativity and the more one uses it, the more creative one becomes. As chess uses both sides of the brain, the child’s creativity quotient improves considerably.
If you have any questions regarding Chess or Chess coaching, do write them in the comment section below. We will surely get them answered by Mr. Dongre.
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