Children, who enjoy playing chess at home, will now have the opportunity to do it in the classroom. An increasing number of Spanish schools open chess clubs. The main purpose of their creation is the desire to improve pupil’s achievement in such subjects as math for kids and reading.
Chess as a new subject in the Spanish schools
This year the Spanish Parliament passed a law in a unanimous order, according to which regional governments are allowed to introduce chess classes as optional or even a compulsory subject in schools. The deputies, representing oppositional parties, advocated the maintenance of this bill. Chess can replace music lessons, sports activities partially or the lessons of religious education.
The legislator from the oppositional Socialist party, which had drafted this law, quoted the studies that showed that studying chess lasting one hour per week helps to increase pupil’s achievement in math by 30 %. In accordance with other studies, it has been noted that Spanish students fall behind their peers in other developed countries in such subjects as mathematics and reading. The choice of chess as an optional school subject was also influenced by the fact that the Ministry of Education allowed schools to choose 35 % of subjects of the school curriculum. In addition, conducting of the chess tournament in Madrid had some impact on this choice.
Chess masters from local chess clubs are involved in preparing and conducting of the lessons. But there is also a view that ordinary teachers trained accordingly can cope with this task.
The impact of chess training on children’s abilities
According to the opinion of some pupils, chess for kids can really increase mental capacity. Playing chess, you have to concentrate, and to predict many moves in advance, that helps to strengthen memory. Chess also helps to improve patience, consistency, to develop creative thinking. Many families think that if their children would learn chess for kids it would help to quicken their imagination and to organize their thoughts.
Chess, from the very first days of acquaintance with them, teach children to think logically and to reason. Consider also how, by playing chess, kids learn logical thinking. Judge for yourself: during the lesson, the coach tells the kids the rules of the game of chess, children learn them. And during the game each of them has to make their own decisions, guided by the rules of the game, namely what move to make in this position. During the search for the necessary move, guided by the rules of the game, the child finds two or even three possible moves. Then he begins to reason logically and to match: which of these moves is best. Frankly, the child makes the correct logical choice not at once, but he wants it, and it’s all great that the child analyzes, thinks, says and tries to choose the best move. Defining what the course is the best, in his opinion, the child makes a decision and makes a move.
We should also focus on one quality, which you get when you play math games. A child learns to make his own decision. He also develops confidence in his own judgment, the ability to properly assess the progress of his thoughts. Chess teaches children not only thinking logically but also doing conclusions. Systematic, regular exercise and a practical chess game promote the increasing development of these qualities in the child. And that it should be specially noted, the child with each lesson begins to realize that he can do independently. And so the child gradually establishes the independence, he discloses up and matures as a person.
Experience with the implementation of chess in the educational institutions of other countries
It is believed that for the first time the lessons of chess began to use as an educational tool in Kalmykia, the southern Russian region. There the chess were adopted as a subject in 1996. In Armenia this practice was applied throughout the country in 2011. In 2014 this practice was followed by Mexico, Germany, India and China.