Chess: A Great Way to Improve Your Child's Analytical and Problem Solving Skills.

Chess is a fun way for your child to exercise their brain, interact with other children, and improve their critical thinking and strategy skills.

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Some games don't develop specific knowledge so much as they develop basic thinking skills. Chess is one of those games. It's for people of all ages and it's never too early to start. What's more, age doesn't really matter when your matching up opponents. Some youngsters are masters of the game, while many grown-ups simply don't get it. There are lots of great reasons to play Chess, apart from the sheer enjoyment of the game. It's a great way to strengthen a young mind and exercise thinking skills so important in a child's education.

Memory

Chess develops memory and concentration. Different rules govern each piece, so players need to be aware of what their pieces are capable of, how to use them, and when. A player needs to be able to plan several moves ahead and adjust for unexpected changes on the board. Some players use patterns to get started. Memorizing these patterns can help you know what your opponent is up to and can help you win the game.

Logic

Logical thinking is crucial in the game of Chess. You need to understand, in advance, the consequences of your actions. Any move you make will have a major, lasting effect on the rest of the game. What you do with your knight can put other pieces in danger, or prevent catastrophe. Also, it will evoke a range of predictable responses from your opponent.

Imagination

Creativity is very important in Chess. The game is not limited to patterns and you can construct different sequences of moves in every game, and in every phase of each game. There are so many combinations that you'll probably never run out of ideas. And each combination will have its own effect on the game play, so even more imagination is required down the road. Chess has been called 'an art appearing in the form of a game.' It encourages you to paint pictures in your mind of ideal arrangement of your pieces.

Cause and Effect

Each player has the chance to make choices for himself and live with the consequences (good or bad!). Nothing happens by chance in the game of Chess and its' never the same game twice. It's all a result of the choices you make. Mistakes are inevitable (another great lesson the game teaches!) and recovering from them requires an understanding of what went wrong and what is likely to occur as a result. Chess can be a real exercise in independent action and taking responsibility. It's a safe place to take 'life threatening' chances!

Math and Science

As with science, Chess requires the player to consider numerous possibilities, explore new ideas, experiment with new moves and try to predict and interpret their outcomes. It requires the player to formulate a hypothesis and test it. And the math is everywhere on a Chessboard. You have to line up your moves and follow the grid to execute them. Bishops, for example, can only move in an unbroken diagonal line. Knights can only move in an L shape. And you need to be able to calculate the 'casualties,' that is, estimate and keep track of how many pieces you and your opponent will have left, which pieces and where on the board they will be after you execute a plan.

Some experts date the invention of Chess back to the 6th century A.D. There's a reason for such longevity. Chess teaches and requires skills and modes of thinking common to every race, culture and time. A game of Chess puts the mind through a rigorous work out that can improve logic, critical thinking, imagination and the ability to form and respond to strategy. Chess fosters the foundational mental capacities that underlie learning and creativity. It's a great way to break from the facts and figures without leaving education behind.

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