Why Chess?

Chess, one of the oldest and most intriguing of games, is a pedagogical tool for students of all ages and abilities. Through chess, students learn thinking skills which are applicable to other disciplines.

The NSCF endorses the statement of Dr. Robert Ferguson that chess provides the necessary 4th "R" in education - reasoning.

  • Chess improves concentration and self-discipline;
  • Chess involves all levels of critical thinking (knowledge, comprehension, analysis, evaluation);
  • Chess requires forethought and circumspection;
  • Chess cultivates visualization;
  • Chess develops problem solving skills;
  • Chess encourages children to overcome the fear of risk-taking;
  • Chess teaches children to assume responsibility for their decisions;
  • Chess encourages socialization skills that extend across cultures and generations;
  • Chess raises self-esteem and promotes good sportsmanship;
  • Chess rewards determination and perseverance;
  • Chess is fun!

Children from all backgrounds can succeed at chess. Even children who are not performing well in school are inspired by chess and show a better attitude towards learning.

For more on this subject, see the Chess in Education Research Summary
by Dr. Robert Ferguson. 




Sunil Weeramantry is a strong player, but more important, he’s a gifted chess teacher—one of the most successful the United States has ever had. Many students who began under his tutelage as rank beginners have won national titles. What is his secret? Sunil simply understands the didactic process and loves teaching.

Recommended books for beginning players.