Demonstrating the Value of Chess in Education

Over many decades, researchers have studied how learning chess can positively impact chess in education. From improvement in reading and math scores to critical and creative thinking assessments to helping with special needs, chess has been proven as an effective pedagogical tool for students of all ages and abilities.

The NSCF's executive director, Sunil Weeramantry served as the first Chairman of the US Chess Federation’s Committee on Chess in Education from 1990 to 2000, and produced Chess in Education workshops across the country. During this time he often worked with Dr. Robert Ferguson who NSCF still recommends as one of the leading authorities on the benefits of scholastic chess. In 1995, for a conference convened at the Borough of Manhattan Community Colleges (BMCC), Dr. Ferguson compiled this summary of studies that reviewed work going back to the early 1970s: Chess in Education Research Summary. One of the studies, Dr. Ferguson and Sunil both recommend from this time period was by Dr. Stuart Marguiles on The Effect of Chess on Reading Scores.

Our friends at St. Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center have compiled a broad selection of more recent studies. In 2014, SLCCSC funded a Literature Review of Chess Studies which you can download.

Recommended books for beginning players.

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