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Why Chess

Chess helps promote intellectual growth and has been shown to improve academic performance.  

In 1991 and 1996, Stuart M. Margulies, Ph.D., a noted educational psychologist, conducted two studies examining the effects of chess on children’s reading scores. The studies demonstrated that students who participated in the chess program showed improved scores on standardized tests. The gains were even greater among children with low or average initial scores. Children who were in the non-chess playing control group showed no gains.

Another study in 1999, measured the impact of chess on the emotional intelligence of fifth graders. The results of the study were striking. The overall success rate in handling real life situations with emotional intelligence was 91.4% for the children who participated in the Chess in the Schools program. In contrast, those who were not involved with the chess program had an average overall success rate of only 64.4%.

Throughout the more than twenty years of the School Program’s existence, many educators, parents, and students have told us how wonderful it is to have chess taught in the classroom. Below are a few of the comments we have received in letters of gratitude from those who have experienced our program.

“It is a delight to see our students devote their time to such a challenging and stimulating activity.”
Joel I. Klein, Former Chancellor, The New York City Department of Education

“Our teachers believe that the game of chess fosters concentration, critical thinking and positive self-esteem.”
Principal, Elementary School in Manhattan

 “Students who participate in this magnificent program show an increase in their self-confidence and self-esteem, while developing cooperative learning skills and a deeper respect for each other.”
Principal, Intermediate School in the Bronx

“Since our Chess Instructor has been a valuable part of our staff, our math grades have significantly risen. Can this mean that chess has had an impact on our math successes? We believe there is a direct correlation.”
Principal, Intermediate School 171 in Brooklyn

“The Chess in the Schools program has demonstrated how through chess children can improve their concentration, work habits, logical thinking and other skills related to school success.”
Harold O. Levy, Former Chancellor, The Board of Education of the City of New York

“I can’t believe I get to do all of this because of chess.”
High School Student in the College Bound Program


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