Chess Empowers Children!!Chess empowers children. Most children live in a world where they have very little control over what happens to them and those around them. They are not in charge.From the time that they awaken in the morning until the time that their eyes close at night, adults are telling them what to do, other children are pushing them around. Chess Empowers Children!!
In graduate school I devoured a book by Johann Huzinga, a Czech sociologist, entitled Homo Ludens (Man, the Player).The theme of the monograph is that human beings empower themselves by playing. One of the main ways that children learn to become adults is by playing, particularly board games. Chess, in my view, may be the greatest of board games.
By learning to play chess your children are empowering themselves in a way nothing else can, including school. They learn how to think in disciplined, creative ways. Thinking always wins over physical force. Who makes more money, the player or the owner? Chess teaches children to play games. Games are the controlling metaphor of our society. Everything we do is framed as a game. Our heroes are game players.
Jane McGonigal, a brilliant PhD, wrote a book called Reality is Broken, in which she elaborates on the power of games to make us better. McGonigal defines games as having four basic elements: 1. A goal 2.Rules 3. Feedback 4.voluntary. I would like to add a fifth, at least for chess. Games are social. Children will make friends playing chess.
We teach all of those elements at the US Chess Center in ways that no other chess programs do, The most important skill that we impart to young humans is abstract thinking and problem solving,with that comes confidence. You win the game by producing problems your opponent cannot solve (checkmate) and solving the problems that your opponent presents to you. Chess is hard!!! The rules are complex. Feedback is instant and clear. The game demands the combination of ideas and melding of goals to win. In a saturday chess tournament a child might create and solve 200 problems of a very abstract nature. How many problems do you solve every day?
On the chess board children learn to be in charge. They learn that there is no one to blame for what happens on the board other than themselves. Excuses have no place on the chess board. Chess is truth! We teach that to your children!
The traits that you acquire playing chess will help in school if school interests you. Thinking is the greatest trait that a human being can display. Chess is also very inexpensive. You can get a quality set for less than $10 dollars and the library is full of books. Do not overlook our classes.
Sit down and watch “Searching for Bobby Fischer” and “Brooklyn Castles” with your children. I would also try “Life of a King”.
Remember, Chess is hard!!