To Parents of Chess Kids,
Study after study shows that chess provides numerous mental benefits. Chess promotes brain growth by stimulating the growth of dendrites in the brain, improving neural communication. Chess exercises the left and right hemisphere of the brain. Studies show that even participating in a chess program for a few months can produce significant improvements in IQ. Playing chess keeps the brain active and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Because chess activates the right side of the brain, it increases creativity and originality. Chess improves problem solving skills and leads to higher scores on standardized tests. Chess helps develop the prefrontal cortex of the brain for teens, which can lead to greater planning and foresight. Chess improves reading skills and study habits. Playing the game optimizes memory capacity. Chess promotes the development of fine motor skills, particularly useful for people that are injured or have a disability.
There are a few ways in which parents can help their kids get access to the best resources and get the most out of their time at chess club. First, at Chess Kings, we highly recommend that each individual student owns their own chess set. This can give the player the opportunity to play more often. Also, http://www.chess.com is a good place for kids to play online for free against others around their skill level.
With any art form, to gain a high level of proficiency, the student must put in a large number of hours. This more, than anything else, will lead to success on the board. The top chess programs in the state generally meet more than once a week. While programs that are starting off will likely meet only once a week, we encourage schools to increase the frequency of the meetings if the kids are enthusiastic about the game.
The best thing you can do as a parent is offer positive encouragement regardless of tournament performance. We highly recommend that your child attend chess clubs, camps, and tournaments in order learn and improve their chess skills. The website www.il-chess.org offers many opportunities for scholastic and professional play. Scholastic tournaments are for K-12 and and professional tournaments are sponsored by the United States Chess Federation (USCF). Registration for professional tournaments requires paying an annual membership fee. Feel free to contact us and we will be happy to answer any questions.
Lastly, we strongly encourage purchasing chess books. I wrote the book called The Real Beginner’s Guide to Chess, which is available on Amazon. This book forms the basis of our curriculum and helps to bring the student from beginner to intermediate level play.
All the best,