Should Chess Be Taught in Elementary Schools?

A great story from Al-Jazeera on how Armenia has made taking chess a requirement for second, third, and fourth-graders.

A team of Armenian psychologists headed by Ruben Aghuzumstyan has been researching the impact of chess on young minds since last year.

Aghuzumstyan said preliminary results show that children who play chess score better in certain personality traits such as individuality, creative thinking, reflexes and comparative analysis.

I don’t have visions of chess reaching extremes in America (as described below), but I do think at least offering chess as elective courses in elementary school would be advantageous:

Yerevan Chess House, located in the heart of Armenia’s capital, bears testimony to the country’s chess mania. Every day dozens of chess players, young and old, spend hours here battling it out on their boards. Magazines, newspapers, books and DVDs about chess are on sale at the chess house’s newsstand.

Chess 64” is a popular TV show hosted by Gagik Hovhannisian that has been running since 1972. Earlier this year, the government introduced another programme, “Chess World“, hosted by 22-year-old Aghasi Inants, to attract youngsters to the sport.

My parents taught me to play chess at a young age, around five or six. I do think the game sharpens the mind and teaches you how to think.

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