Should Chess be Taught in Schools? (Truth be Told)

Chess is one of the oldest games in the world, it is also one of the most popular board games.

Surely a game with a history rich in knowledge would be included in schools right? The home of learning would certainly welcome a game that has been historically known for its knowledge build right? 

Unfortunately this is not the case in most countries. There are exceptions (especially countries that love chess in the first place) but most do not practice any chess subjects in their curriculum.

This is surely a missed opportunity that can change the world if performed on a global scale. 

I will discuss my thoughts on this as well as some other reasons why chess should not be included in a specific academic level. This is an interesting article for me, let’s get started. 

Why is this even on the table?

This article is mainly from an observation that I have with our community. Kids who have learned chess seem to be more energetic, social, and intelligent.

This is pretty interesting since chess has the reputation of being a game that is played by nerds, I thought it would be the opposite.

It seems that kids have it the other way around, and it makes sense the more I think about it. Chess teaches kids proper decision making. 

It instills in them the ability to weigh their options and decide which course of action to take.

This is something that is required of you rather frequently in the game of chess, and it is also something that you could encounter in actual situations.

There are also some association between chess skills and i.q. scores, kids do benefit from being sharp at a young age.

Of course a kid will still be a kid and do stupid stuff, but the correlation is there and I will attempt to explain it. Going beyond this thinking the second question would be the macro, which is the old age question about chess and schooling.

Basically this article is the fruit of me looking at a bunch of children and contemplating. This is weird but I will create the article anyway haha. 

Does chess help with our academic goals?

First it is important to determine whether chess even helps with our academic goals. 

Academic education is of the highest significance to any nation, since it bestows information that provides its citizens with a competitive advantage on a worldwide basis. 

Additionally, it equips students with the “transferable skills” that are necessary for success in the job.

Education may be broken down into two categories: academic education and vocational courses. Vocational training helps students acquire practical training, often known as specialized abilities necessary in certain fields of work. 

In the meanwhile, academic education pertains to the fundamentals of a field of research, which are not often particularly focused on being practical or vocational in nature.

Chess is something that I would qualify as a vocational skill (although not formally) and is something that can help with the actual academic and vocational pursuits. 

The game of chess encourages pupils to engage in analytical thought and strategic planning, both of which contribute to the growth and sharpening of their minds. 

Chess is a game that requires concentration, calculation, and the ability to find solutions to problems; as a result, the game may be used to educate pupils important life skills in which they will require as grownups.

The history of chess is also rich with lessons and reading. Many events in our history shaped how chess is played today. Turning it into a mini subject can give a perspective on how history massively affects a simple board game.

On these grounds I think that chess, at least conceptually, has a case on why it should be a part of a school’s curriculum. 

Chess subjects should be taught in elementary schools

Those that can gain the most value in the addition of chess topics to academic curriculum would be the children, it would teach them memorization and critical thinking.

Young adults (those who are already in college) won’t gain as much mental boost in comparison to just studying their specific subjects.

Youngsters may be introduced to the delights of cognitive critical thinking via the game of chess, which is why it should be taught in schools. 

Chess is a game that improves folk’s ability to think critically and educates them how to analyze. 

When approaching a situation in chess, a player shouldn’t have the mentality of “oh, I’m doomed” (unless they are one hundred percent certain), but rather they should have the mentality of “let’s delve deeper and find a better way through.” or “let’s make things more complicated for my competitor.” 

After then, this may be used to educate individuals how to handle difficulties by applying it to difficult challenges.

A large number of children find that “highly intelligent” activities or academic interests are boring. 

When you educate kids on strategies and the pleasures of coming up with a solution, it can start to change an outlook from “this is enormous, I can’t do something like this” to “what an intriguing conundrum, I want to know what the remedy is.” 

Related: 30 Actionable Steps to Effectively Teach Chess to Kids

This change in perception can have a significant impact on how successful they are in their future endeavors.

Also, the game of chess instills a healthy respect for defeat in young players. Some younger children, particularly those who are still in elementary school, have difficulty embracing their defeats and carrying on. 

This is especially true for pupils in elementary school. Chess is a fantastic game that not only motivates but also bolsters that conviction.

Chess subjects should also be taught in high schools

Chess should be also taught in high schools, the core competencies necessary to excel in chess will still help in making an academic learner’s growth better.

It is also a good subject to include in order to understand the beauties of life, similar as to how the topics of music and arts are formally taught in schools.

I believe that chess must also be taught in highschools, but not for the grounds that most people believe it should be learned for. 

You can improve your ability to prioritize, make decisions, and exercise patience by playing chess, but you won’t be able to do so unless you have a coach who can show you how to play the game effectively.

Chess provides an opportunity to hone these abilities.

Because of its artistic value, chess should be given to students. Pupils, just like musicians, need to be exposed to beautiful and amazing things in order to perhaps be inspired to take aesthetic and cultural concerns seriously.

In addition, the game of chess is considered to be one of those global dialects, and it is regularly utilized as a symbolism in writing and on broadcast.

It enables us to comprehend the meaning of our own existence and to empathize with the experiences of other people. 

Chess and art is also widely acknowledged as a promoter of fresh ideas, which is required to tackle the most critical challenges that our world is currently facing. 

Developing a student’s artistic skills via study and practice of chess and making use of their creative potential will help pupils improve in any endeavor that they may take in the future. 

This is why I think chess should also be widely taught in highschools. 

Chess shouldn’t be formally required for young adults on college

Chess should be taught in elementary to support early child development in the areas of mental health and social growth, however those in college shouldn’t need to study this game. 

Chess is a great game, but there are diminishing returns and young adults would probably be no better than just spending an hour or two studying academic-related subjects.

As someone who has played for years I can testify that after spending so much time there will be a point of diminishing returns. I think that learning chess in highschool is great but not so much after that. 

It is way better for college students to study what they go to college for, academic related subjects. I personally believe that chess would not give much benefit to college students (and I am a college student at the time of this writing).

College students are basically young adults already, teaching them values is still important, but it is probably not as important as when they are children.

People at this level have minds that have already been developed, a chess subject would not give as much of an impact as when it is taught to kids. 

I personally believe that if you want to teach college students critical thinking then you should recommend them reading an academic book. Not only that it is more relevant it will probably give more value than a subject about chess.

Don’t get me wrong I still think there is value in adding chess subjects to the curriculum, just not on the college level. 

There might be other sports that are better for college schools than chess

It is important to think about the possible alternatives to chess that could bring as much value if not more. We have to face the truth, other sports at the college level can probably give as much value as chess. Or can they? 

Sports in general allows college students to learn many things that are important in competency including passion, dedication, diligence, sportsmanship, etc., chess to be specific does teach these things to students. 

However there are also many other ways you can learn this with extra exercise (physical sports), though chess is good there are other priorities.

For a long time, people have looked to sports as a means of maintaining their physical health. 

But the significance of sports extends far deeper than that. Students benefit from a more well-rounded education when they participate in sports.

Participating in athletics may instill important life skills such as collaboration, commitment, identity, obligation, and consciousness in its participants.

Students who participate in sports in schooling are better prepared to deal with the obstacles they will encounter in life. The pupils’ mental and physical capabilities are improved, and they are assisted in accomplishing various life objectives as a result.

Chess is good, but physical sports might be better. 

Having said that, I can see how some people will think that chess is great for college anyway. Primarily because there are still benefits in implementing chess to the college system. 

The majority of college educational institutions place a greater emphasis on physical difficulties than they do on cerebral activity.

Activities that challenge one’s mind, such as chess, meditation, or other similar pursuits, may be of great benefit to overall growth.

The skills required to play chess, such as strategic planning, attentiveness, patience, and the ability to remain calm under pressure, might be beneficial for young adults.

Having said that, I am not quite certain if chess is solely a cerebral activity for the purpose of accomplishing that. A game of go or shogi, or anything similar, may be a decent contender.

It is necessary for us to determine what makes the most sense, both culturally and in terms of interests.


It is simple to conclude that chess as a subject will add great benefit to elementary and high school students.

This means that if we are to add chess to school subjects then it should be on these levels. It teaches kids critical thinking, passion, problem solving , and how to accept your losses, a subject like this would be helpful.

Having said that, I do not think that a chess subject at the college level will be very helpful. I personally think that other sports which also bring other physical benefits (that are not only mental) will be much more compatible with the college system.

Also there are other mind games that can take its spot.

This is definitely something to think about, thank you for reading.