1. It’s fun!
They will have a great time whether it is a small Zoom group lesson, or an in-person class. Every week they learn more about chess and improve their skills, as well as making new friends with a common interest. With one-on-one lessons with a coach, they can progress even more rapidly.
2. It’s never boring.
Every chess game is different! Every move in a game has exponential possibilities –16 pieces you can move, and most of those pieces each having several possible moves — so two games are truly never alike.
3. Chess teaches them good sportsmanship.
A good chess coach always stresses winning and losing gracefully, shaking hands after a game, saying “good game” whether they won or lost, and so on. Good “chess etiquette” also teaches good “life etiquette”.
4. Anyone can become good at chess.
Any child can become a skilled chess player, not just the biggest or fastest kids, etc. They can succeed over the chess board whether they can qualify for other sports or not.
5. Chess teaches kids that you can learn from mistakes.
This wisdom also translates to life. If you make a mistake, you analyze your options and try again. Chances are you won’t make the same mistake next time.
6. Chess helps with focus and concentration.
Many children who can’t necessarily sit still and read a book for an hour can successfully play an hour long chess game. They are thinking and strategizing the whole time. Over time, their “mental endurance” increases and they can play longer and longer games. Even children diagnosed with ADD or autism can become high level chess players.
7. Chess gives kids a sense of accomplishment and self confidence.
A win or a draw at chess club or in a tournament is a big confidence builder. They can also feel a great sense of improvement and self confidence by winning in short online chess games against a computer (chess.com or Lichess.org) or by solving chess puzzles online.
8. Chess teaches kids to look at all the options before making a move.
And this is a skill that translates directly to life… whether the issue is what to eat for a snack; which book to read next; which homework to do first; which sport to turn out for; how to handle an unpleasant situation; which colleges to apply for; what fields of study would lead to a fulfilling career; etc.
9. Chess teaches kids that actions have consequences.
Whether you put your queen in dangerous spot and lose her on the next move after a “discovered check”…or you decide to use drugs at a party, which could turn out to be life threatening — this is a crucial life concept.
10. Good chess coaches teach good life values.
Kids of all ages thrive with good mentoring. They may remember or stay in touch with a favorite coach or teacher for years, or even decades. That coach or teacher can be a role model and a huge positive influence in a child’s life.