Should kids play chess? Research suggests that they should! Don’t miss the London Chess Classic (1-10 December 2012)

There are studies that suggest that introducing pupils to chess at a young age offers them a host of educational and social benefits that are not engendered by other team and individual sports. Numerous research studies have shown the positive impact chess has on students’ academic performance, especially in maths, reading, problem solving and attendance levels. Chess is a universal game and brings children of different ages, races and genders together in an activity they can all enjoy. Chess can also teach children valuable life lessons such as sportsmanship – how to win graciously, accept defeat, learn from it and persevere.

As UK charity Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC)’s flagship event, the London Chess Classic will feature a line-up of some of the world’s greatest chess players but also boasts a huge range of activities for children and parents alike across the ten-day period, with well over 1000 children expected to attend.

Professional chess coaches will host lessons for players of all levels and training is also available to those wishing to teach the game. At the weekends parents will be able to bring their children to Olympia for lessons from grandmasters and other experts. Budding junior chess players can sign up to compete at the event in either the CSC Junior Tournament or Junior Rapidplay.

The London Chess Classic, Britain’s leading Chess tournament, will return to Olympia this December. The fourth annual event is once again hosted by UK charity ‘Chess in Schools and Communities’ (CSC) which aims to ‘improve children’s educational outcomes and foster their social development by introducing them to the game of chess’.


Founded in 2010, the charity’s mission is to give primary school children in the country the chance to learn how to play chess and now delivers chess lessons to 7,000 children in 157 schools across 29 boroughs in England and Wales. Its innovative approach, which sees the game taught formally in class time to 7-11 year olds in inner cities, received recognition in July with an award from the Sports and Recreation Alliance.

Malcolm Pein, Chief Executive of CSC, said: “The London Chess Classic forms an integral part of promoting CSC’s campaign to put chess into 1,000 schools around the UK. We hope this year’s roster of chess talent combined with the huge range of activities at this year’s event will continue to inspire children from all backgrounds to take an interest in chess and promote the benefits that it brings to their educational and social development. We would encourage chess players of all ages and levels, children and parents, to visit www.chessinschools.co.uk to discover all that the London Chess Classic has to offer.”


Children under 16 are admitted free to the London Chess Classic, with adult tickets just £15 per day (£20 at weekends) and £100 for access to all nine days of the tournament. Adult and Junior ticket holders receive admission to the tournament, plus a guaranteed seat in the auditorium and access to the Commentary Room where some of the UK’s leading Grandmasters will give insights into the play and answer questions. Live video commentary will also be available free of charge to online spectators from 1993 World Champion finalist Nigel Short.

All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the CSC charity. For more information on the CSC initiative, to donate or to buy tickets to the London Chess Classic 2012, please visit www.chessinschools.co.uk.

CSC is a registered charity whose mission is to give every primary school child in the country the chance to learn how to play chess. The charity was formed in 2010 but has already taught over 6,000 children. This year CSC will deliver chess to 7,000 children in 157 schools across 29 boroughs in England and Wales. The charity provides schools with chess sets, a chess curriculum and a weekly visit from a chess trainer.

Former US President Bill Clinton agrees: “Playing chess helps students develop thinking and analyzing skills, concentration, greater self-control and self-confidence … We have hard evidence that chess in schools works.”
– William Jefferson Clinton

CASE STUDY: Chess the new cool in Hackney schools

While Hackney Marshes is widely regarded as the spiritual home of Sunday League football, children at local primary schools have taken to an altogether more intellectual form of recreational activity.

A normal afternoon at Southwold Primary School and Orchard Primary School sees children sat in quiet contemplation rather than tearing round the local football pitches, as they pit their wits against each other over games of chess. The schools are just two out of a number across the country enjoying the benefits of chess thanks to the mission of ‘Chess in Schools and Communities’ (CSC) to give primary school children around the UK the chance to learn how to play the game.

A registered charity, CSC aims to ‘improve children’s educational outcomes and foster their social development by introducing them to the game of chess’, highlighting that introducing pupils to the game at a young age offers them a host of educational and social benefits that are not engendered by other team and individual sports.

In fact, numerous research studies have shown the positive impact chess has on students’ academic performance, especially in maths, reading, problem solving and attendance levels. Chess is a universal game and brings children of different ages, races and genders together in an activity they can all enjoy. Chess can also teach children valuable life lessons such as sportsmanship – how to win graciously, accept defeat, learn from it and persevere.

Southwold and Orchard Executive Head Teacher Stephen Hall commented: “Chess has really taken off at both schools. The game is showing them how to improve their concentration and thinking skills and the children are particularly excited by the prospect of seeing the world’s best players in action at this year’s London Chess Classic. It is fantastic to see our young players so engaged by the game.”

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