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Why Chess Should Be a Part of Every Child’s Education

posted September 3, 2014

Written by Laura Sherman of YourChessCoach.com

Imagine a world where people all have excellent problem solving skills, where they are patient and respectful of each other on a daily basis. A society where citizens live for the future and plan long term, thinking of where their children’s children will be, following through, seeing each goal to its conclusion with ease. Now add to that an indefinable quality of artistic imagination, dreaming for more than can be reasonably expected, reaching beyond the status quo.

Chess can teach our next generation all these skills and more!

I learned chess when I was young and to this day I see the world as a giant chess game where any barrier can be conquered and any victory can be achieved. No goal is impossible and when I have a target in sight there is no stopping me. The same glint I had in my eye when I faced an opponent at a chess tournament still exists today when I face a challenge, along with the insouciant grin that comes from the pure joy of the experience.

Intuitively most would agree that chess improves a student’s grades and ability to study. Numerous studies have been done over the years throughout the world that show this to be the case. IQ increases, reading test results improve as do math and science scores. However there are so many other skills children pick up naturally from learning and becoming good at chess.

Imagination is a must in chess. You cannot form strategies and tactical plans without being able to envision your goals. It is impossible to win a game without first imagining the victory. You are the one to make the chess pieces dance to the rhythm you choose. Without the player the pieces just sit dormant on a dusty board.

A child’s self confidence soars as the victories pile up, especially when that child can routinely trounce adults. Allow that child to teach other children or perhaps even the adults and he or she will master the game quickly. Nothing helps someone learn faster than teaching others and nothing does more for one’s pride than to see someone improve under one’s tutelage.

In order to achieve a victory one must consistently play well throughout the game. You can make forty excellent moves and one thoughtless blunder and lose the game instantly. As a result you quickly learn to be thorough in your analysis and patient with your moves. Imagine if we all applied this little lesson to our daily lives. Thoughtless comments, heat of the moment bursts of anger, crimes of passion might just become things of the past to be studied as a part of a history lesson.

If every parent initiated regular family chess nights and if every school taught chess as part of their daily lesson plan imagine where our country could be. Children naturally are drawn to chess. If you don’t believe me try an easy experiment. Go to an area populated with children, put out a chess set and see what happens. I promise you they will flock to the board and become immersed in a game. We all have the power to fuel our children’s existing passion for learning and help our next generation soar. Let’s make a difference!

This article was written by Chess Instructor Laura Sherman of YourChessCoach.com. Your Chess Coach is devoted to teaching chess to children of all ages, giving them the many life skills that the game offers.

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Chess in 1969

posted August 19, 2014

Ever wondered what sort of historical chess events occured in 1969? Of course you have. Who hasn't? This information was compiled by Bill Wall.

In 1969, the top U.S. players were Bobby Fischer (2745), Sam Reshevsky (2604), Larry Evans (2587), Pal Benko (2583), and Robert Byrne (2530). There were 12,580 members of the United States Chess Federation (USCF).

In November, 1969, Chess Review merged with Chess Life, to become Chess Life and Review.

In 1969 the chess Oscar went to Boris Spassky, who also won it in 1968.

In April, 1969, the first U.S. High School championship was held in New York. There were 370 players. The winner was John Watson of Omaha, Nebraska. The High School team championship went to Gompers HS in Chicago.

The world chess championship was held in Moscow from April 14 through June 17. Boris Spassky defeated the world champion Tigran Petrosian by the score of 12.5 to 10.5 to become new world champion.

The world’s women championship was won by Nona Gaprindashvili, who defended her title.

1n 1969, Simon and Schuster published his My 60 Memorable Games chess book by Bobby Fischer.

Andy Soltis won the 1969 U.S. Intercollegiate championship. The Pan Am Intercollegiate Championship was won by the University of Chicago.

Kimbal Nedved won the 1969 U.S. Amateur Championship, which was held in Philadelphia.

Ken Rogoff won the 1969 U.S. Junior championship. Larry Day won the 1969 US Junior Open.

Pal Benko, Milan Vukcevich, and Arthur Bisguier tied in the 1969 US Open, held in Lincoln, Nebraska.

In 1969, Sam Reshevsky won the 20th U.S. chess championship, held in New York.

In 1969, Gisela Gresser won the U.S. women’s chess championship for the 9th time.

In 1969, the top international players were Bobby Fischer (2720), Boris Spassky (2690), Viktor Korchnoi (2680), Mikhail Botvinnik (2660), Tigran Petrosian (2650), Bent Larsen (2630), Efim Geller (2620), Lajos Portisch (2620), Paul Keres (2610), and Lev Polugaevsky (2610).

In 1969, Ray Martin won the 5th American Open, held in Santa Monica. There were 202 players (including myself, who ended up with a 1552 USCF rating).

The 1969 All Postal Correspondence championship (APCT) was won by George Fawbush.

Army won the 1969 U.s. Armed Forces Championship. The individual winner was Army PFC Steven Hohensee.

The 1969 Women’s Olympiad was held in Lublin. The gold medal went to USSR, the silver went to Hungary, and the bronze went to Czechoslovakia.

In 1969, Japan held its first national chess tournament.

Births of chess players in 1969 include Jeroen Piket (Jan 27), Ferdinand Hellers (Jan 28), Alexei Dreev (Jan 30), Vasily Ivanchuk (March 18), Susan Polgar (April 19), Gregory Serper (Sep 14), Viswanathan Anand (Dec 11).

Deaths included Alexander Tolush (March 3), Alexey Sokolsky (Dec 27), and Kurt Richter (Dec 29).

Other tournaments for 1969 included Amsterdam (won by Portisch), Atlantic Open (won by Benko), Australian championship (won by Walter Browne), Beverwijk (won by Botvinnik and Geller), British Championship (won by Jonathan Penrose for the 10th time), Busum (won by Robert Huebner), Canadian Championship (won by Duncan Suttles and Vranesic), Continental Open (won by Kavalek), Hastings 1969-70 (won by Portisch), Ljubljana (won by Planinc), Malaga (won by Benko and Ivkov), Monaco (won by Smyslov and Portisch), Netanya (won by Reshevsky), Palma de Mallorca (won by Larsen), Raach (won by Uhlmann), San Juan (won by Spassky), Skopje (won by Hort and Matulovic), Tallinn (won by Stein), 37th USSR Championship (won by Petrosian and Polugaevsky). Venice (won by Hort), World Junior Championship (won by Karpov), and World Student Team Championship (won by USSR).

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