Multi Benefits of Tournament Chess for Children in Schools
Published in 2012, this study evaluated the impact of a weekly after-school chess intervention on students’ cognitive development and behavioral skills in Spain. 170 treatment group students self-selected to participate in the chess program, and 60 randomly selected control group students had the option to play either basketball or soccer after school. Students ages 6-16 completed a cognitive assessment, Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-R), and a behavioral questionnaire, Multi factor Self-Assessment Test of Child Adjustment (TAMAI). Treatment and control students completed both assessments before and after the study period—one academic year. The authors used ANOVA to compare post-test outcomes for the two groups, controlling for the pre-test group scores. The WISC-R effect size was 0.388 standard deviation units; the TAMAI effect size was -0.471 units. The findings were statistically significant. This study was eligible for inclusion in the systematic literature review and categorized as a Tier III study. While the study provides pre- and post-test scores for both groups, it did not test whether the pre-test results for treatment and control groups were statistically different. Measured effects may be biased due to student self-selection into the chess program.
This paper examines the benefits of regularly playing chess for the intellectual and social-emotional enrichment of a group of 170 schoolchildren from 6-16 years old. It is based on a quasi-experimental design, where the independent variable was the extracurricular activity of chess (n = 170) versus extracurricular activities of soccer or basketball (n = 60). The dependent variable was intellectual and socio-affective competence, which was measured by an IQ test (WISC-R), a self-report test (TAMAI) and a hetero-report questionnaire (teacher-tutor's criterion) applied at the beginning and the end of the academic year. In contrast to the comparison group, it was found that chess improves cognitive abilities, coping and problem-solving capacity, and even socioaffective development of children and adolescents who practice it. The results are modulated, particularly in the area socio affective, by the personal profile of students who choose practice this activity.