Playing chess may provide boon to learning

Photo by Kelcey Williams

Photo by Kelcey Williams

Peter Floess

Staff Writer

Participating in Parkland’s chess club may boost learning ability and problem-solving skills, meaning the sport may be a valuable addition to a student’s itinerary.

Students who want to take part regularly have to maintain their academics as well. For students who are struggling academically, Taylor reminds them to focus on their classes instead of chess.

“They must not miss class due to the chess club and must not be struggling academically,” says Taylor.

However, studies have found the game to be a mind-enhancing one; it has the potential to improve a person’s learning ability.

According to Educational Psychologist William Bart of the University of Minnesota and Philippe Chassy of Liverpool Hope University in a 2014 paper, school-aged students that learned chess saw “improvements in attention and concentration and interest in learning” in multiple studies.

Also according to Bart and Chassy, a study found that school-aged students who played chess did better on math tests “that required problem-solving skills on complex tasks. That effect was greater among students who had more hours of chess instruction.”

These findings can also be applied to community college students as well. Robert Graber, an instructor of finance at the University of Arkansas, predicts in a paper from 2009 that college students that play chess may do better in business courses than students who do not play chess.

Attendance of the chess club varies from week to week, but Taylor tries to let the officers run the club. To be an officer in the club, participants must have a 2.0 grade-point average.

This semester, Parkland’s chess club meets every Tuesday from noon–1 p.m. in the Flag Lounge in the X-wing, and 11 a.m.–1 p.m. on Thursdays near the cafeteria in the Student Union.

The club is open to all Parkland students and staff. People are welcome to watch or participate in the chess games.

“The chess club will welcome anyone who wants to play, all levels are welcome from beginners to people who want to enter tournaments,” says Taylor.