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Chess As A Way To Teach Thinking:

DeGroot (1946) found that chess masters could briefly look at a chess scene and then reconstruct it from memory, whereas less skilled players could place far fewer pieces. When given a board with pieces presented in random places, however, masters did no better than novices. This shows that the master player does not simply have a better memory; the master has a memory for meaningful configurations. Later Simon and Chase (1973) explained this phenomenon in terms of "chunking." At higher levels of knowledge, a person sees and manipulates information in larger chunks. A literate person, for example, can remember many letters if they are arranged in meaningful words and sentences, but not nearly as many if they are in a random list.

DeGroot's findings have been crucial in shaping how we think about cognition. In Search for Excel/ence, for example, Peters and Waterman (1982) quote the classic chess studies to show that the manager who thoroughly understands his or her organization will be better able to process information efficiently and thereby make superior judgments.

Citations: Horgan, D. (1987). Chess as a way to teach Thinking. Teaching, Thinking and Problem Solving, 9, 4-11.

A Functional MRI Study Of High-Level Cognition. I. The Game Of Chess

The game of chess has a long history in Western intellectual culture. In contrast to many forms of physical games, it taxes the mental resources of the player. Because of this role, the cognitive processes involved in the game of chess have intrigued psychologists for decades . Although there is a rich history of psychological investigations of chess playing, such as de Groot’s research on memory and expertise, there is very limited understanding of the neural bases of this complex process and what evidence does exist is sometimes contradictory. This dearth of findings in neuroscience is surprising given that chess has been the focus of ongoing artificial intelligence research for half a century, yet is understandable given that chess playing is a cognitive task that cannot be studied in nonhuman primates.

The pattern of activations in the Research is consistent with the involvement of a number of general cognitive processes in chess play. It also provides tentative answers to some important questions. It is reasonable to ask if chess is primarily a logical / computational skill or a spatial one. The high degree of activation in the parietal areas and the lack of activation in the left lateral frontal lobe, normally associated with traditional measures of intelligence and logical reasoning, are surprising and may suggest that chess cognition is primarily spatial. This inference is also supported by the high degree of activation in the occipital / parietal lobes, which may indicate preliminary spatial and visual processing. Conversely, it may also suggest that the parietal areas may be capable of more than just spatial orientations but also more complex spatial computations involving the interaction of stored knowledge and incoming spatial information. This interpretation is supported in part by research showing that areas of the parietal lobes are involved in numeric comparison and approximation, as well as complex spatial tasks such as mental rotation. Much of the activation in the parietal lobes could be related to the mental imagery involved in checking plausible moves, and the superior frontal areas may be involved in the maintenance and possibly the selection of spatial patterns within the posterior regions.

Citations: Atherton, M., Zhuang, J., Bart, W. M., Hu, X., & He, S. (2003). A functional MRI study of high-level cognition. I. The game of chess. Cognitive Brain Research, 16(1), 26-31.

Social-Emotional Enrichment In Schoolchildren

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).

To conclude, this work provides new and contrasted evidence about the value of chess as an educational tool. Chess not only improves cognitive capacities, it also influences sociopersonal development and molds the coping and problem-solving capacity in the children and adolescents who play chess. With the data provided by this work, one could conclude that chess is not reaching a collective for which it could be particularly beneficial, as it is predominantly chosen by those who are already well adapted to school. Doubtless, an important challenge is to motivate maladapted students to practice a game that requires them to remain seated and to have a high level of concentration, and which can, nonetheless, become thrilling. More psychoeducational research and didactic innovation is needed to bring this effective educational tool closer to potential beneficiaries.

In the cognitive dimension, the students who played chess improved significantly, in comparison to the soccer/basketball group, in the following tests: Similarities, Digits, Block Design, Object Assembly, and Mazes. Likewise, according to the pre-post-test measures within this group, we found a significant global improvement in almost all the cognitive competences measured, except for Arithmetic and Mazes. Therefore, the value of chess as a tool to be introduced in the classroom to stimulate cognitive competences and skills is confirmed (Groot, 1946; 1965; Krogius, 1972). The continued practice of an extracurricular activity such as chess improves general cognitive capacity aspects such as the capacity for verbal abstraction, attention, resistance to distraction, perceptive organization, analysis, synthesis, visuomotor coordination, speed, planning, and foresight. Thus, playing chess contrasts with other programs of intellectual enrichment, because it requires appraising alternatives and making decisions instantly, providing immediate feedback of the soundness of the decision. It is a game that simultaneously activates diverse intellective skills to design the strategy that will lead to victory. A strategy that, in turn, will have to be revised depending on the opponent’s responses.

Citations: Aciego, R., García, L., & Betancort, M. (2012). The benefits of chess for the intellectual and social-emotional enrichment in schoolchildren. The Spanish journal of psychology, 15(2), 551-559.

Yash Kulhari wins 1st Dhoni's Trophy Below 1600 Rating Tournament 2023

18-year-old Yash Kulhari and Aswin P G scored an unbeaten 8/9 each at 1st Dhoni's Trophy Below 1600 Rating Tournament 2023. Yash won the tournament due to better tie-breaks, Aswin was placed second. Six players - Gudimetla Navaneeth Reddy, Kesavan G, Ebin Benny, Mohit S, Srinivasan Subramaniam and Prasath K R scored 7.5/9 each. They were placed third to eighth respectively according to tie-breaks. The total prize fund of the tournament was ₹680000. Total 198 prizes including 98 cash prize and 100 trophies were up for grabs.

Shadhursshaan clinches 1st Dhoni's Trophy Rating Open 2023

15-year-old Shadhursshaan R scored an unbeaten 8/9 to win 1st Dhoni's Trophy Rating Open 2023. He finished a half point ahead of the competition. Sailesh R, Aakash G and Iyengar Narayan scored 7.5/9 each. They were placed second to fourth respectively according to tie-breaks. The total prize fund of the tournament was ₹720000. 208 prizes including 103 cash prize and 105 trophies were up for grabs. The top three prizes were ₹50000, ₹35000 and ₹25000 along with a trophy each respectively.