Chess is a universal game, knowing no boundaries of age, gender, faith, ethnicity or disability, that promotes key intellectual skills such as problem solving, logical thinking, pattern recognition and concentration. Playing chess also fosters intellectual character. Its cerebral reputation boosts self-esteem and gives children ‘grit’ – the tenacity to cope with adversity – which helps them grow into rounded and employable individuals. It does this by teaching children how to lose and how to win gracefully, to think ahead and foresee the consequences of their actions.

We aim to close the attainment gap, a major challenge of education policy: only 39% of disadvantaged children make expected progress in Key Stage 2 compared to 60% of their peers. According to the OECD, "Socio-economically disadvantaged students not only score lower … than advantaged students, they are less engaged with and at school, have less drive and motivation to learn, and hold negative self-beliefs about their ability to learn". We work entirely in the state sector, prioritising areas of deprivation, to give every child the chance to realise their full potential. Emerging research suggests a positive link between chess and academic attainment; a recent meta-study concludes that sustained exposure can have a significant impact on mathematics ability.

There is also growing interest in how chess can benefit the elderly, by providing opportunities to keep the mind active and to socialise. We are currently participating in a study with the University of Reading and look forward to further developments in this field.

Would you like to bring these benefits to your school or community? Are you interested in teaching chess? Find out how we can help you.