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Checkmate - Why should your child play Chess?

12 best openings in the history of chess


Picture this: It’s the early 7th century CE, it's India and it’s probably the Gupta period. A King is sitting on his throne, brows furrowed, intense look in his eyes, playing Chaturanga (common ancestor for chess). Years later as it spread to Persia, we hear the echoes of ‘al-shah mata’ which literally means ‘the king died’. That’s where the word ‘checkmate’ originated from.




Chess has very early beginnings. But it was not until 1886 that the first generally recognized world championship took place. It was Wilhelm Steinitz that won this iconic game.


The International Chess Federation or the World Chess Federation is an International Organization that acts as the governing body of international chess competitions. It was founded in 1924 but it was only in 1946 that the FIDE took over the administration of the World Championship. It is this very championship that has given us Chess greats like Bobby Fischer, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen.


Why Chess?


Chess exercises both sides of your brain


Chess is often synonymous with the word genius, and this isn’t surprising because it is said to exercise both sides of your brain. This is because it is the only game in the world to help develop pattern recognition, make decisions both visually and analytically, test your memory and exercise logic.


Helps you work under pressure


Chess is an extremely intense game considering it is time bound and every move is an almost critical decision to be made. It’s unique in its intensity, because in chess, the game is intense from the very beginning.


It brings people together


As the popularity of chess has spread globally, it is a great platform to bring versatile minds together. It is one of those games where it is quite common to see a younger person challenge an older person with his strategic thinking and logical reasoning.


Chess teaches you humility


It is a great game to learn how to accept defeat. This game teaches you humility as you learn to accept that your opponent is smarter and better than you. This serves as good motivation to play better the next time.


Chess fosters creativity


It is a game where a player can experiment with tactics, moves and plans. Ultimately, the game will showcase the personality of the individual and sometimes highlight an unknown attribute.


The importance of chess for children

Chess and Intelligence


There has been some controversy on the links between Chess and Intelligence. It is generally understood that the stereotype of the chess player is logical, intelligent and good at math. It is because it is a game that requires the same concentration and intelligence that is required of math and literacy. While it has been found that chess players have superior cognitive ability compared to non-chess players. It is not clear if it is smart people that engage in a game of chess or if chess makes people smarter. Despite these conflicts, it is quite clear that chess has been correlated with various measures of intelligence like fluid reasoning, processing speed and memory. It may seem that expecting chess to improve a student’s cognitive ability and overall academic achievement is just plain old wishful thinking. But we cannot deny the fact that it is still a value-add to a child’s education. Playing chess does involve some level of strategic thinking, brainstorming, designing and mathematics. It is a fun method to keep a child actively engaged.



Chess and ADHD


‘Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a condition of brain that causes children difficulty controlling their behaviour in school and in a social setting’

It was found that students with ADHD can develop superior higher-level thinking and logical skills when exposed to a game like chess. The rules of chess and its instructions have been known to reinforce perseverance, patience, concentration and creativity in children. A lot of parents are afraid to resort to medication when their children have been diagnosed with ADHD. Considering this fear, several studies have been conducted to examine the impact of chess for children having ADHD. It was found that chess has benefits that can help the child improve focus, concentration and listening skills in the classroom.

Since chess is goal-directed learning, the individual must plan a calculative strategy in order to complete the game. It is considered an ideal way to get children involved to improve thinking skills and problem-solving skills. This study was built on 3 pillars of attention, decision making and self-regulations. Here, self-regulation is related to change behavior that fosters flexibility and adaptability to the environment the child is exposed to.


12 best chess openings in the world


As you may have already heard, Learner Circle is all set to host their first ever Swiss Chess tournament online. We are excited to have an extremely enthusiastic response from our customers. If you are all set to take part in this tournament, we have curated a bird’s eye-view of some of the best openings in the chess game.


Nimzowitsch-Larsen Attack

In this attack, players move their pawn in front of the dark square bishop to enable movement of the bishop early in the game. This gives the white side a powerful weapon against the Black’s kingside.

Carro-Kann Defence

This move is a popular defence opening to the movement of the White King’s pawn to two squares. The response is very similar to the French opening. In this response, Black moves its light squared Bishop’s pawn by one square.

Scotch game

In this move, both the bishops are giving adequate freedom to move diagonally. White begins by moving it’s king and queen pawns, two squares ahead. Although it’s risky, it’s a great move to ease some space on the board.

The Italian Game

This is supposedly one of the oldest moves in history, having developed in the 15th century. A highly recommended move since it encourages castling early. In this move, both black and white can gain control of the central space on the board by moving the king’s pawn ahead and following it up with a knight jump on the king’s side. This move creates space for both the queen and the light squared bishop to move around.

Ruy-Lopez

This move is very similar to the Italian Game, but here the bishop moves ahead to B5. This strategy causes the white to really make a gamble between capturing the black’s knight while giving up its bishop at the same time or retreating to save its bishop.

Sicilian Defence

The Sicilian Defence seems to be the most common response to the Italian game. It is difficult to predict the continuity of this game. In this move, black responds to whites e5 by moving its light squared bishop’s pawn two squares ahead. When you encounter this move on the chess board, the best strategies are to try to control the centre and castle early.

French Defence

Although this move could prove to be a challenge mid-game, it is recommended for beginners who want to play a highly closed game. Considered as the third most common response to e4, it is good to try and regain control of the centre.

The Scholars mate

This move is highly recommended for new chess players. It’s an easy move to learn to attain a checkmate early in the game. In the move, white moves the king’s pawn two squares ahead, making it possible to move the queen and bishop diagonally, to checkmate black’s king on the non-queen side. In this move, the queen is moved to f3 and the bishop to c4. If black doesn’t counter these moves, then the queen moves to f7 to checkmate the king. The disadvantage of this move is that once the opponent knows this move, it can be thwarted very early in the game.

Queen’s Gambit

This move exposes the white’s dark squared bishop’s pawn to the black queen’s pawn. It begins with the movement of the queen’s pawn to d4 followed by c4. This can be followed by a quick manoeuvre of the white queen to d4 to check the black king. It’s a bold and dangerous move, the player needs to have a strategic plan to make this move work.

The King’s Indian Defence

This is a popular counter move to the Queen’s Gambit (d4 and c4 moves). In the move, black moves its knight pawn one square ahead followed by a jump by the knight. This move allows both sides to develop their small pieces and probably even castle early in the game.

London System

The London System is highly recommended for new players as it begins with d4, followed by the bishop moving quickly to f4 and then the knight to f3. This opening is excellent for players to control the board in the centre, to develop their pieces quickly and to castle early.

King’s Indian Attack

Here, the knight’s pawn moves to g3 and the dark squared knight moves to f3 This move also enables developing of pieces and castling early in the game.

Conclusion

There is no doubt about the impact and influence of this game throughout history and throughout the world. It is also a quite popular theme among the creative geniuses of the world. Some of the most iconic movies, musicals and books have been written solely on the influence of the game. It was in the 1980s that Tim Rice and Bjorn Ulveus of ABBA fame wrote a mind-blowing musical that was based loosely on the lives of Bobby Fischer, Viktor Korchnoi and Antoly Karpov. In ‘Deep Thinking’ Gary Kasparov gives us the inside details of his match he lost against the supercomputer in 1997. It has been lauded many times as a great learning tool. In his book ‘Through the looking glass’, Lewis Ann Carroll used Chess as an organizing mechanism for the narrative. In this adventure, Alice and the characters in the book closely follow the traditional moves of the chess pieces to progress in the story. Interesting, isn’t it?

Has all this information intrigued you? Are you curious to learn more about the game? If yes, then you may contact us for a demo. If you want to take part in a tournament and showcase your skills to the world, register for our upcoming Swiss Chess tournament. All the details are given in the link below. The registrations are free, so hurry!



To register for Chess Premier League, visit: https://www.learnercircle.in/chess-tournament


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