Applied Chess: Why School Programs Should Prioritize Chess!

Hello everybody, this is a real quick podcast about the area of applied chess. What is applied chess? Give you a very quick answer, there’s been a debate for a long time about chess programs in school, and it’s been…

Applied Chess: Why School Programs Should Prioritize Chess!



Hello everybody, this is a real quick podcast about the area of applied chess. What is applied chess? Give you a very quick answer, there’s been a debate for a long time about chess programs in school, and it’s been accepted, and most schools it helps a lot of students with a lot of areas, such as cognitive skills, analytic skills, making good choices, critical thinking, and of course memory, but more and more, the questions are: does chess also help with other subjects like STEM, science, technology, engineering, and math? And a lot of studies say, well, anything that helps your mind, helps all those subjects, but does it really help specifically? And all those debates aside and all those other good things that it does, what has happened with chess is there’s a new field of chess, not just studying, and gaming, and applying it to science and math because of the critical thinking skills and the decision skills, but also because of chess being applied itself to thousands of other areas, and also being very relevant to life itself. We’ve got a lot of studies through our school program, through chess that show that kids stay in school longer when they study chess, moreso than other types of gaming, basketball and other programs. And that it’s very relevant for not only K through eight, but high school, undergrad, and even grad school.
And to give you an example, there’s pure math, which is just studying math, all the symbols; it starts with symbols, it ends with symbols, but it’s not applied. Later on in life there are many areas that can be applied to, such as engineering and other sciences, calculation and that kind of stuff, so that’s applied math. Chess has always been thought of as just theoretical, and just for fun and just for learning the moves and competition and that kind of stuff, but any more, not only science, technology, math and other applications using chess tools as for fun, and for encouragement, and for motivation, but now, many new fields all the way up to postgraduate, post-doctoral fields like artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning, dynamical systems theory, deterministic versus random variables, game theory, decision theory, learning system, [inaudible 00:03:10] theory, many, many others are turning out to be very, very important with chess, and in chess, as an applied program.
For instance, programming, you can now program chess in Python, many other languages, not just as an endpoint in for fun, but also to learn that language and then to test other, more important programs like computer science, machine learning, et cetera, using chess itself, teaching the machines, chess theory, et cetera. And so there’s a lot of new applications for chess at work that we call, “Applied chess” and it’s really revolutionizing school programs. And a lot of school administrators are seeing more and more how important it is to consider adding a chess program, internal chess club, and even these days, online, to the online classes to keep the students interested. As you get past high school and you get towards college age, it becomes even more important because, not only is it helpful, there are studies that show, it adds 14 years to your mental age when you study chess deeply.
And so you think it’s competitive, there’s many other things to study, why spend some time on chess? Because it helps all the other studies that it helps with decision making, and it helps with you making good choices as you look in your other classes and courses that you’re taking. And also just even if you’re an Adult Ed person and you’re studying other areas for fun and for learning and to help with life, chess is wonderful for that as well, because there are many skills that involve that kind of decision making and choices. So this is just a brief intro, check us out further for our podcasts, and also look at to see many more ideas. And we’re a nonprofit lawyer to help you with your school program to help convince administration, et cetera, that this is a really important program to continue or to install if you don’t have one, for many more reasons than the previous thinking of science, technology, engineering, math, those are still important.
But to give you an example, we do this in many other countries, China, for example, it’s common to see three to 4,000 kindergarten children in class studying chess. So this has only been in China for 30 years, and it’s taking over like a storm there. Of course, 70% of the adults in India study and play chess, whereas only 12% in the United do. So Europe, long time, Russia, Poland, Italy, the current world champ from Norway. So, really Europe has taken over, now Asia really knows that. And it’s time for us schools to jump on board. This is Tommy Halstead visit us at or check out many more podcasts at Thank you.

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