Ho Math Chess Research and Articles > Using Chess to Teach Math in Elementary Schools

Vancouver Math Tutor, Vancouver Chess Tutor
22 May 2008



 Using Chess To Teach Math In Elementary Schools


Frank Ho


Founder of Ho Math and Chess™ Learning Centre, Vancouver

Canada certified math teacher



Chess has been heralded as a miracle to help children develop their math skills. How true is it? After my over 10 years of research and teaching of math, I think the answer is not a simple yes or no, rather it depends on how chess instruction is delivered. If chess is delivered as a pure game and taught in a way that it has nothing to do with math then the impact on math learning is minimum. On the other hand, if chess is integrated into math worksheets then the effect is more significant. This is proven from my own teaching observation and also the USA research data collected in Illinois (visit http://www.thechessacademy.org/Math_Data.htm for details.).


A simple minded approach to use chess to teach math in the elementary schools is to have chess lessons in a math class and chess in this case is treated as a separate project or as a part of problem solving set. For those children who do not like to play chess, this could present problems for them since the benefits of playing chess can not be delivered to those who do not necessarily play chess. In this model, math worksheets have very little to do with chess and chess benefits on computation is very minimum.


The more robust approach is truly integrating chess into math curriculum such that when children work on math worksheets, they directly work on math and chess integrated worksheets. The trouble is how to truly mesh or integrate chess into math worksheets? At Ho Math and Chess™, we have successfully in truly integrating chess into math using our invented innovative technologies, namely they are listed as follows: 


  1. Ho Math and Chess™ Teaching Set

  2. Geometry Chess Symbols

  3. Frankho Chess Mazes

  4.  Frankho IQ Chess Math Brainpower Workout

  5.  Math and Chess Integrated Workbooks

Our research and experiment at Ho Math and Chess™ has found out that the marriage of math, chess and IQ math puzzles has significant in improving children’s math ability. The combination of math pure number crunching problems, along with chess puzzles, word problems, and IQ puzzles give children the opportunities to expose an array of problems of pattern, table, diagrams, symbols, equations, and figures. Children tend to get involved more in their thinking process with integrated materials. It is this kind of deep thinking process which truly raise children’s math ability. The truly integrated worksheet of math, chess, IQ puzzles also is more challenged for children. Most of children like integrated worksheet more than pure computational style worksheets.

To get the true benefits of using chess to teach math in elementary school, it requires the key which links math and chess. I have found and discovered the key which links between chess and math and by using the key, I have created over 20 math and chess integrated workbooks. Not only these math and chess integrated workbooks can raise children’s math marks at their day schools, they are also fun to work with and provide entertainment and challenge for children.

Frank Ho