Ho Math Chess Research and Articles > Ho Math and Chess workbook was first created in Canada

10 Sep 2004

About Mathematical Chess Puzzles for Juniors


Since I started to teach chess to my son Andrew when he was five years old, a lot of information I have read indicates that there is a strong relationship between mathematics and chess in terms of learning ability. Yet, I was not able to find a collection of mathematical chess problems that was specifically created for youngsters. A few years ago, I was involved in teaching math and chess at the same time and I started to seriously look into the possibility of creating some math and chess hybrid problems. This is how Andrew and I started to create this book. 

Mathematical Chess Puzzles for Juniors is a unique book. It is designed and written for the purpose of learning all kinds of problem-solving skills through over 100 mind provoking and sometimes mind boggling mathematical chess puzzles. The uniqueness of this book is that both the basic chess knowledge (no tactics or strategies required) and the elementary math ability are needed to solve most of these puzzles.  

This book is written for grade 1 and above. 

Mathematical Chess Puzzles for Juniors is an ideal resource for parents, coaches, teachers, tutors, or students who are interested in the idea of using math and chess puzzles to enhance the problem-solving ability. The chess moves, chess pieces, and the chessboard are full of math concepts. A few examples are listed below: 

·        The ranks and files are related to coordinates.

·        The ranks, files, diagonals and the colours of squares are related to patterns and geometry.

·        The checkmate positions are actually the intersections of ranks or/and files, which are related to geometry and probability.

·        When a piece is being attacked or defended, it requires some arithmetic calculations in terms of the number of attacking or defending pieces.  

This book offers fascinating opportunities to explore and discover how some math concepts are related to chess in a fun way. These puzzles can be used as supplemental material for problem-solving in math class or as an excellent enrichment while students are learning chess. They can also be used alone after students have learned the basic rules of playing chess. 

The chess knowledge required to do the mathematical puzzles is listed as follows: 


·        How to move the chess pieces and how to write moves in algebraic notation.

·        The values of chess pieces. 

·        How to castle. 

I would like to thank the students at Vancouver Math and Chess Puzzle Centre, who have helped me in fine tuning some of the puzzles. I would also like to thank my daughter Meghan who has given me the unreserved comments and suggestions throughout the creation of these puzzles.  

Frank Ho, 1997

Frank Ho