Ho to Use Chess to Increase Brainpower
25 Dec 2007
How to Use Chess to Increase Brainpower
Frank Ho
Teacher and founder of Ho Math and Chess
Although many research reports have reported that the process of playing chess is very similar to the process of critical thinking and considered that chess play as a method of improving children’s problem solving skill and brainpower. Over 10 years of teaching math and chess, I have experienced that, in practice, there are still many bumps in transferring the benefits of chess to children, especially chess is not a required subject in school’s curriculum. The reasons that chess alone may not be an effective means of improving a child’s problem solving ability are a child:
 May not be interested in playing chess or may lose interest before finishing the game.
 May play chess without carrying out any thinking procedure.
 May not apply the same skills required in play chess on to other subjects such as math problem solving type of questions.
 May not interested in using critical thinking skills on the entire chessboard.
The above are some reasons why playing chess alone may not be an effective way on improving children’s brainpower especially it is not a required subject at their day schools. In contrast, math is the required school subject for all schools in the world, so how to instil the chess idea into math so all children taking math can get the benefits a chess player could possibly get and even more? The solution lies in the math materials that is if a child is given a math and chess integrated worksheets then not only a child can learn math, but also can increase brainpower as if the same child is doing math and chess at the same time and the end result is the child working on math and chess integrated worksheets can get double benefits.
Math and chess integrated worksheets can motivate children to be interested in math more than the traditional worksheets due to the reason that the integrated worksheets are lot of more interesting to work on. Math and Chess integrated worksheets can also provide children with more opportunities to hone their skills in critical thinking as part of the math requirement so the more the children can think on their own the better they can improve their critical thinking skills and their brainpower.
The way of training children to be good chess players is very different from the training method of teaching the same group of children on how to improve critical thinking skills and consequently increase their brainpower. The math and chess integrated worksheets are not meant to train children to be competitive chess players but to improve their math ability not only in computation but also in problem solving and their brain power.
Frank Ho
