Studies About Chess


1994 - 1997 Texas - Chess and Standard Test Scores

Non-honors elementary students who participated in a school chess club showed twice the improvement of non-chess players in reading and mathematics between third and fifth grades on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills.

1989-1992  Canada

A study, using 437 fifth graders split into three groups, experimenting with the addition of chess to the maths curriculum, found increased gains in maths problem-solving and comprehension proportionate to the amount of chess in the curriculum.

1973 -1974 Zair 

A study conducted by Dr. Albert Frank, employing 92 students, age 16-18, the chess-playing experimental group showed a significant advancement in spatial, numerical and administrative-directional abilities, along with verbal aptitudes, compared to the control group. The improvements held true regardless of the final chess skill level attained.

1977 - 1979  Hong Kong

A study at the Chinese University in Hong Kong by Dr. Yee Wang Fung, chess players showed a 15% improvement in math and science test scores.

1974 - 1976 Belgium 

Studied a chess-playing experimental group of fifth graders experienced a statistically significant gain in cognitive development over a control group, using Piaget's tests for cognitive development. Perhaps more noteworthy, they also did significantly better in their regular school testing, as well as in standardised testing administered by an outside agency which did not know the identity of the two groups. Quoting Dr. Adriaan de Groot, psychologist and chess player: "In addition, the Belgium study appears to demonstrate that the treatment of the elementary, clear-cut and playful subject matter can have a positive effect on motivation and school achievement generally..."

A four-year USA study

Though not deemed statistically stable due to a small (15 students) experimental group, has the chess-playing experimental group consistently outperforming the control groups engaged in other thinking development programs, using measurements from the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal and the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking.

1979-1983  Venezuela

Trained 100,000 teachers to teach thinking skills. This involved a sample of 4,266 second grade students, and reached a general conclusion that chess, methodologically taught, is an incentive system sufficient to accelerate the increase of IQ in primary school age children of both sexes at all socio-economic levels.

A New York City Schools

A Chess Program produced statistically significant results concluding that chess participation enhances reading performance. A related study, conducted in five U.S. cities over two years, selected two classrooms in each of five schools. The group receiving instruction in chess and logic obtained significantly higher reading scores than the control groups, which received additional classroom instruction in basic education (reading, maths or social studies).


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