New York State High School Chess Champion Joshua Colas and FIDE Master Georgios Alexopoulos. Photo: geneshaw.com
According to studies:
- Chess boosts brain power in kids.
- Chess improves IQ.
- Chess enhances arithmetical skills.
- Chess hones verbal skills.
- Chess sharpens critical thinking skills.
- Chess boosts emotional intelligence and psycho-social skills.
Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, William Shakespeare, Napoleon Bonaparte, Winston Churchill, Will Smith, Bono, and Madonna were or are avid chess players. Tennis legend and six-time Grand Slam singles champion Boris Becker said:
“I used to prepare for my tennis matches by playing chess, and it would get my mind stimulated and focused before going on court. It was essentially a mental warm-up.”
In an interview with The Harvard Business Review, former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov said:
There is nothing cute or charming about chess; it is a violent sport, and when you confront your opponent you set out to crush his ego. The world chess masters with whom I have competed over the years nearly all share my belief that chess is a battleground on which the enemy has to be vanquished. This is what it means to be a chess player, and I cannot imagine that it is very different from what it takes to be a top-ranked CEO.
In approximately 30 nations across the globe, including Brazil, China, Venezuela, Italy, Israel, Russia and Greece, etc., chess is incorporated into the country’s scholastic curriculum. Just as athletics are a part of the required agenda at schools in the United States, Chess has been that way in the European Nations abroad. On March 13th, 2012 the European Parliament endorsed the ‘Chess in European schools’ program.
A documentary called BROOKLYN CASTLE tells the stories of five members of the chess team at Intermediate School 318, a below-the-poverty-line inner city junior high school that has won more national championships than any other in the country and the first middle school team to win the United States Chess Federation’s national high school championship.
Mayor Bloomberg cut the budget, and there is no money for after school programs like the chess team at I.S. 318. Unless the kids can raise $20,000, the famous chess team is dead. Yet, Eva Moskowitz Founder and CEO of the Success Academy held a fundraiser for her charter school chain and raised $7 million in one night.
L to R: David Einhorn, another hedge-funder on DFER’s advisory board, is president of Greenlight Capital, LLC; Board member Whitney Tilson is chief of T2 Partners and Tilson Funds and vice chair of New York’s KIPP Academy Charter Schools; Hedge-fund manager John Petry, a DFER board member, co-founded the Harlem Success Academy Charter School with Eva Moskowitz; DFER advisory board member Joel Greenblatt is a protégé of fallen junk-bond icon Michael Milken; Joe Williams heads Democrats for Education Reform and its sister organization, Education Reform Now.