Mathematical Problem-Solving Abilities and Chess : An Experimental Study on Young Pupils
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Chess is thought to be a game demanding high cognitive abilities to be played well. Although many studies proved the link between mastery in chess and high degree of intelligence, just few studies proved that chess practice can enhance cognitive abilities. Starting from these considerations, the main purpose of the present research was to investigate the potential benefits of in-presence chess lessons and on-line training on mathematical problem-solving ability in young pupils (8 to 11 years old). Five hundred sixty students were divided into two groups, experimental (which had chess course and on-line training) and control (which had normal school activities), and tested on their mathematical and chess abilities. Results show a strong correlation between chess and math scores, and a higher improvement in math in the experimental group compared with the control group. These results foster the hypothesis that even a short-time practice of chess in children can be a useful tool to enhance their mathematical abilities.