Posted by: crudbasher | April 20, 2011

Reading, Writing, Arithmetic… and Chess?

(cc) Stuck In Customs

Armenia apparently really likes chess. Seriously, it seems to be a national obsession. With this in mind they are setting aside two hours each week for all school children to learn chess. While they are doing this for sports reasons (is chess a sport? Just asking…) this could have other implications for their children.

This quote from the article sets it up.

…the lessons which start later this year would “foster schoolchildren’s intellectual development” and teach them to “think flexibly and wisely”.

One of the problems we are seeing in children these days who are constantly using technology is a very short attention span. There have been studies that show how the brain chemistry actually changes in favor of multitasking in short bursts of attention.

Perhaps we should be doing something like this in US schools too? Being able to focus on a problem and to be able to creatively solve it are at the top of the wish list for businesses. I’m not saying Chess is the answer, but longer term problems requiring focus could be beneficial.

Don’t you think?

  • Mandatory chess classes?

    tags: education chess learning creativity nell

    • Armenia is to make chess a compulsory subject in primary schools in an attempt to turn itself into a global force in the game, the education ministry said on Friday.
    • Children from the age of six will learn chess as a separate subject on the curriculum for two hours a week.
    • Aivazian said the lessons which start later this year would “foster schoolchildren’s intellectual development” and teach them to “think flexibly and wisely”.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.



  1. I have to agree with you on this post because I feel Armenia offers a practical solution to longer attention spans and critical thinking without medication and without over zealous test preparation.

    Great food for thought. Thank you Andrew.

  2. I commend the kind of program that Armenian schools have for chess. I believe that children would be motivated if government officials, schools and of course parents are one in encouraging children to learn the art of chess. It indeed a worth it addition to school curriculum because it allows kids’ brain to think, plan and decide. If this is the case, then pupils and students turn out to have good grades in school because they will perhaps unconsciously apply the same attitude to their school subjects. It’s kind of a cognitive learning experience for them that prepares them to face certain lessons at school.

    For further insights about chess you might also want to check out

    • I like how you said it causes kids to think, plan and decide. Especially the plan part. The ability to think through and focus on a problem is something that is a bit lacking I think in today’s generation. Thanks for commenting!!

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