Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Susan Polgar Foundation

I remember learning to play chess. A kid taught me how, and I beat him the first game. But you might say I've peaked early, and my skill level today would be something like "sucks out loud".

Today's WSJ had a writeup on Susan Polgar. Who? She's one of only 2 women who have ever been ranked in the top 100 active chessplayers (the other one is her sister).

She's 35 years old, married with kids, and runs a chess club in Forest Hills, NY. And she has started the Susan Polgar Foundation to promote chess.

Why? Well, by now you've probably heard anecdotes about chess in Harlem and its effects. But here is some more from her front page:
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.

Chess can help develop critical thinking that can be used in other areas of a child's life, academics and social situations.

"Test scores improved by 17.3% for students regularly engaged in chess classes, compared with only 4.6% for children
participating in other forms of enriched activities".

The following are just some of the benefits of chess:
  • Chess develops decision making, critical thinking, logical thinking,
    evaluating, planning, problem solving, and perseverance skills.

  • Chess improves concentration, memory, intuition and self-control

  • Chess promotes independence, imagination and creativity

  • Chess inspires self-motivation, self-esteem and self confidence

What can be wrong with that?

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