Sunday, March 23, 2008

Idaho's Scholastic Chess Initiative

"Idaho Turns to Chess as Education Strategy" by Dylan Loeb McClain (widely reprinted) reports that the "First Move" curriculum developed by America's Foundation for Chess will be adopted statewide for second and third graders.
Not only will this be good for education in Idaho, but it should significantly boost the average chess rating in the state by the end of the decade. According to the Idaho Chess Association website (one of the better state websites, by the way), a 1761-rated player won the 2008 Idaho Closed State Championship (more proof that "location, location, location" is the key to winning a state title).


M. Thomas Southerland said...

Great initiative I think!

The effects on a society in general of this type of comprehensive approach I think were exemplified significantly by the famous "Radio Match".

P.S. Love your blog!

Michael Goeller said...

There are a lot of schools nationally that have adopted a chess curriculum, but I think this is the first time an entire state has done so. It would be interesting to see what results this produces five or ten years from now. One of Mark Glickman's studies of chess ratings, though focused on gender, looked at ratings by US zip codes and suggested to me that higher ratings tend to be concentrated geographically. I would predict that wherever you find a concentration of higher ratings, you will find an active scholastic chess program. Or maybe a large population of Russian immigrants...

Nick said...

It's an excellent idea to consider chess as an education strategy in Idaho. But I believe it would be more worth it if chess is incorporated to early childhood education. By doing so, these kids will have a better future because their minds are trained to have focus. The Idaho chess associate can make a difference into the academic performance of children.

This kind of effort is also supported by which you might want to check out.