Chess used as board of education for Louisville youth

8:25 PM, Apr. 3, 2011

Trash-talking across a chessboard, sixth-grader Enrique Izquierdo moves a knight and warns his opponent, seventh-grader Karami Garcia, “I’m going to take that rook.”

He does, but Karami captures Enrique’s queen with her bishop — “Hello!” she taunts — and a few moves later traps his king and announces, “Checkmate.”

Students at Nativity Academy at St. Boniface in Louisville, Karami and Enrique embody the resurging scholastic interest in chess, a game of strategy, tactics and concentration that research shows can improve academic performance of schoolchildren.

“Playing chess helps you to not be sloppy when you have a class assignment and makes you check your work,” Karami said, “because if you’re sloppy in chess, you lose.”

Nations such as Iceland, Russia and Venezuela integrate chess into the public school curriculum, but in the United States the game is generally extracurricular, a competitive sport.

Jefferson County Public Schools has a chess course for credit at two schools — Carrithers Middle School and Valley High School — and there were standout chess teams from the district competing in the Kentucky Chess Association State Scholastic Team Championship on March 5.

Full article here.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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