Program teaches math through chess
By Christine Morente, STAFF WRITER
11/04/2006 02:42:07 AM PST

BELMONT — Emma Kurr’s steely green eyes stare at Natalie Smith, while she ponders where to move her king.

Natalie waits silently.

While the tension seemed high, Emma was nonplussed in the end.

“It was easy,” said Natalie, 7, a second-grader at Notre Dame Elementary School. “I kept checking her. She should have left her king and queen up higher on the board. I got her queen first, and then she got stuck.”

The duo’s chess game is part of a worldwide program that combines math and chess in a mental sport. The after-school class at Notre Dame Elementary teaches youngsters how to strategize and the importance of sacrifice, said instructor Amy Murad, who brought Ho Math and Chess-Peninsula to San Carlos in March.

Murad, who has a science background and worked in biotech for the last 20 years, has about 60 students from around San Mateo County ages 4 to 13.

The center was founded by Frank Ho, a Canadian-certified math teacher from Vancouver, B.C. There are 19 Ho Math and Chess franchises worldwide.

Like Sylvan Learning Center or the Kumon Center — which also focuses on math — Ho Math and Chess provides chess lessons, tutoring and assigns homework.

“We’re not trying to make them into superkids,” Murad said. “We’re trying to make them comfortable with numbers.”

The full article can be read here.
Posted by Picasa

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar