**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**.

That “chessboard” has 81 squares (9×9) ;D

This is adorable but I would like to know how the Top 20 Grand Masters perform at a math test not requiring university math knowledge (I predict they would do a lot poorer than these people think). Math is a lot more complex than chess – I’m afraid that we’re mixing correlation with causality here.

Just re-read it… umm, no offense intented, I didn’t want to express superiority of math.

On the other hand, being an outstanding chess player requires some skills that you don’t need for math, like memorizing and being able to quickly recall about 5000 pages of theory (or am I underestimating it, is it more?).

@peter – do you memorize theory by pages, numbers and letters? i memorize it by pictures (only one or two pieces change after a move) – it is much easier to me to “think” chess in pics, than in letters… (and 2-d pics are much more easier to memorize to me than 3-d pics … an endless source of blunders – at least to me)

interesting …

Re: Math and chess

Both require both disciplined and clear thinking and creativity. For anyone who sees chess mostly as memorization or math as simply accurate calculation, I think you are missing a lot.

@vohaul, I don’t know if it is relevant information but I competed at international level in mathematics a long while back and I truly think that I know more from mathematics ever since. Also, I know a Top 20 GM (of course I’m not going to reveal the name or my age) who sucked at maths at his age of 13. Moreover, I have no idea how I memorize chess facts – I have to re-emphasize on that in spite of doing well above ELO2000 at the Kopec chess test, I miss several basic abilities to ever become a good chess player (I don’t think I have a chance against players at ELO1800).

In math, if you don’t want to know all the theoretic achievements, in any reasonable situation there is time to derive them from less involved facts. Chess is competition itself at any moment, nobody cares if you can analyze stuff at home in a week or not. I am not saying that either chess or maths would harm these children but emphasizing on the concept of binding the two is simply misleading.

This high profile math is beyond simple me ..

So while your all debating this I will play something easier on my trusty old piano… Rack 3 in D Minor by good old Sergy Rachmaniov

Oh here is a little number thing that I’ve had to work out from Chinese assemble directions to make a chess table….I’M bit stuck on (v) and (vi)

PQRS is a parallelogram.The co-ordinates of P,Q and R are (0,3),(-2,-3) and (4,-1) respectively.

(i) Determine the equations of PS and RS

(ii)Hence calculate the co-ordinates of A

(iii) IfQS and PR intersect at A, Find the magnitude of QAR (^QAR)

(iv) Calculate the co-ordinates of A

(v) Show by calculating the lengths that QA=2AR

(vi) Determine the equation of the locus of all points of which the distance to Q is twice the distance to R

you know I almost had it

Peter,

your comments about maths and chess are interesting. I believe the spatial and kinesthetic nature of chess will help young children develop skills that are useful in maths development. The other two factors connected to learning maths are 1)chess teaches perserverence, and 2)because chess can be promoted as a fun, pleasurable activity it can arouse an enjoyable response that can lure the young mind when learning maths.

While the correlation might not nessarily be chess, and high order maths, my early research indicates attitudinal improvemnt and engagement in maths learning when chess is introduce at a pre-pubescent age.

This is important for the cohort of students who dont particularly engage or connect with maths learning.

http://mtalexandercluster.blogspot.com/

Some math concepts in chess are not learned at young age such as grade 1 or 2 but these youngesters are using these math concepts without realizing. It is exciting to see children are thrilled to learn when these math concepts used in chess are integrated into math workbooks. This is what Ho math and Chess is doing in Vancouver, Canada.

Children learn best when they are having fun. Details see http://www.mathandchess.com.

Ho math and Chess is doing great injustice to Math and to Chess. Forcing a marriage between these two… he is trying to force Chess into Math ( the operators :add, multiply, subtract associated with rook, bishop ..etc..what a joke!) and Math into Chess(defining math’s constant from pawn with a value of 1 and 3 for knight…etc (can’t he just leave chess alone for goodness!))… Each can stand by itself without any promotion from the other. The application of Math is so diverse that it can be found in almost anything anywhere…from games we play,transaction we make, chores we do..etc maths concept are applied by youngsters when they engaged in these activities without their knowledge, NOT JUST IN A GAME OF CHESS !( should not confine the power of math to chess alone)A child should be exposed to as many application of math as possible in their daily encounters to appreciate the beauty of Math. And math teacher should not be restricted to just use Chess to teach math.(liken to telling him to use chalk and blackboard in class to teach and nothing else…) Give some respect to the many professional chess instructors around, if u wanna learn chess, pay for their service…And if you wanna learn Math, go for one that uses the conventional tools of diversity (use anything that can interest the inquisitive mind of a young child…apples, aeroplanes, power-ranger, flowers, butterfly…NOT chess pieces alone….)The world is created not in black and white..use the beauty in diversity as a teaching aid…Math is everywhere !

The August 29, 207 poster obviously does not understand the real meaning connection of how math and chess are integrated, it is very unfortunate.

Hi! My name is Frank Ho and I am the founder of Math and Chess and I also created the world’s first math and chess commerically available workbooks for elementary school. If you would allow me to clarify a few points then may be we can discuss the issue on how math and chess are combined in a more academic manner.

First of all, you should not be surprised on how math and chess these two subjects are combined or could be combined because you will see math has been combined with science or even language arts so it is not surprisoing to see that math can actually be combined with chess. The problem is no one could do it well until I started doing it.

To say I am forcing chess into math and math into chess without real academic study is doing an injustice to Ho Math and Chess.

I am a Canadian certified math teacher in Canada and have been teaching math from kindergarten to grade 12 for over 12 years and in the summer I teach 3 shits a day from 10 to 12 noon, 1 to 3 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. I personally, along with our research team, wrote over 20 math and chess related workbooks and have made them available to worldwide over 25 franchisees.

Those math and chess related workbooks are not sold through public but only through franchisees. The comments you made about values of chess piecves are only part of our workbooks so you have not seen the whole picture. Perhaps you saw some of our display workbooks on http://www.mathandchess.co and quickly jump into conclusion, this is understandable since most of human would sometimes make error like these and I am glad that I have the opportunity to clarify this point.

Perhaps you can look into the article on the theoretical basis of how my math and chess are combined and this article is published in a Canadian math journal.

Perhaps you could also send me an email before you post your message here and claim that we are doing a disservice to the chess community.

If you have talked to me then you would have known that we also teach “pure” chess, “pure” math so we are a “full” service learning center, not just a math and chess “only” learniing center.

I also would like to invite you personally visit Ho Math and Chess Learning centre in Vancouver and personally talk to my students and see how wonderful is this math and chess program and how much progress they have made.

Did you not see the posting of 86 testimanials from former franchisees, parents, and students I have displayed on http://www.mathandchess.com?

We are still beginning to spread the good news and value on how wonderful of our program is to others and the rest of the world, you will do a real service if you would at least spend some time to talk to me or visit me personally and talk to my students and see how I teach every day, 7 days a week. Yes I teach at Vancouver Ho Math and Chess 7 days a week every evening.

Students and parents will have to pay to come to Ho Math and Chess, so if this program is not working will they actually come for the past over 10 years? We have been doing this for over 10 years and is a well respected learning centre in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

This kind of information is very limited on internet. Nice to find the post related to my searching criteria. Your updated and informative post will be appreciated by blog loving people.

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Indeed a great post!!