Benefits of chess include increased IQ, creativity & problem solving skills

Recently published in the Harvard Magazine, an article asserts that perhaps chess ... might enhance learning. Though intellectually rooted and not physical, these games are considered "mind sports." Some benefits of playing chess include increased IQ, creativity and problem solving skills.

JOHNSTON – Ethan Padgett, a junior at Strom Thurmond High School is in a battle with Social Studies teacher, Tom Valois. There are no weapons, no armies, no physical combat. This struggle for victory uses only strategy, planning and self-control. It is known as the "game of kings."

In Mr. Valois's classroom, there are at least ten battles taking place. At STHS, students are given a fifty minute opportunity to explore interests that are not offered during regular curriculum day. Chess is one offering during this period known as Rebel Recon. Ethan started to play chess in his eight grade year during recess and lunch. He continues to engage in this game and maintains that, "the game is not just about strategy. It moves so quickly, you cannot predict the next move. It keeps you on your toes."

Carolina Vazquez Bautista, a sophomore confesses, "I am naturally very competitive and like to beat others, even though this is only my third time playing."