chapter  9
6 Pages

The Magic Bullet?

ByFernand Gobet

In this chapter, the author deals with the presumed benefits. One common claim is that playing chess improves children's performance in school, in particular with respect to mathematics and language, and generally increases intelligence and other cognitive abilities. As in many experiments teachers were highly motivated chess players that were convinced of the cognitive benefits of chess instruction. To measure potential changes, the same variables should be measured in the pre-test and the post-test. The author argues that chess could be used in psychotherapy. Whilst the author admires the passion, energy and faith of the persons – mostly but not exclusively chess players – promoting these initiatives, he personally do not think that chess is the magic bullet against the problems facing society. It has also been proposed that chess could help children from disadvantaged backgrounds, who are at risk of developing drug and crime problems.