Why Every Black Child Should Learn To Play Chess Immediately

Why Every Black Child Should Learn To Play Chess Immediately

I love to play chess. Was taught the game at the early age of 8 years old by my father. I remember sitting at the kitchen table as he showed me how the pieces move. Really valued those hours spent with my father as he guided me through is basic chess lessons.

It wasn’t long before I figured out he wasn’t very good at chess, but that didn’t matter because he sparked the interest in me and I ran with it. Fortunately, I had 4th, 5th, and 6th grade teachers that believed children should learn the game of chess and used their class time to play with us. I began beating my father routinely and to this day he won’t play me, LOL.

black girlI returned the favor and taught both of my children how to play chess as well. My wife will tell you that I have only a few rules as a parent in my household, one of them is all the children will learn the game of chess. Period. Although she didn’t play, she didn’t fight this decision because everyone will tell you that chess is a wonderful game of strategy, so why wouldn’t you want your children to learn?

My Children Learned To Play Chess At An Early Age As Well

The benefits of chess have been something I long understood being a child that learned how to play rather early, but now I REALLY UNDERSTAND since I have the opportunity to watch my children develop and grow. They both learned at early ages. My oldest son was 2 when he finally figured out how to move the bishop. (Yes, I don’t know why, but that was the piece that he couldn’t get for some time.)

By the age of 4, he was enrolling in chess tournaments and beating grown men. My father won’t play him in chess either and i’m getting close to throwing in the towel as well. He is now 14 and a force in the chess world. My youngest son learned to play the game about 5 or 6 years old. Yes, he was slacking but is up to speed now. Although the youngest didn’t pick the game up and LOVE it like the oldest child, the benefits playing chess are evident in him as well.

Why Every Black Child Should Learn To Play Chess

Ok, I have really given you some background why i’m such a chess advocate for children, all children, but I feel black children should have a special emphasis put on them to learn and master the game. Here are my reasons.


It is a fact that not many black children, or children period, are learning how to play chess. Therefore, if your child learns how to play this game it will immediately separate them from the flock. We know applying for the right schools, getting into these magnet schools are very important to the future of your child since the educational system is sub par in this country. Teaching your child to play chess sets them apart and makes them stand out. Educators and administrators of the educational system know children with the skill of chess are different and good bets.

Beneficial Hobby

Many of our children are engross in garbage activities and hobbies that are not going to serve them throughout their lives, chess will. The research shows that chess players tend to be better readers, better at math, and better at learning overall. Why wouldn’t you want your child to have a hobby that did these things for them? Sorry to tell you, video games and instagram isn’t going to cut it.

Increased Focus

Children who have taken the time to learn the game of chess are obvious in the classroom setting. They are able to sit still for longer periods of time without being disruptive or losing focus on the subject at hand. They are able to drill down, get the lesson and thrive. If this were the only benefit of chess, it would be a MAJOR one because focus is an important indicator  in future success.

Builds Patience

Your child will gain the benefit of patience. Sitting there at the table, board and chess pieces without the flashing lights and distractions of video games is an amazing feat for normal children, but for chess kids they can do it and be excited at the same time because they are engrossed in the game. This is another skill most parents wish their children could acquire and it is just a chess lesson away.

Multiplies Learning Capacity

More studies point to chess as actually growing dendrites in the brain. This equates to increased brain power, potential and capacity. What a great gift to give your little ones for their future.

Strategy, Planning, & Foresight

Saved these fr the end because they are the more traditional benefits of chess, but they are no less important. Being able to formulate a strategy, craft a plan, then have the foresight to see what is coming down the line are skills that will benefit your child throughout their life. Chess works on all of these for the children and promise to only build on them as their understanding and growth increases.

Critical Thinking

My favorite of all the benefits of teaching children chess. Critical thinking is something that seems to have been run out of the educational system, but chess brings it back wit a vengeance. The ability to think and to analyze your thinking critically is a powerful tool I can only wish for you and your children. In chess, thinking about your moves, plan and strategy are a must. And critical thinking is like a muscle. The more you use it, the better it gets.

I could go on and on about the benefits of chess on children, but will stop here. Also, I realize it is great for all children, but I want to put an emphasis on black children learning and being taught this game because we need to ensure the Renaissance in our community continues. Everyone can’t be a rapper or an athlete. We must start to strive to fill in the games of success in our community and chess can help.

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