Grandmasters in demand as chess craze hits schools

Sky News reports that British international master Malcolm Pein, who founded the charity Chess in Schools, says a resurgence in the game’s popularity has seen experienced teachers being poached by public schools that can pay more. 

“There’s been such a demand for what we provide to state schools that we’re struggling to find enough tutors to teach the game. It’s just a matter of us having to compete with lots of chess tutors who are in private schools where they can command rather more money than a charity can afford.”

The popularity of chess has snowballed in the last decade, it now attracts a huge global audience of online players.

In the last couple of years, the charity says around 300 primary schools in England have added chess to their curriculum.

Gemma Potter, a teacher at Miles Coverdale Primary School in west London, says her pupils can’t get enough of it.

“The children are so passionate about it, they’ve been doing it for three years and they absolutely love it.”

“It’s hugely important because the students have to think about cause and effect and think ahead to their next move. A lot of the time children will do something without taking the time to think it through, chess teaches them that they have to think things through carefully, that one move is going to impact another move.

“It helps them to understand that that’s what they should do in their lives and in education, that there are steps to go through before they get to their main goal.”

Read more Grandmasters in demand as chess craze hits schools

Does your school give chess lessons? Do they help the pupils think and process information better? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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