Hostname: page-component-f7d5f74f5-vmlfj Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-10-03T09:39:30.762Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "coreDisableSocialShare": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForArticlePurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForBookPurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForElementPurchase": false, "coreUseNewShare": true, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

The Benefits of Chess for the Intellectual and Social-Emotional Enrichment in Schoolchildren

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 January 2013

Ramón Aciego*
Universidad de La Laguna (Spain)
Lorena García
Universidad de La Laguna (Spain)
Moisés Betancort
Universidad de La Laguna (Spain)
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Ramón Aciego. Facultad de Psicología. Campus de Guajara. Universidad de La Laguna 38071. La Laguna. Tenerife. (Spain). Phone: + 34-922316502 (ext. 8949). E-mail:


This paper examines the benefits of regularly playing chess for the intellectual and social-emotional enrichment of a group of 170 schoolchildren from 6-16 years old. It is based on a quasi-experimental design, where the independent variable was the extracurricular activity of chess (n = 170) versus extracurricular activities of soccer or basketball (n = 60). The dependent variable was intellectual and socio-affective competence, which was measured by an IQ test (WISC-R), a self-report test (TAMAI) and a hetero-report questionnaire (teacher-tutor's criterion) applied at the beginning and the end of the academic year. In contrast to the comparison group, it was found that chess improves cognitive abilities, coping and problem-solving capacity, and even socioaffective development of children and adolescents who practice it. The results are modulated, particularly in the area socioaffective, by the personal profile of students who choose practice this activity.

Se analiza los beneficios de la práctica regular del ajedrez en el enriquecimiento intelectual y socioafectivo de un grupo de 170 escolares de 6 a 16 años. Se trabaja sobre un diseño cuasi-experimental, donde la variable independiente es la actividad extraescolar de ajedrez (N = 170) versus las actividades extraescolares de fútbol o baloncesto (N = 60), y la variable dependiente la competencia cognitiva y socio-afectiva evaluada mediante pruebas de rendimiento (WISC-R), auto-evaluación (TAMAI) y heteroevaluación (criterio del profesorado-tutor), aplicadas al iniciar y al finalizar el curso académico. Al contrastar con el grupo de comparación, se evidencia que el ajedrez mejora las capacidades cognitivas, moldea la capacidad de afrontamiento y resolución de problemas e, incluso, influye en el desarrollo sociopersonal de los niños y adolescentes que lo practican. Si bien los resultados se ven modulados, especialmente en el ámbito sociopersonal, por el perfil personal del alumnado que opta por la práctica de esta actividad.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Bilalic, M., McLeod, P., & Gobet, F. (2007). Personality profiles of young chess players. Personality and Individual Differences, 42, 901910. Scholar
Bruin, A., Rikers, R., & Schmidt, H. (2007). The effect of self-explanation and prediction on the development of principled understanding of chess in novices. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 32, 188205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Charness, N. (1998). Perception and memory in chess: A royal wedding? Contemporary Psychology, 43, 416-417. Scholar
Charness, N., Tuffiash, M., & Krampe, R. (2005). The role of deliberate practise in chess expertise. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 19, 151165. Scholar
Ferguson, R.C. (1995, January). Chess in education research summary: Paper presented at the Chess in Education: A Wise Move Conference, Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York, NY.Google Scholar
García, F. (1998). Aportaciones educativas del juego del ajedrez [Educational contributions of chess]. Comunicación y Pedagogía: Nuevas Tecnologías y Recursos Didácticos, 152, 116119.Google Scholar
García, F. (2001). Educando desde el ajedrez [Educating from chess]. Barcelona, Spain: Paidotribo.Google Scholar
Groot, A.D. (1946). Het denken van den Schaker, een experimenteel-psychologische studie [The thinking of the chess player: An experimental – psychological study]. (Doctoral thesis). University of Amsterdam. Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Retrieved from Scholar
Groot, A.D. (1965). Thought and choice in chess. The Hague, The Netherlands: Mouton & Co Publishers.Google Scholar
Hernández, P. (1983). Test Autoevaluativo Multifactorial de Adaptación Infantil (TAMAI) [Multifactor Self-Assessment Test of Child Adjustment]. Madrid, Spain: TEA.Google Scholar
Hernández, P., & Aciego de Mendoza, R. (1990). Programa instruccional-emotivo para el crecimiento y la autorrealización personal: Aprendiendo a realizarse (PIECAP) [Instructionalemotive program for personal growth and self-realization: Learning to be self-realized]. Madrid, Spain: TEA.Google Scholar
Hernández, P., & Rodríguez, H. (2006). Success in chess mediated by mental molds. Psicothema, 18, 704710.Google Scholar
Kelly, E. J. (1985). The personality of chess players. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 282284. Scholar
Krogius, N. (1972). Psychology in chess. New York, NY: RHM PressGoogle Scholar
Machargo, J., García, D., Ramos, S., & Luján, I. (2002). Ajedrez como recurso educativo para el desarrollo psicológico [Chess as an educational resource ofr psychological development]. Evaluación e Intervención Psicoeducativa: Revista Interuniversitaria de Psicología de la Educación, 8–9, 111127.Google Scholar
Pallarés, M. (2004). Estrategias y recursos para una aproximación de la enseñanza del ajedrez a niños con NEE [Strategies and resources to approach teaching chess to children with special educational needs]. Comunicación y Pedagogía: Nuevas Tecnologías y Recursos Didácticos, 193, 2633.Google Scholar
Ruiz, F. J. (2006) Aplicación de la terapia de aceptación y compromiso (ACT) para el incremento del rendimiento ajedrecístico. Un estudio de caso [Application of the therapy of acceptance and commitment (TAC) to increase chess performance. A case study]. International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy, 6, 7797.Google Scholar
Ruiz, F. J., & Luciano, C. (2009). Eficacia de la terapia de aceptación y compromiso (ACT) en la mejora del rendimiento ajedrecístico de jóvenes promesas [Efficacy of the therapy of acceptance and commitment (TAC) in the improvement of chess performance of promising youngsters]. Psicothema, 21, 347352.Google Scholar
Wechsler, D. (1974). Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children WISC-R. New York, NY: John Wiley. (Spanish translation: Escala de Inteligencia para Niños de Wechlser. Madrid: Spain: TEA, 1993).Google Scholar