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

  • Ramón Aciego (a1), Lorena García (a1) and Moisés Betancort (a1)

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.

Corresponding author
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:
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M. Bilalic , P. McLeod , & F. Gobet (2007). Personality profiles of young chess players. Personality and Individual Differences, 42, 901910.

A. Bruin , R. Rikers , & H. Schmidt (2007). The effect of self-explanation and prediction on the development of principled understanding of chess in novices. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 32, 188205.

N. Charness , M. Tuffiash , & R. Krampe (2005). The role of deliberate practise in chess expertise. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 19, 151165.

E. J. Kelly (1985). The personality of chess players. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 282284.

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The Spanish Journal of Psychology
  • ISSN: 1138-7416
  • EISSN: 1988-2904
  • URL: /core/journals/spanish-journal-of-psychology
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