Why chess is boring

Why chess is boring

Frank Ho

Ho Math and Chess Learning Centre

Canada, BC certified math teacher

Vancouver, BC, Canada


I hired a chess coach to teach chess. A few times, I sit beside the chess classroom and kids
just came out to tell me “The class is boring.” “I do not want to play chess
anymore.” “I want to go home.” It is heartbreaking for me to hear these kinds
of messages since the chess class is offered free to kids who take our math
lessons. Why “playing” chess make these kids feel bored? It is surprising to
hear that! Some of my math students even told me that they rather do math
instead of chess. I am so shocked to hear it since many reports indicate that
kids rather play chess instead of doing math.

I asked one grade 6 girl who constantly shows up in my Saturday “free” math club for the duration of 2 hours and asked her why I never heard kids in the math club complaining
about “math club is boring? She said that “You made us to think all the time
and those problems are very hard.” Here is the answer why some kids feel that
chess is boring it is because the way the chess class is being taught has not
stimulated kids’ interests at all.

I mentioned the kids’ complaints to the chess instructor and I was very surprised to hear that
he told me that he was not interested in teaching beginners chess and I asked
him how chess was taught in his class when he was young and he mentioned that
kids got hit a lot in his own country. I do not believe this is right because
by hitting kids do not increase kids’ interests in playing chess.

How I conducted my math club so there was never a dull moment in my club and kids do not complain about boring?

1. Every week I do a presentation using tablet and projector on one math topic which I prepared for the whole week and also write it up and often kids get 5 or more pages of
my presentation and right after presentation kids get my “practice” problems to
work on. I encourage them to discuss and help each other. I never sit in my
classroom, I constantly walk around to help kids and give out hints.


2. Right after their finish exercise, they immediately get “encouragement” to go onto the
second set to work on “contest” type problems and again, they are encouraged to
help each other and I also walk around to help. Kids are divided into two
groups according to their abilities and each group gets different types of
problems to do.


In contrast, this chess coach did give out worksheets but basically leave kids alone and do not encourage them to finish and did not go through the chess worksheet, and many
kids left the worksheets on the tables when they left the classrooms. His
presentation was poorly prepared and did not encourage dialogue between
presenter and students.

Other than play chess, no means were taken to encourage kid to think, so why they will feel
playing chess is interesting? Kids in his class are pushing “wooden toys”, not
playing chess by thinking at all.


Math can be boring if math is taught in a way that kids do not require thinking at all and chess is a very cerebral game so if thinking is not instilled then kids will think
chess is boring.


What I have done to my math club kids so that they do not feel bored is that I constantly
provide them with thinking problems and every minute I encourage them to think.
It is the chess coach who is not doing a good job makes the kids feel that
chess is boring and in contrast, I am doing a god job so no one feels math is
boring but challenging!


So if kids only do computational problems in math (In other words, very little thinking is
involved.), then they will think math is boring too.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/k-12-education-articles/why-chess-is-boring-4756999.html

About the Author

Frank Ho, a Canadian certified math teacher, coined the learning centre term Math and Chess and he also founded the world’s first math and chess learning centre by creating the world’s first math and chess integrated workbooks for elementary students in Vancouver, Canada. He invented Frankho Symbolic Chess Language, intriguing Frankho Chess Maze, and also an unique new chess teaching set. He published math and chess teaching theoretic basis in a Canadian math journal. The USA Illinois research data has shown statistically significant that Ho Math and Chess teaching method increases children’s math marks and also improves children’s critical thinking skills. The Ho Math and Chess Teaching Set can improve children’s memory by playing half-blind chess. More details, please visit www.mathandchess.com.

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