Checkmate: Spain's Schools Add Chess To The Class Load

Chess is meant to boost IQ levels as well as revive Spain's cultural values.


It's a common complaint: School curricula don't do enough to stimulate young brains and enhance IQ levels. Well, Spain has just taken a step that will sort this out.

The EU nation is all set to make chess a compulsory subject in schools after all their political entities agreed to do so. Having secured unanimous backing of the proposal, the Spanish parliamentary education committee will now "urge the government to introduce the Chess in Schools program in the Spanish education system in accordance with the European Parliament’s recommendations."

The benefit of incorporating the world famous board game to the school curriculum could be twofold for Spain. Not only would it help resurrect a game with which Spain has historical ties, it will make the country's future generations so much sharper, intelligent and creative.

"Remember the great importance of Spain in the history and evolution of chess and that modern chess, with its current rules, was invented in Spain around 500 years ago," Popular Party spokesman Francisco Cabrera said while advocating the proposal.

The move follows the publication of a research by the universities of Girona and Lleida which suggested that students who study chess in school experience greater intellectual development and surge in mathematics and reading abilities.

Pablo Martin, the man behind the proposal, added: "[Chess] improves memory and strategic capacity, teaches students to make decisions under high pressure and develops concentration, with a very low economic cost."

In many middle schools in the U.S., music education is mandatory or at least strongly recommended. Perhaps, we can take a leaf out of Spain's books and introduce chess to our education system as well.