Monday, March 19, 2012


As a follow up to my last post, I guess many parents who are reading this must be wondering how on earth are they going to wean their kids off computer games and focus on chess in the first place?

For one, I would strongly recommend that they sit through a movie " Searching for Bobby Fischer" or "Innocent Moves" (as it was released under in this region. Next, appeal to the child's sense of achievement by highlighting the successes of their peers in school who have won trophies or prizes in chess competitions.

Finally, after the children are excited to want to play chess, slowly (but firmly) stash the computer games away. Replace them with chess-related visuals like Chess Titans or Battle Chess. Show the masterpieces of Paul Morphy and the combinations of the Immortal or Evergreen Game through the graphics of Chess Titans. I am exploring that right now to see if it can be done. This I am sure will win many converts.

The excitement and thrill of chess is not easily discernable for the average child so concerted effort on the part of parents can help. For one, children can watch useful Youtube videos of chess blitz games with commentary so they can start to comprehend the moves of the masters. There's some good ones out there and I will try to locate and post them here later.

Studies have shown that prolonged indulgence in computer games (especially those with the blood and gore shooting and violent content) will only serve to inculcate aggressive and belligerent behaviour in children in the long run. Surely schools can play a big part in promoting mind games such as chess over computer games by encouraging children to not just play the game, but to also learn problem solving in unravelling simple chess puzzles. In our own little ways, we can shape Singapore into a thinking and pensive nation rather than an MTV state where instant gratification and quick results virtually rule all facets of daily life.

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