A chess expert, Adeniyi Adewale has urged parents and schools in Ikorodu to introduce chess to children in order to improve their mental abilities.
Adewale runs an initiative, SmartThinkers Clique Educational Services which takes chess to primary and secondary schools around Lagos State, teaching students how to play the game.
He said that although the attention from Ikorodu schools is gradually increasing, more needs to be done to ensure that children get to take advantage of the benefits of chess.
He said, “The awareness for some schools have not been really great, especially in Ikorodu. We have areas in Lagos that by the time we are just getting to the schools, they already know what it is all about. Probably because of the interest of the administrators. Some of them have been used to the game before. But in Ikorodu, the reception is on the downside, but gradually it is coming up.”
He noted that the game helps shape the personalities of children, and optimizes their thinking capacity with the number of puzzles it has.
Adewale stated that it is not only a game for kids but also parents themselves could engage in it and experience its many benefits.
He stressed that it is not necessary children become professionals of the game as the mental capacity building and personality building benefits it has are enough to have children playing the game.
He said, “It used to surprise me that within few weeks of introducing chess to kids, we find out that the kids start improving in other academic careers. Their teachers gave testimony in the school where we train kids. Some of their classroom teachers used to ask us what is the secret behind the chess such that four weeks after showing kids how to play the game, showing them some particular moves, they improve in academics.
“Chess also makes them calm, it improves their analytical skills, they tend to pay more attention as we try to bring out that logical reasoning in them. Probably, because of our own system of teaching, you let them experience the joy in the game by themselves, you don’t force anything on them. You just show them what they need to discover and you find out that such works the magic. They start becoming calm, they start trying to think, such that it improves their intelligence, and helps them become more confident.”
He continued, “I encourage parents to introduce chess to their kids to help them improve their personalities and there mental skills. As someone once said, the best gift you can give to your brain is to learn chess.
“Even as parents, learn chess. It teaches leadership skills.
“And even if they are not going to play professionally, let them learn it. Like one of my bosses will say, the essence of teaching kids chess is not to have them become professional players, but because of the puzzles that chess presents. Chess is the only game that presents more puzzles that improves your thinking capacity. An average chess player thinks five time above a person who is not a chess player.”