Chess

  • Traditionally, the district has hosted two district-wide chess tournaments. The State Qualifier Chess Tournament was hosted in January in advance of the Colorado State Chess Tournament, followed by the Thompson School District Tournament for all divisions in the spring. The Colorado State Chess Association no longer requires competitors to qualify for the state tournament through a regional competition. With the removal of this requirement, it is now possible to restructure our competitions to be more division focused.

    For the 3rd chess season, there will be three separate tournaments for the following divisions:

    • Elementary School Divisions – grades K/1 - 2/3 - 4/5*
    • Middle School Division – grades 6-8
    • High School Division – grades 9-12

    These competitions will follow the traditional Swiss System and allow for expanded participation within the three divisions.  We will launch the season with the Annual TSD Chess Tournament in December to get everyone excited for chess.

    *The K-1 Division will compete at the same time as their older peers at the District and Elementary Division Tournaments; however, there will be a coaching component woven into the competition.  Many of our young players are still learning the rules of chess and it is slowing or frustrating their enjoyment. This is a great opportunity to coach them through important rules as they relate to their match. You can think of this as lowering the hoops in basketball or shortening a golf course for those of us who can't drive 300 yards. There will be no coaching for a win; the intent is to contribute to the enjoyment of the competition and the lifelong love of chess.

    Location and schedules for all events:  

    Loveland High School, 920 W. 29th Street - 8:00am–1:00pm

    Thompson School District Tournament

    • Saturday, December 7, 2019

    High School Competition

    • Saturday, February 15, 2020

    Middle School Competition

    • Saturday, March 7, 2020

    Elementary School Competition

    • Saturday, April 11, 2020

    Tournament Registration Forms:

      • Check back this fall

    District Chess Coordinator - Larry Shores 

    Tournament Coordinator - Brian Lindsey


    Why Offer Chess in Schools?

    Studies have been done in various locations around the United States and Canada, showing that chess results in increased scores on standardized tests for both reading and math. See what 60 Minutes has to say about chess or view the trailer below. View academic skills gained through chess below the video.

  • Chess teaches the following skills:

    Focus 

    Children are taught the benefits of observing carefully and concentrating. If they don’t watch what is happening, they can’t respond to it, no matter how smart they are.

    Visualization

    Children are prompted to imagine a sequence of actions before it happens. We actually strengthen the ability to visualize by training them to shift the pieces in their mind, first one, then several moves ahead.

    Forward Thinking

    Children are taught to think first, then act. We teach them to ask themselves “If I do this, what might happen then, and how can I respond?” Over time, chess helps develop patience and thoughtfulness.

    Weighing of Options

    Children are taught that they don’t have to do the first thing that pops into their mind. They learn to identify alternatives and consider the pros and cons of various actions.

    Concrete Analysis

    Children learn to evaluate the results of specific actions and sequences. Does this sequence help me or hurt me? Decisions are better when guided by logic, rather than impulse.

    Abstract Thinking

    Children are taught to step back periodically from details and consider the bigger picture. They also learn to take patterns used in one context and apply them to different, but related situations.

    Planning 

    Children are taught to develop longer range goals and take steps toward bringing them about. They are also taught of the need to reevaluate their plans as new developments change the situation.

    Educational Research 

    These conclusions have been backed up by educational research.  A study on a large scale chess program in New York City, which involved more than 100 schools and 3,000 children, showed higher classroom grades in both English and Math for children involved in chess. Studies in Houston, Texas and Bradford, Pennsylvania showed chess leads to higher scores on the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal and the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking. 

    Social Benefits

    Chess helps build individual friendships and also school spirit when children compete together as teams against other schools. Chess also teaches children about sportsmanship - how to win graciously and not give up when encountering defeat. For children with adjustment issues, there are many examples where chess has led to increased motivation, improved behavior, better self-image, and even improved attendance. Chess provides a positive social outlet, a wholesome recreational activity that can be easily learned and enjoyed at any age.                   


    Many of our Thompson schools offer chess clubs.  Ask your teacher about chess programming at your school.  Or contact Larry Shores.

    Content Source: Source: SchoolChess.org