Gifted Standards

Chess and Academically or Intellectually Gifted Students


Chess is a learning tool for the development of the mind that just happens to be a game. This unique approach to learning facilitates academic, intellectual, social and emotional growth for the gifted learner. These learners think with greater complexity and abstract thought and learn quickly. Championship Chess and the Scholastic Chess Series challenges gifted students to learn chess in a focused and experiential manner, building proficiency as they develop intellectual curiosity, problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Differentiated Curriculum and Instruction

Employ challenging, rigorous, and relevant curriculum and instruction for K-12 to accommodate a range of academic, intellectual, social, and emotional needs of gifted learners.



  • Employs diverse and effective instructional practices to address a range of learning needs.


CC: The language of chess includes the special use of familiar words, such as forks, pins, skewers. Students read these words in books and use them in game analyses, building a richer vocabulary.

CC: Chess requires many of the same skills that are needed for good comprehension. Playing chess gives students new and varied opportunities to:

1) Make predictions within opening or endgame patterns.

2) Recognize that moves may cause specific reactions. Sometimes effects are predictable; sometimes they’re not, but the relationship is clear.

3) “Read” the chessboard diagrams during play and in chess books. They learn to identify advantages, candidate moves, short-term tactical plays and long-range strategies.

CC: Chess activities require good communication skills. Although there may be little give and take across the chessboard, improving chess skills requires students to:

1) Ask and answer questions related to classic games or their own games.

2) Take turns during play and during group analysis.

3) Listen to, and sometimes question, the opinion of others rationally.

4) Clearly explain the rationale behind their moves.

5) Use a variety of media to gather information and improve their games.

CC: Improving their game is the reason students read chess texts and materials, including primary source material—their own and others’ game notation.




Enriches, extends and accelerates the curriculum to address a range of ability levels in:

  • Mathematics


CC: As students count and use the ranks, files and diagonals on the chessboard, they apply numeration to identify how and how far the pieces move.

CC: Students use the algebraic grid of the chessboard to identify relative positions of the pieces on the quadrants of the board and apply this to the annotation, evaluation and description of best moves.

CC: Students validate and evaluate options during play and model and solve multilevel chess puzzles.

CC: Every time a move is made on the chessboard there is a new problem to solve. Students choose among options during play and when solving chess puzzles, applying an understanding of what works and why. Students have to analyze and evaluate to verify options and select the best move.

CC: Using algebraic notation, students “speak chess,” analyzing space and viewpoint to formulate and to answer questions.

CC: Such concepts as even and odd; vertical, horizontal and diagonal; pattern recognition; and, solving multistep problems apply to chess play.

CC: The chessboard space–and the constantly changing patterns of the pieces within the space– are key to predicting outcomes and recognizing and applying information to solve problems. The chessboard pattern and the relationships of the pieces help students organize ideas to solve problems with slight variations of place or sequence.

  • Social Studies Information Process Skills

CC: Students are presented with many possible moves, but only a few of these are good alternative solutions to the problem. Selecting among alternatives is key to good play.

CC: At each turn, students must bring ideas and information together to make a well thought out move that may be part of an opening or endgame pattern. As students play, they begin to generalize moves across games, building strategies and improving their repertoire of attacks.

CC: Students use chessboard diagrams to analyze positions and determine best moves.

CC: Students must apply good spatial awareness to determine which area of the board is relevant to setting up a possible attack or is in need of defense.



§ Employs diverse and effective instructional practices to address a range of learning needs.

CC: Good chess instruction includes more than play. Best practices reach many learning styles
through music, video, electronic game play, reading and pen and paper activities, puzzles and supervised play at all stages of learning.

§ Selects and uses a variety of research-based supplemental resources that augment curriculum and instruction.

CC: Educational research studies have shown that chess:

  • Improves math and reading scores, as well as scores on creative and critical thinking assessments.
  • Fosters interest, promotes mental alertness, challenges all students and elicits the highest levels of achievement.
  • Has a positive affect on students’ attitudes toward learning.

Fosters the development of 21st century content and skills by infusing the following at an advanced level:

o  Critical thinking and problem solving

o  Creativity and innovation

o  Real-world learning in local, regional, and global contexts

o  Applied life skills for leadership, ethics, accountability, adaptability, productivity, responsibility, people skills, self-direction, and social responsibility.

CC: In both play and hands-on activities and puzzles, students use patterns and logical deductive reasoning to solve problems and to analyze game positions.

CC: Students look for more and different alternatives, fostering fluency, originality and creative thought.

CC: School matches, tournaments and online play offer students opportunities to participate in chess at many levels, challenging them to focus, consider alternatives and solve problems in real-world situations to win the game or offer analysis to others.

CC: Students practice life skills as they learn and play:

1) Students must play fairly and competitively with others, following the rules and learning to accept victory and defeat graciously. Students are solely responsible for their games. If they break rules the game may be forfeited. If they are inattentive, the game may be lost. Every game begins and ends with a handshake, a symbol of respect and cooperation.

2) Students who are committed to learning will analyze their wins and losses, seek out opponents in fun and tournament play, and further their understanding through reading and research. They will recognize that self-discipline pays off.

3) Chess is recognized as an intellectual game, played by the brightest among us. Therefore, when children learn to play chess, they see themselves as bright and able learners who have the potential to achieve in many areas. The brightest children may intuit correct answers in their first encounters with chess. But, ultimately, only those who are willing to put forth effort to improve play will be winners.

§ Uses ongoing assessment to differentiate classroom curriculum and instruction.

CC: Game outcomes and group activities provide immediate and ongoing assessment of students’ skills. Using a series of books, activities and games that reach across levels of play makes it easy to select appropriate curriculum to challenge and further each student’s abilities.



§ Creates affective curricular and instructional practices, which support the social and emotional needs of AIG students.

CC: Scholastic chess is a “team sport.” Students work with others in their group to build a competitive team. Teamwork helps make students who may not excel in social situations become more adept socially and emotionally. Chess is also a competition, challenging bright students to exhibit sportsmanship and fair play: social skills that build respect and friendship. 

§ Cultivates and develops the potential of young (K-3) students through purposeful and intentional strategies and differentiated curriculum instructions.

CC: The Scholastic Chess Series reaches out to all learners, from pre-K and up. Materials are written with the young learner in mind. Materials include video, music, hands-on activities and active play, from pre-chess games to full tournament play. Books are written to address visual as well as verbal learners. Young children gain confidence as they participate in chess activities with older students. They have the advantage: losing to an older or more experienced player is not deflating and winning against one is a real confidence booster.



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