In Charge: Mr Hollingworth
Venue: Science Lab 5
Time: Mondays and Thursdays 14h50-16h20
Chess practices take place on Monday and Thursday afternoons in Lab 5. On Mondays we play against each other to hone our skills and to establish who our strongest players are. Matches against other schools, when they can be arranged, are also played on Mondays. We employ an accomplished player from the Johannesburg Chess Association who coaches our players on Thursday afternoons. Many enthusiasts come to Lab 5 every afternoon in search of a practice game!
Chess has been shown to contribute to academic performance by teaching players to observe carefully and to concentrate. If they don’t focus on what is happening, they cannot respond appropriately, no matter how clever they are. They also come to realise that they don’t have to do the first thing that pops into their minds. They learn to identify alternatives and consider the pros and cons of various ploys, often having to juggle many considerations simultaneously. Planning, analysing and thinking ahead are all part of the game. None of these skills are specific to chess, but the game certainly helps players to become more critical thinkers, better problem solvers and more independent decision makers in a most enjoyable and challenging way.