Our 1st/2nd multiage class is learning chess!
Chess—The Game of Kings and The Classroom
The game of chess is thought to have originated in what is now northern India or Afganistan sometime before 6OO AD: the oldest written references to chess date from then, but there are unverified claims that chess existed as early as 100 AD. Interest in chess followed early trade routes out of India. One variation of chess (called Shogi) is now popular in Japan; another variation is played in China. Many local variations in chess rules persist even today in isolated rural areas, for example in India.
The variation familiar to Europeans and Americans traveled through Iran (Persia) to the main commercial centers of Italy and Spain by about 1000 AD. A bit later, sea-faring Vikings carried the game into Scandinavia and Iceland. By 1100-1200 AD, the game became known in central Europe, and was well-established across all of Europe by 1400 AD, with the game rules which we use today. However, Russia's dominance of chess is recent, dating from the communist revolution of 1917, after which government schools for talented chess players were established.
Edouard Moyal, father of Diego in the 1st-2nd multiage classroom, is a master chess teacher who brings his love of chess to the school. Chess has long been regarded as a game that can have beneficial effects on learning and development, especially when it is played from a young age. A study by Dr Peter Dauvergne at the University of Sydney, has found that students who play chess improve in the following areas:
• problem solving skills
• abstract decisions making
• reading, memory, language, and mathematical
• flexible planning and concentration
On Thursday, December 6, an excited group of students learned about the history of this ancient game. Edouard taught them the names and properties of the different pieces as well as the basic moves. In addition to sharing his talents as a teacher, the Moyal family donated several beautiful wooden chess sets to the classroom along with books about how to play the game. The students are looking forward to playing the game, practicing their skills and learning more from Edouard.
Many thanks to the Moyal family for their time and generosity.