PeterFarr wrote: Hmm, yes, but it's not about chess as a sport. Also whether chess actually helps children develop is a rather dubious argument - I don't believe there is any really reliable evidence on it (I think previous threads have discussed this - fairly sure David Robertson has said something about that too in the past).
Actually there is some published evidence in the international Literature. Two Abstracts, one from Spain and another from the Ukraine beneath:
Span J Psychol. 2012 Jul;15(2):551-9.
The benefits of chess for the intellectual and social-emotional enrichment in schoolchildren.
Aciego R, GarcÃa L, Betancort M.
Facultad de PsicologÃa, Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain. firstname.lastname@example.org
This paper examines the benefits of regularly playing chess for the intellectual and social-emotional enrichment of a group of 170 schoolchildren from 6-16 years old. It is based on a quasi-experimental design, where the independent variable was the extracurricular activity of chess (n = 170) versus extracurricular activities of soccer or basketball (n = 60). The dependent variable was intellectual and socio-affective competence, which was measured by an IQ test (WISC-R), a self-report test (TAMAI) and a hetero-report questionnaire (teacher-tutor's criterion) applied at the beginning and the end of the academic year. In contrast to the comparison group, it was found that chess improves cognitive abilities, coping and problem-solving capacity, and even socioaffective development of children and adolescents who practice it.
The results are modulated, particularly in the area socioaffective, by the personal profile of students who choose practice this activity.
Fiziol Zh. 2004;50(5):80-6.
Effect of sport participation on the dynamics of attention parameters and successfulness of studies in school children of junior age
The study of dynamics of attention parameters in junior schoolchildren (aged from 7 to 9) going in for sports has established that this period of ontogenesis is characterized by further progressive development of attention, though uneven in rate. The age-related dynamics of change in attention parameters (its volume, efficiency, distribution and turning rate) in children having additional physical and intellectual load has been discovered to be identical with non-sportive group. The rate of formation of attention qualities in junior pupils having additional physical training is higher and more marked than in those playing no sports. This correlation is particularly prominent in 8-9-year old children. Additional physical training is one of the major factors contributing to pupils' successfulness at school. Children playing chess are characterized by the highest successfulness.
The gymnasts' successfulness is higher than that of the non-sportive children of the same age but lower than in chess-players. We assume that the ontogenesis program of psycho-physiological functional development can be partially corrected by means of physical training, sports and additional intellectual loading which result in formation of a new perfected functional system responsible for higher psycho-physiological activity of sportsmen in relation to control group.