Kids have all the right moves

Townsville Bulletin - - News - Jade Kennedy Townsville Bul­letin

PROV­ING board games are any­thing but bor­ing, stu­dents have a trip to Bris­bane in their sights as the open­ing round of the an­nual North Queens­land In­ter­school Chess Cham­pi­onships hit town yes­ter­day.

Nearly 2 0 0 pri­mary and s econdary stu­dents from 20 lo­cal schools con­verged on Ig­natius Park Col­lege for the competition.

Gar­diner Chess di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions Andrew Fitz­Patrick said the cham­pi­onships gave stu­dents more than just a chance to show off their chess skills.

‘‘ The game re­quires a lot of skill and con­cen­tra­tion, and that has been proven to im­prove scores in maths and English by up to 25 per cent,’’ he said.

‘‘ In terms of maths, chess in­volves prob- lem solv­ing, spa­tial aware­ness, grids and co-or­di­nates, and can help chil­dren as young as Year 3 im­prove those skills.’’

An­other ben­e­fit is the so­cial in­ter­ac­tion and team­work par­tic­i­pants learn.

‘‘ A lot of kids with autism and asperg­ers have ben­e­fited greatly from the so­cial in­ter­ac­tion, as in­volve­ment in an ac­tiv­ity gives them a chance to in­ter­act with kids their own age and some have learnt how to con­verse with their peers through the game,’’ Mr Fitz­Patrick said.

He said the tour­na­ments would be held for the first three terms of the year, with the re­gional win­ner mov­ing on to the fi­nals in Bris­bane in Oc­to­ber.

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