Kids have all the right moves
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.