Parents & Teachers


Note for Educators

MIT math educator's review

Like classic chess, Yamie Chess is governed by math logic. As a K-8 educational learning aid developed by teachers with classroom experience, the Yamie Chess School Assistant is designed to supplement 5 to 12 year old students’ learning in math class, enhance problem solving abilities, and build math skills for school at each child’s individual pace.
With a credible process that inherits all of the accredited math learning benefits of traditional chess, Yamie Chess works by first laying down a firm foundation in understanding curriculum math concepts. The first eBook has the added benefit of teaching kids chess from scratch.
Each math eBook (which can be read in any order) is appropriately graded and imparts a STEM framework which asks children to think laterally about math ideas. To name a few examples: Base-10 number system, how to find and use algebraic coordinates, linear algebra, fractions, Venn diagrams, Fibonacci sequences, understanding geometric areas in polygons, dimensional analysis.

Yamie Chess' K-8 math learning objectives

At its heart, Yamie Chess includes an interactive teacher-written math comic for K-8 grades, where cartoon characters that represent the classic chess pieces guide children through math learning. It’s written like a children’s graphic novel. Any classic chess set can be utilized to partner the comic.


School Library JournalYamie Chess officially named by School Library Journal as a Best Education Pick of 2014; nationally recommended to parents, educators and schools: “Yamie Chess is a STEM education math-learning aid that uses chess to promote problem-solving for students in grades K – 8.”—School Library Journal, February ’14

Yamie Chess acronym

This traditional “hands-on” approach revolving around cartoons, enables little learners to relate the strategy, algebra, and geometry of the classic chess grid to Yamie Chess’ imaginative adventure story line. Yamie Chess stimulates mental interaction, and encourages the good sportsmanship that chess is known for.

Math areas in Yamie Chess

Yamie Chess is suitable for complete beginners to chess and children at all levels of math ability. Due to its classical merits, Yamie Chess works on a sliding scale depending on the parent or teachers needs. Professional math teachers like Mrs Jena Phillips, MEd and Ms. Elizabeth Gates, BA use the supplementary learning aid in their classrooms. Yamie Chess is appropriate for both Title 1 and Academic Interventions as well as gifted/talented programs.

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Yale University

This section includes copyrighted material on Yamie Chess Math Comics by Yale University Statistician, Prof. Michelle Lacey, PhD, a U.S. Government scientist and former Research Fellow at Yale University, and has been split into sections below for your ease of reference.

Overview from Yale Educator


“The Yamie Chess comics do a great job of motivating kids to learn math through cute stories about a fantastical world populated by entertaining characters representing dark and light chess pieces. The mathematical topics are taught through clear examples, and the scope of each comic strikes a nice balance between mathematical content and fun narratives that are likely to keep children engaged. Furthermore, for those readers who are really interested in learning about chess strategy there’s plenty to think about in these comics.

That being said, there are a few aspects of each comic that, in my opinion, would improve their presentation and make them a bit clearer for your readers, and I also have a few thoughts on some of the mathematical content. I initially read them in the order of their targeted age groups, beginning with “A Tale of Sleepy Numbers,” so I’ll discuss them in that order.”

— © Professor Michelle Lacey, PhD, Statistics, Yale University

Yale University Statistics Expert, Professor Michelle Lacey, PhD’s comments on Yamie Chess’ math comic, A Tale of Sleepy Numbers read:


“The introduction to the chess pieces and their characters is very nicely done, but it wasn’t clear to me why this is tied to a review of multiplication tables. Would it be better to separate these topics so the younger readers could focus on understanding the chess concepts?

Mathematically, I think the lessons are very well done. I like the emphasis on translating phrases into mathematical expressions and the practice with decimal arithmetic. My only complaint is that the text does not differentiate between decimals and irrational numbers, and it would be good to clarify that while all fractions can be expressed as decimals, not all (or most) decimals are rational.

With respect to the story, I found that there were a few distracting aspects of the presentation. Firstly, I think that it would be helpful to explain why Kimi is in the hospital, since this is a question that many readers are likely to ask. Then, on p.34, it’s stated that time has passed and it’s been 3 years since Kimi’s operation. But if he can only have chess dreams in the hospital, how can he be communicating with Tigermore now? Is he back in the hospital? Finally, the sidebar about the Red Sox and Yankees doesn’t really fit with the story, and by referring to a specific season that comic ends of being dated (and won’t resonate with younger readers who won’t appreciate the historical reference).”

— © Professor Michelle Lacey, PhD, Statistics, Yale University

Yale University Statistics Expert, Professor Michelle Lacey, PhD’s comments on Yamie Chess’ math comic, The Math King of Dallas read:


“This is a cute story and has a nice logical flow. The introduction to exponents during the description of the chess pieces is very well done, and while it’s not directly related to the rest of the math presented in the comic it seems a shame that readers are advised to skip this section if they’re already familiar with chess and know “basic algebra.” Some of the examples are likely to be a bit advanced for many kids (negative powers, etc.) and seem considerably more challenging than the simple linear equations introduced in the main story.

The coverage of points, lines, rays, and solving simple equations of the form “x + b = c” or “ax = c” is very clearly presented and I really like the fact that readers get a lot of practice with learning a single concept throughout the comic. However, readers never really have the opportunity to work with a full linear equation of the form “ax + b =c” as presented. It seems like a missed opportunity to learn about slopes and intercepts, especially since there is some coverage of the coordinate plane and there could be a nice connection to having the readers figure out the equation for a linear equation that would move a chess piece along a diagonal trajectory (for example).”

— © Professor Michelle Lacey, PhD, Statistics, Yale University

Yale University Statistics Expert, Professor Michelle Lacey, PhD’s notes on Yamie Chess’ math comic, He’s Arithmetic, I’m Geometric read:


“I really like the fact that the chess intro is self‐contained in this comic and focuses on the game without adding mathematical content. I find this much more informative than in the previous two comics, where the movement of the pieces and mathematical topics are intertwined. I also really like the coverage of castling at the end of the introduction.

As for the mathematical content, I think the introduction to sequences is excellent and it’s nice that readers are given a general expression for deriving the value of any of the terms in Arithmetic’s tail (although I do find it a bit puzzling that Arithmetic is trying to figure out his 400th term when we’re told that he’s only a finite sequence with four terms). It would be nice to also provide the general expression for the Geometric sequence, which should be accessible to any readers familiar with exponents (which are covered in the introduction to “The Math King of Dallas”). The definition of “series” could also be clarified. It’s never stated that a series is itself a sequence of cumulative sums, so readers might think that it’s just a single value computed by adding all of the terms in a sequence.

And this probably won’t be an issue for most readers, but since I’ve been living in New Orleans for over 10 years I feel obligated to correct some of the references to the Crescent City. First off, you have to go pretty far out of the city to get to a swamp, and you need to drive for a few hours before you really get into Cajun country. Cajun and Creole are two very different cultures, not interchangeable as the text suggests. Also, the St. Patrick’s Day parade is Uptown in the Irish Channel, not in the French Quarter (motorized vehicles aren’t allowed in parades in that part of the city, so only “walking parades” with small floats that can be pulled by people or pedicabs are held in the FQ). There are also a few semantic concerns: at one point Kimi calls Arithmetic a “po’ boy,” which is pretty odd since a “po‐boy” is the New Orleans equivalent to a hoagie or sub in other parts of the country, and there’s another random sandwich reference later when Vigdor refers to something as “a whole lotta muffaletta.” If you’re interested in using local expressions, there’s a great book that came out recently called “The Yat Dictionary” that is rife with information about the New Orleans dialect.”

— © Professor Michelle Lacey, PhD, Statistics, Yale University

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Top-quoteReview of Yamie Chess: The Adventures of Tigermore & the Mind Angels

By Prof. Michael Ching, PhD, Mathematics, MIT

Date: November 3, 2013

Copyright © 2013 Professor Michael Ching, PhD. All Rights Reserved.

Permission to reprint this educational article on Yamie Chess Ltd’s website was directly obtained from Professor Ching in writing.

Skill at chess has long been viewed as a marker of academic ability. Generations of children have learned to play, some at school, some at home, both for fun and for the intellectual challenge.

Chess has maintained its popularity in the face of modern technology because of its relative simplicity to learn and its acknowledged difficulty to master.

The Yamie Chess math and story book brings a new approach to learning the game by integrating a chess tutorial with a fantasy storyline and math questions of various levels.

The result is an amazingly imaginative introduction to chess that provides connections to, and inspiration for, the mathematics that a child will be learning in school.

I think the biggest strength of Yamie Chess is its appeal to a wide range of ages and abilities.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology reviewFor preschool children this is a coloring book portraying a dream world inhabited by a variety of fantastical creatures.

No knowledge of chess as a game is needed to follow the adventures of the boy Kimi as he dreams of the flying tiger King Tigermore and his vulture counterpart King Vigdor.

The older child can use Yamie Chess to learn the game, while simultaneously practicing basic math skills.

The story also contains an impressive line-up of scientific references that will intrigue and inspire children of all ages, and keep adults on their toes as well.

It is as a setting for learning the game that Yamie Chess really shines.

The ways that different pieces move are explained clearly (and neatly tied to the personalities of the characters in the story).

The sample chess match illustrates all the basic rules and is short enough not to overwhelm a child learning the game for the first time.

This book really makes chess sound like fun!

The book wisely does not attempt to explain the strategy behind every move, but basic tactics are considered in various cases.

Problems integrated into the text help the beginning player think about, for example, what pieces could be used to protect another, or which squares a king might move to in order to escape check.

The ultimate educational goal of the Yamie Chess comic, however, is to enhance and strengthen children’s mathematical ability.

Research has shown that, by itself, learning to play chess is tied to better logical reasoning and stronger performance in math.

Yamie Chess adds to this by integrating both mathematical content and math puzzles into the text.

The puzzles include both relatively standard ‘textbook’ problems to reinforce what a child learns in school, and more interesting ‘mindteasers’ that will help to extend that material. Most importantly there is a focus on explaining as well as just solving problems.

For example, the book includes a discussion (again, integrated into the storyline) of why the area of a triangle is given by the familiar formula.

This is in line with the current trend in school math toward asking why as much as asking how.

The math content of Yamie Chess covers a range of areas of the elementary and middle school curriculum (mainly grades 2-8), providing reviews of basic arithmetic, number lines, decimals, fractions and some geometry.

It should not, however, be confused with a textbook.

The problems here are suited to give a child some extra exposure to mathematics while learning to play chess, or while reading a fun story, but any one child will find only a few aimed directly at his or her level.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the Yamie Chess comic.

It brings imagination and fantasy to the basic game of chess, making it easy to pick up this classic skill, while simultaneously reinforcing key mathematical ideas.

I expect children of all ages will find it inspiring and interesting.

I strongly recommend it.Bottom-quote

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Harvard University

Top-quoteHarvard Prof. Christian Hesse, PhD’s Review of Yamie Chess: The Adventures of Tigermore & the Mind Angels

By Prof. Christian Hermann Hesse, M.A., M.S., PhD, Mathematics, Harvard University and Indiana University Bloomington.

Date: November 30, 2013

Copyright © 2013 Professor Christian Hesse, PhD All Rights Reserved.

Permission to reprint this educational praise on Yamie Chess Ltd’s website was directly obtained from Professor Christian Hesse, PhD, in writing.

I have now completed a detailed reading and evaluation of “The Adventures of Tigermore & The Mind Angels”. It has been a pleasure and it is a great product. It took close to 20 hours of my time….Yamie Chess is a fine product. It’s a pleasure to be a part of Yamie Chess, even if only as a reviewer.

Yamie Chess Ltd has produced a book on chess and mathematics for children.

The book combines the best of many worlds: in particular, the fascination and usefulness of chess with the usefulness and beauty of mathematics.

It manages to find a playful and friendly approach to enjoy both: how to learn chess and how to do math.

This is achieved by embedding the learning process into a fantasy story, that children will find heartwarming and take pleasure in reading.

A commendable idea of the team of creators of the project is to personify the rather abstract chess pieces: A mythical character impersonates each of them. Children will find it easier and less challenging to digest the way the pieces move when they associate them with Little Bu, the light pawn, Belskina, the Queen of Lights, Aurora, the light bishop, Siberia, the light horsey to name only a few.

harvard-math-expert-phd-extract-review-yamie-chessApart from being entertaining for the envisioned age groups, the fantasy story touches on an impressive range of topics from various disciplines. Included are some medical expressions from cardiac arrest and what to do about it to x-rays and what they are good for.

In terms of physics, children hear about photons, velocity and the principle of conversation of energy. From biology the term double helix is mentioned. In this respect, children`s vocabulary is enriched and their verbal skills are extended.

Next to the chessic aspects, the mathematical topics are at the center of the book: Here the readers are exposed to sets and Venn diagrams, numbers and raising them to powers, fractions and triangles including the theorem of Pythagoras. In terms of special numbers, the Fibonacci sequence appears.

And even probability and randomness are addressed at an elementary level. All this is done in a friendly and attractive way.

In addition, both the chessic and the mathematical themes are enriched with multiple-choice problems.

Without exception, they are well chosen and all of them are appropriate for the specific grades.

A great deal of the charm of the book stems from the drawings. They are first class and some of them are even exceptionally beautiful, such as the first and last drawings and others in between.

Quite astonishing also are the two maps at the beginning which depict Snowmelt, the mind planet. The maps encompass many suggestive locations such as Euwe Cape, 4 Knights Bay, Lake Karpov, The Coast of Gödelian Love, Gauss Bay as well as Descartes` Mathematical Ocean.

In addition to all of this, there is a chess game which unfolds move by move throughout the book.

It is a 12-move miniature game. This game is supremely suitable to expose children to the beautiful aspects of sacrificial mating attacks in chess.

In summary: A great deal of creativity has been put into this project. It is a beautiful, inspiring and very valuable educational tool. Teaching chess and math in a playful manner, embedding both in a fantasy story, is a great approach. The outcome is a feel-good-book for children and their parents with great pedagogical value.

I recommend it highly.Bottom-quote

© Professor Christian Hesse PhD (Harvard University)

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Top-quoteYamie Chess: A Driving Force towards STEM Education

By Gerardo Morabito, B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Caltech

Date: October 28, 2013

Copyright © 2013 Gerardo Morabito, B.S. All Rights Reserved.

Permission to reprint this educational article on Yamie Chess Ltd’s website was directly obtained from Caltech engineer Gerardo Morabito in writing.

“Yamie Chess: The Adventures of Tigermore and the Mind Angels”, combines the elements of both education and entertainment, and in doing so, it provides an excellent vehicle to motivate children to learn more about STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

As the name implies, Yamie Chess effectively employs chess, a highly mathematical game, as a conduit to get kids thinking about math and science, and their applications.

At the same time, Yamie Chess provides hours upon hours of enjoyment with its dynamic comic, its coloring book content, and with the virtually endless replay value of chess.

Yamie Chess consists of the story of Kimi (a young chess prodigy) and King Tigermore (a magical tiger), which is told via an illustrated comic. Throughout the story, both Kimi and Tigermore, as well as their friends, use their knowledge of physics, biology, geometry, number theory, chess, and many other subjects, to save the realm known as “Mind Kingdom”.

California Institute of Technology reviewThe story describes how the Mind Kingdom is threatened by the corrupting influences of a greedy vulture known as King Vigdor, and his vile army, who seek to pillage and plunder the land to convert it into money.

As the tale unfolds, the comic vividly describes a chess game which parallels the events taking place in the story. Each of the major characters from the “Mind Kingdom” is represented by a chess piece which corresponds to its role in the story, as well as to its appearance and personality.

Consequently, this link between characters and chess pieces serves to continually remind the reader about the abilities of each piece in a chess game.

This creative introduction to chess is accomplished most effectively by connecting an otherwise lifeless piece, to a lively and unique character.

In due course, the reader will develop a familiarity, and hopefully, a fascination with chess. Accordingly, one of Yamie Chess’ main goals is to cultivate an affinity for chess in its reader.

The outcome of this goal is to direct the mind-stimulating properties of chess to help the young minds of its players develop the necessary mental acuity to pursue academic excellence in STEM fields.

To further bring the story to life, Yamie Chess includes a chess set, with each piece being labeled with its character, so that the reader may follow the developments in the chess story with his or her own set.

The chess game captures the face-off between Vigdor, the dark king, and Tigermore, the light king, in a conflict that will determine the fate of the realm. The story also incorporates math problems meant to be solved by the reader.

These problems are cleverly integrated into the puzzles and obstacles encountered by the characters, and provide several opportunities for the readers to sharpen their math skills, as well as to actively contribute to Kimi’s progress.

Ultimately, Kimi and Tigermore’s valiant effort to save the Mind Kingdom depicts the immense power of scientific and mathematical knowledge in action.

In other words, the comic teaches its young readers an extremely important lesson that they can in fact make a difference in the world by applying what they learn.

In this manner, Yamie Chess will undoubtedly help to inspire the next generation of much needed scientists and engineers in America. Yamie Chess’ vibrant storyline that is seamlessly tied into a chess game brilliantly delivers a learning experience unlike any other product in the market.

I strongly recommend it.Bottom-quote

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University of Chicago

Top-quoteA University of Chicago Mathematics PhD’s analysis of Yamie Chess: The Adventures of Tigermore and the Mind Angels®

By Prof. Ashley Ahlin, PhD, Mathematics, University of Chicago

Date: November 18, 2013

Copyright © 2013 Professor Ashley Ahlin, PhD All Rights Reserved.

Permission to reprint this educational article on Yamie Chess Ltd’s website was directly obtained from Professor Ahlin, PhD, in writing.

In Yamie Chess, children are invited into a world where imaginative creatures engage in battle via a chess game.

The Yamie Chess story can be seen as a braid, where chess, math problems, and the story of chess genius, Kimi, are interwoven.

Children whose interest is captured via any of the three will find themselves drawn into the others.

The book is chock full of engaging pictures, and the characters are interesting and accessible.

The protagonist is a likeable boy, and his team of chess pieces are appealing to children, including King Tigermore, Queen Belkina, horses, owls, rabbits, and a team of cute squirrels (pawns).

The “bad guys” carry their roles without being unduly scary for youngsters.

Mathematics problems are interspersed through the text and will both expose children to important mathematical results (e.g., Venn diagrams, finding the area of a triangle, and unit cancellation) and allow them opportunity to grow in mathematical reasoning.

university of chicago-math-expert-phdProblems are labeled by grade level, allowing parents and teachers to target problems for students.

The range of problems is such that students will find opportunities to use ideas with which they are already comfortable, as well as to explore new mathematical ideas.

The book carefully introduces the pieces of chess and their moves, with fun stories related to each.

The strengths and weaknesses of each piece are carefully included, as well as a variety of tactics and strategies, which will strengthen kids’ chess games.

My own children (ages 7 and 9) were very interested in the book; they reported that both the story and the chess game were very exciting.

While reading through the book, chess became one of their favorite activities, as they traced the game played out in the book, as well as playing their own games with tactics they read about.

They also enjoyed solving the math problems as they worked through the text.

A wide variety of scientific concepts are also referenced, ranging from electric charges to the concept of diffusion.

This provides an opportunity for children to become familiar with these scientific terms and ideas in the context of a fun story.

Yamie Chess has an imaginative storyline with potential to greatly increase children’s interest in both math and chess.

The book offers a clear and accessible introduction to the game of chess, and a story which draws students into a deeper understanding of strategies helpful in chess.

Yamie Chess is the best product I’ve seen for children to learn chess via an engaging fantasy storyline.Bottom-quote

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Top-quoteReview of Yamie Chess: The Adventures of Tigermore and the Mind Angels

By Mrs Jena Phillips, Bachelors of Science (B.S.), Elementary Education, Masters in Educational Leadership (MEd), Northern Arizona University.

Date: November 30, 2013

Copyright © 2013 Mrs Jena Phillips, B.S., MEd. All Rights Reserved.

Permission to reprint this educational article on Yamie Chess Ltd’s website was directly obtained from Mrs Jena Phillips, MEd, in writing.

Chess is a game of strategy for all ages and is beginning to be used in schools as a way to push critical thinking skills in both the classroom and in extra curricular clubs.

With the introduction of the Common Core standards across the country, educators understand that interacting with content and digging deeper into a topic are becoming more important than simply presenting facts for students to memorize.

Working with experts in the fields of math, science, and chess, Yamie Chess Limited has taken this classic game and given it depth.

arizona-science-grade-teacherLayered with critical thinking and topics in both math and science, Yamie Chess has written a fictional story, The Adventures of Tigermore and the Mind Angels, to teach children all about this timeless game.

The adventure is presented in a comic book format and printed in black and white so that students can color the pictures.

The 260 page story takes the reader on a trip into a magical dream world where the characters are the chess pieces, and the goal is to win the game.

Complete with a map and character guide, the comic begins with a young chess prodigy, Kimi, playing in Central Park. After an unfortunate skating accident, Kimi must undergo surgery.

It is during this time, in a dreamlike state, that Kimi teaches the basics and underpinnings of a chess game with the help of the mind angels he meets.

The chess pieces take on the individual personalities of story characters, allowing students to better relate to the game.

Throughout Kimi’s adventure, a chess game is played and seamlessly interwoven into the story itself.

During the plays, “think alouds” are provided so that students are able to follow what Kimi is thinking as he contemplates each chess move.

This process is essential since merely understanding which direction a piece moves doesn’t help students understand that chess requires strategy and thought.

Written with a variety of ages in mind, The Adventures of Tigermore and the Mind Angels teaches children how to play chess while incorporating different levels of math problems into the storyline.

The problems are clearly marked by grade level and were written to tie into the NCTM standards. Solutions are provided in the back with ample explanation and diagrams to show how some of the more complex problems are solved.

These questions give a depth to the story and provide differentiation for any age student in grades K-8.

Although the problems are to be solved during the story, if a student comes across a difficult question that is not appropriate, he will not lose out on important pieces of the story. These problems are what provide rigor and enable a teacher to use this with a wide range of ages and abilities.

As a teacher, I always am looking for activities, lessons, and products that will raise the bar for the children in my classroom.

With The Adventures of Tigermore and the Mind Angels, this product addresses both different levels in the classroom and teaches critical thinking to all.

I highly recommend it!Bottom-quote

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LA Tech

Top-quoteYamie Chess Review By Louisiana Tech University’s Academic Director and Program Chair of Math Education

By Prof. Bernd S. W. Schröder, PhD, Mathematics, Kansas State University and Louisiana Tech University

Date: November 3, 2013

Copyright © 2013 Professor Bernd S. W. Schröder, PhD. All Rights Reserved.

Permission to reprint this educational article on Yamie Chess Ltd’s website was directly obtained from Professor Schröder in writing.

Yamie Chess aims to use an engaging story to teach young readers how to play chess. Explaining how the pieces move is, necessarily, a lot of information at the start, but it is presented in a nicely layered fashion.

As the story unfolds, a classic game between two grandmasters (Zukertort vs. Andersson, Berlin, 1865) is recreated.

latech-math-departmentAlthough the game is short (12 moves), it showcases most of the pieces’ moves as well as how the positioning of your own pieces affects the game.

With chess puzzles that are integrated throughout the story, the reader is exposed to “what if” scenarios that can help the reader become familiar with the way the pieces move as well as with the strategic aspects of the game.

The illustrations that connect the story to the game capture the most important part of the board setup with cartoon characters.

Because it takes time to adequately absorb the information, the book is kept in black and white and serves as a coloring book, too.

The book does not solely focus on chess, though.

Using a “mathematics is fun” approach, a multitude of non-chess puzzles is weaved into the Yamie Chess exposition, too.

Many puzzles are the type of questions that people interested in mathematics really ask themselves in daily life, be it out of necessity (“Does my car have enough gas for the trip?”) or, well, because mathematics is fun after all (“Is that number a prime number?”).

The book certainly should not be read in one sitting.

Reminders that you can bookmark a page and come back later reinforce this approach without being preachy. Depending on the reader’s grade level, some puzzles will not be accessible, and here, too, remarks that puzzles can be revisited help.

In any kind of learning, it is important to take a long-term view.

The necessary patience can be acquired by challenging yourself, as is attempted here.

By itself, this one story that exposes the reader to one chess game and some mathematics puzzles will only be one contribution to the reader’s development. However, there are plenty of loose ends left to pursue.

The biggest loose end is the chess set itself, which can of course be used long after the story is only a distant memory.

[Similar to how my distant memory tells me that I once replayed the very same game with my father.]

Within the book, neat facts from physics are weaved in throughout the early exposition of the pieces and just about every name of a place in The Mind Kingdom is worth googling.

The book is probably best read with someone. When reading it with a parent, a teacher, a class, or a friend, it can serve as a conversation starter for many discussions about chess, about numbers, about mathematics, or about the story itself.

As such, Yamie Chess is very nice open-ended educational reading.Bottom-quote

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Miami University

Top-quoteAn Illinois Math Teacher’s Review of Yamie Chess: The Adventures of Tigermore & the Mind Angels

By Ms Elizabeth Gates, Bachelors of Arts (B.A.), Middle Childhood Education with Endorsement in Math, Miami University.

Date: December 17, 2013

Copyright © 2013 Ms Elizabeth Gates, B.A. All Rights Reserved.

Permission to reprint this educational article on Yamie Chess Ltd’s website was directly obtained from Ms Elizabeth Gates in writing.

Yamie Chess is a unique chess game that not only teaches students the basics of chess but also enriches the player with various math and science concepts.

Classic chess is known to improve players’ critical thinking skills no matter the age.

Students benefit from playing chess by learning to strategize using forward thinking and practicing perseverance throughout the game.

Because these skills tend to be major weaknesses for students when presented challenging math problems, Yamie Chess is a wonderful activity to help children become stronger problem solvers.

While reading the interactive comic players come across algebra, geometry, number sense, measurement and data analysis concepts.

Illinois middle school math teacherThe problems range in difficulty allowing students to be re-taught math skills or enriched.

The game also relates the chessboard to a coordinate grid allowing students to think about their movements mathematically with each square being a coordinate location.

Students who have played Yamie Chess prior to middle school math may have greater engagement in the math class since they will be able to relate many math concepts to the Yamie Chess story.

The comic first teaches players about the different chess pieces and the strategy of the game.

Players then learn the story of a young boy named Kimi who comes across math problems in the real world and the Mind Kingdom.

While in the Mind Kingdom, Kimi explores many different lands and is introduced to the different characters that represent the chess pieces. The characters teach Kimi several math concepts including exponents, square roots and the Pythagorean theorem.

I especially enjoyed when Pythagoras was introduced as Tigermore’s “first mate” while on a ship and taught Kimi about the area of a triangle, the volume of a triangular prism, and the Pythagorean theorem while on the high seas.

Tigermore uses the Pythagorean Theorem while plotting the ship’s route to Capablanca which is often how the Pythagorean theorem is assessed in real world application problems.

The fantasylands and storylines are very engaging and will capture the minds of students and increase their mathematical thinking.

As a middle school math teacher I see the value of Yamie Chess in an educational setting.

This is a wonderful enrichment activity that can be used to spark more students’ interest in learning the game of chess while increasing mathematical thinking.

The comic can also increase skills of players who already know how to play the game.

I encourage parents to read the comic with their children to help their own understanding of the game.

Yamie Chess is a friendly and engaging comic to increase mathematical thinking while learning the challenging game of chess.Bottom-quote

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Apple Distinguished Educators


This page includes copyrighted material by 3 experienced math teachers and Apple Distinguished Educators; Monica Burns, a New York City math educator who contributes regularly to the George Lucas Educational Foundation, Edutopia; Kirsten van Niekerk, who heads the mathematics faculty at Dulwich College Suzhou as a math graduate of the University of Cape Town; and Anthony DiLaura, a dedicated High School math teacher in Zeeland Public Schools and education technology specialist from Grand Valley State University. The page has been split into sections below for your ease of reference.

The Apple Distinguished Educators’ reviews on A Tale of Sleepy Numbers read:

A Tale of Sleepy Numbers“This colorful comic book tale introduces students to key math concepts to help them strengthen their mastery of number sense and operations. Students will be introduced to vocabulary words that are essential to understanding relationships between numbers. Within this one comic book children will see a variety of math concepts in action. This includes identifying prime numbers, setting up algebraic expressions, and navigating a coordinate grid. Math classrooms require a great deal of reading to solve problems and this comic book provides students with an opportunity to dive right into a magical math world.”

— © Monica Burns, Education Consultant, EdTech Blogger and Apple Distinguished Educator

“This is really good, a great story that helps students to understand some basic algebra with a focus on prime numbers. The algebra is very basic and, therefore, suited to Primary level students (Year 5&6). This is a good taster for future algebra topics.”

— © Kirsten van Niekerk, BA, PGCE, Mathematics, University of Cape Town

The Apple Distinguished Educators’ reviews on The Math King of Dallas read:


“With this comic book students will explore a variety of key concepts necessary for middle school math success. They’ll have to interact with equations and will learn terms like variables and integers. It includes graphics that will help students learn how to balance equations and understand how points and lines interact in a space. All of this information is presented in a narrative that introduces cartoon characters and math concepts at the same time.”

— © Monica Burns, Education Consultant, EdTech Blogger and Apple Distinguished Educator

“This is great for early Key Stage 3 (ages 11-13) and possibly as an introduction to students when they return to algebra in year 10. The sides of the equation are balanced nicely (Really like the colours on all the equations & how it follows through to show both sides balance). There are some areas that could be explored further (such as parallel lines and interior angles of shapes) but most of those areas were glossed over for equations. On the whole this did work as we got to see “equations in action”.”

— © Kirsten van Niekerk, BA, PGCE, Mathematics, University of Cape Town

The Apple Distinguished Educators’ reviews on He’s Arithmetic, I’m Geometric read:


“In this comic book, middle school students can explore arithmetic and geometry by diving into a story. Using graphics and illustrations, this text includes a narrative that takes its main character on a math adventure. Students will be introduced to big ideas that are introduced step-by-step to make sure they understand. If your children like to play games, this is a great way to introduce them to the connection between math knowledge and problem solving.”

— © Monica Burns, Education Consultant, EdTech Blogger and Apple Distinguished Educator

“I have downloaded the “Arithmetic / Geometric Chess” comic. I loved the graphics, character names, and how they tie into the game of chess.”

— © Anthony DiLaura, Apple Distinguished Educator, High School math teacher

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International Master

Top-quoteInternational Master Jeremy Silman’s Review of Yamie Chess: The Adventures of Tigermore & The Mind Angels

By International Master Jeremy Silman

Date: November 18, 2013

Copyright © 2013 International Master Jeremy Silman. All Rights Reserved.

Permission to reprint this educational article on Yamie Chess Ltd’s website was directly obtained from International Master Jeremy Silman in writing.

Unlike most board games, chess is often viewed as a mixture of game, sport, and science. Other than the joy of competition, which chess offers in abundance, it teaches chess fans (young and old) correct study habits, calculation skills, and increases their powers of logical reasoning. And, since a successful chess player needs to be creative, fans of the game find their minds zipping to fantastical vistas of intellect and imagination.

It’s not surprising then, that someone has finally blended all these things together to form something fun, something out of this world, and something deeply instructive. This new product is called Yamie Chess.

The first offering from Yamie Chess Ltd ( is a 260-page comic book titled Yamie Chess: The Adventures of Tigermore & The Mind Angels.

A “K-8 educational math learning aid series,” The Adventures of Tigermore & The Mind Angels is black and white, thus allowing young readers to use it as a coloring book.

What makes this unique is that the book offers several things at the same time: The storyline gives us a beautifully drawn, deeply conceived, emotionally compelling fantasy adventure. To progress, you will discover that you’re effortlessly learning how the chess pieces move (the adventure begins in earnest after you learn chess basics), and your newfound knowledge of chess will seamlessly blend into math lessons, physics, and moral imperatives.

International Master Jeremy SilmanI could go on and on about Kimi (the chess genius who has to save the mind-planet), Tigermore, Little Bu, the evil King Vigdor, or any number of other fascinating characters, but the thing I enjoyed the most was the map on pages 10 and 11. This map is important, and gives you a feel for the world that the reader will be inhabiting as he/she moves through the comic. I really appreciated the various names on the map for oceans, mountains, rivers, bays, locations, etc. In a world where more and more people are oblivious to those that came before us, the map beautifully mixes the names of chess legends, philosophers, and mathematicians. In a way, the young boys and girls that embrace Yamie Chess won’t only learn about chess, math, science, and morals, but also history!

Here are some examples: Turing’s Computer Sea (Alan Turing – a British mathematician, born 1912. He was also a brilliant cryptanalysis, logician, and computer scientist), Poincare Ridge (Henri Poincare – a French mathematician, theoretical physicist, engineer, and a science philosopher), the Fischer Sea (Bobby Fischer – the waves of the sea mix well with the emotional waves Fischer created all over the world), Euclid’s Space (a mathematician from ancient Greece – 300 BC), Tal Trench (This has nothing to do with one’s height and everything to do with the great Latvian chess genius Mikhail Tal), Euwe Cape (the only Dutch World Chess Champion, Max Euwe is a legend in his country), Descartes’ Mathematical Ocean (Rene Descartes, a French mathematician and philosopher, he’s known as the father of analytical geometry), and much, much more!

I highly recommend Yamie Chess: The Adventures of Tigermore & The Mind Angels. When a child learns how to play chess, adds a lot to his or her science education, and has a wonderful time walking through a rich fantasy world, you can’t go wrong!Bottom-quote

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USA Chess Champion

Top-quoteUSA chess champion Jennifer Shahade’s Review of Yamie Chess: The Adventures of Tigermore & the Mind Angels

By 2-time United States chess champion, Women’s Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade

Date: November 30, 2013

Copyright © 2013 WGM Jennifer Shahade. All Rights Reserved.

Permission to reprint this educational article on Yamie Chess Ltd’s website was directly obtained from United States chess champion and Women’s Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade in writing.

Once the imagination is unfurled, the mind is capable of so much in the fields of math, chess and story-telling.

Yamie Chess: The Adventures of Tigermore & The Mind Angels, to launch at the Toy Fair in New York City in February 2014, brings this all together to inspire children and educators to explore the multidisciplinary possibilities of chess, already a fantastic learning tool.

united-states-chess-championYamie Chess, much like chess itself, stretches the mind in numerous ways.

First of all, it is a beautifully illustrated comic which entertains readers while teaching rules and strategy of chess. We are also introduced to important mathematical concepts and facts.

Finally, readers learn about the importance of focus, bravery and imagination toward achieving goals.

Yamie Chess literally draws readers into a whole new world, “Snowmelt”, which represents the mind planet and the parallel dimension of deep chess thought.

Our protagonist Kimi, a young prodigy and future chess Grandmaster is led to Snowmelt via an accident in Central Park.

He requires a simple operation, and undergoes anesthesia.

I love the positive message that adversity can lead to a beautiful and imaginative experience.

In this way, the comic shows us that we need not fear hospitals or accidents, and that what’s inside is more important than what is on the outside, both crucial messages for children.

As a chess champion who is also heavily involved in the worlds of literature and art, one of my favorite things about Yamie Chess is its graceful merging of creativity with rigorous analysis.

You learn about checkmating in both a technical way and you also admire the beauty of a queen sacrifice which topples the enemy king, Vigdor.

Yamie Chess combines this narrative device and chess motif via stunning drawings and depiction of the white chess queen, Belskina.

The same kind of synergy is also found in Yamie Chess’s math lessons—students will review multiplication tables and fractions in Yamie Chess.

They also learn how to use math creatively, to solve problems they may have never thought math could make so simple.

For instance, how chocolates can be split into squares on a chessboard and then equitably distributed, or how likely a random piece pulled from a full bag of chess pieces is to be a black pawn.

Yamie Chess will provide hours of fun for children.

As an educator and chess master for over 15 years, Yamie Chess also inspires me to think of how we can expand our use of chess as an educational tool.

Whether children will become passionate about writing, chess or math (or even a totally different field like sports or music), the experience of losing yourself entirely in another subject is so important to success.

The Yamie Chess comic shows children that with bravery, hard work and imagination, we can all achieve more than we thought possible.

I highly recommend Yamie Chess to educators and parents and am enthusiastic about the next chapter of this exciting new take on chess, learning and creativity.Bottom-quote

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New Jersey / Pennsylvania chess champion

Top-quoteReview of Yamie Chess: The Adventures of Tigermore and the Mind Angels by a FIDE-ranked Top USA chess player

By International Master Tom Bartell, 4-time New Jersey and Pennsylvania Chess Champion

Date: October 11, 2013

Copyright © 2013 International Master Tom Bartell. All Rights Reserved.

Permission to reprint this educational article on Yamie Chess Ltd’s website was directly obtained from International Master Tom Bartell in writing.

My 5 year old saw this, and immediately became curious.

The following is my Yamie Chess review, not just from a chess knowledge/teaching standpoint but as a general educator of kids and as a dad!

The time ended up being about 6 hours.

Going to organize it via pages or groups of pages for quick reference. I hope you enjoy the format, I tried to do a few suggestions with the material, almost sort of an editorial review. I’m not very scholarly with words, but I hope it helps!

Pages (1-4)

International Master Tom BartellLove the art, especially the map part. I like how everything is referenced to chess/science/math. The detail is great, and it sets a nice backdrop to the whole story.

Introduction (Pages 5-35)

I like the lay out here, Yamie Chess doesn’t bog down the kids with plain text. Putting the important points in box type, one at a time, makes it easier to absorb for sure. The stories of each [chess] piece are entertaining and captivating. I like also how Yamie Chess incorporates science learning right into many of the characters. The descriptions and rules of the pieces go along with the diagrams.

Yamie Chess even adds some strategy.

I generally don’t do that when I first teach the rules as to not overwhelm any students. Here however, Yamie Chess does it in a non abrasive way, and it flows easily with the rules, I really like it.

Being able to go through them twice really helps reinforce the rules, and Yamie Chess adds some additional strategy.

The way the whole thing is presented is great. Clear and concise, and the diagrams match the text. The instructions to set the pieces up and such are also clear.

One thing I would like to add though is a diagram of an example checkmate, along with Yamie Chess’s description on page 6. Such an important concept definitely deserves a diagram, and would help the kids to understand it better. Also, Yamie Chess omitted teaching the rule of en passant. I’m assuming Yamie Chess left it out for simplicity’s sake? Just thought I would mention that.

The story in general:

The puzzles are integrated perfectly into the story without bogging it down. I also found the story itself to be entertaining and educational. The focus tends to be more so the math than the chess in terms of educating, and certainly there is nothing wrong with that.

The chess puzzles do however challenge the reader, and help develop chess skills like pattern recognition.

The story (Page 43)

Central Park. Summer time fun what’s not to love?

The first math problem made me instantly think of the most famous chess related math problem.

I don’t remember all the details, but it involved a grain of rice doubling on each consecutive square until it was too many to count! Here’s a link if you haven’t heard it:
If Yamie Chess could find a way to incorporate this into the book that would be awesome.

Puzzles (Page 51)

I really like both of these [puzzles], it’s the first steps of developing a sense for the whole board. A really important concept going forward. Maybe also write a bit about why the squirrel chooses the move e4, highlighting controlling the center and development.

Puzzles (Page 54)

Nice introduction to algebra.

Puzzles (Page 59-60)

Both these puzzles are great. I would maybe refer back to what a pin is. I like these because they refer to common opening schemes and threats. I like how they are playing chess in the park in the background in the next page!

Nice example of proportion. Maybe Yamie Chess could again show the concept in algebraic form.

Story (Page 63)

That’s a lot of moves ahead lol. Maybe change that number to like 10, to show the kids something awesome to aspire to.

Puzzles (Page 75)

More board awareness puzzles great. Yamie Chess notes without saying it that f7 is a weakness. Maybe at some point mention the 4 move checkmate.

Story (Page 85-89)

A bit of a reminder for kids to wear their seatbelt! Maybe take out the word American, because we are talking metaphysically, and love is supposed to be boundless in the sense, not geographically related.

Story (Page 91)

You’re not allowed to travel faster than light hehe.

Story (Page 99)

I like how the cause is environmental and important. Nothing greater than saving the planet. I see now why Yamie Chess chose 456 moves ahead!

Math (Pages 101-103)

The break down here via the number system and methods is great. Wish I learned this properly in grade school. I admit I tried every number in my head to not make the answer 3 but to no avail lol. Very cool stuff. Maybe add an explanation on how/why that is.

Story (Page 107)

I like how Yamie Chess calls it an absolute pin. It’s too bad there’s no time to explain the difference between that and a relative pin. When I teach basic tactics I explain how a relative pin can become a discovered attack, unlike an absolute pin. Nice explanation of d4. Maybe also a word that it opens up a path for the other bishop.

Story (Page 111-115)

Great geometry and explanations, including some science! It seems like a lot to intake for just a few pages. I’m not sure how I would of done it differently though.

Puzzles (Page 117-118)

Nice puzzle and trick question. Knight awareness is one of the harder pieces to grasp I’ve noticed. The dialog here is pretty funny.

Story (Page 121)

Great Castles explanation.

Story (Page 131-135)

Nice thorough explanation of the factor-label method, and the thought process behind it.

Story (Page 140)

I like how Yamie Chess shows it’s protected. Maybe a word or puzzles about the attack on f7, it would be consistent with one of Yamie Chess’s other puzzles.

Story (Page 143-148)

Not quite sure the idea of absolute zero, and kelvins were conveyed in an understandable form. Great math as always.

Story (Page 152-153)

I like how Yamie Chess talked about in friendly terms how it was good to sacrifice the knight on f7, and the threat of hxg5. I actually analyzed this game [GM Johannes Zukertort vs GM Adolf Anderssen, Berlin 1865] after Yamie Chess sent me the book. Nxf7 looks just about winning because Kf7 Bc4+ Ke8 not Kd7? Qh5 Qf6 is met by f4! with a huge attack.

Just thought I’d add that, of course not relevant to the book at all hehe.

Story (Page 170-173)

Love the dialog here, and it’s packed with chess education. Kind of funny how Vigdor suggests white’s best move, and Kimi tricks him into the worst move Ke7.

Puzzles (Page 183)

Nice notation explanation. For the queen moving question, d1 to d3 to g3 is effectively as safe as d1-h5 not counting the extra tempo. The question about the pawn is actually pretty tricky. I could see a lot of older players with some chess experience getting that wrong hehe.

Story (Page 185-197)

Great math, the Fibonacci sequence and the rest. Great escape by Kimi! Pretty sure my son has used that trick on me before.

Puzzles (Page 205)

Nice exercise of seeing the board and writing it down in a table. Think I’m going to try that with some students.


Great ending, good to see Kimi got a 3,020 FIDE rating. Wish I could be that strong lol. The last bit of science in the end was great. I’ve never witnessed a book that managed to teach 3 different things at once.

All in all I thought Yamie Chess is a great book.Bottom-quote

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Playing Chess Helps Kids Do Math

Being educationally based on the traditional chess game, Yamie Chess goes a step further by integrating a fantasy comic story and instructional math book with the traditional game, so that it can be successfully used to teach chess and math to elementary and middle school students.

Although the overlap between mathematics and chess may not be symmetrically perfect, the body of scholarly literature below inextricably links the practice of children playing classical chess activities like Yamie Chess to scholastic improvements in students’ math education scores.

In their joint Harvard/MIT paper, The Mathematical Knight (The Mathematical Intelligencer, Springer, Winter 2003, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 22-34) MIT Norman Levinson Professor of Applied Mathematics, Richard P. Stanley, Ph.D. and Harvard University Mathematics Professor, Noam D. Elkies, Ph.D., reveal how many chess problems are in fact math problems “in a very thin disguise”, that can be understood by applying mathematical theory. The Harvard/MIT math experts published the following educational conclusion of interest:

“Much has been said of the affinity between mathematics and chess: two domains of human thought where very limited sets of rules yield inexhaustible depths, challenges, frustrations and beauty. Both fields support a venerable and burgeoning technical literature and attract much more than their share of child prodigies. When mathematics does find applications in chess, striking and instructive results often arise.”

Referenced academic research and professional studies

[1] Smith, J. P., & Cage, B. N. (2000). The Effects of Chess Instruction on the Mathematics Achievement of Southern, Rural, Black Secondary Students. Research in the Schools, 7, 19-26 – Extract available online here from ERIC (#EJ644250), part of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education. (USA)

ABSTRACT: Published in Research in the Schools, a nationally-refereed biannual journal, James Smith and Robert Cage studied the effects of 120 hours of chess instruction on the mathematics achievement of southern, African-American secondary students. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) results show the chess playing group (11 females, 9 males) scored significantly higher than the control group (10 females, 10 males) in mathematics achievement. Having found chess improves math proficiency, the U.S. study discusses results in terms of altering students’ perceptual ability. (SLD)

[2] Smith, J., & Sullivan, M. (1997). The Effects of Chess Instruction on Students’ Level of Field Dependence/Independence. A paper presented at the annual meeting of Mid-South Educational Research Association, Memphis, Tennessee. (USA) – Extract available online here from ERIC (#ED415257), part of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education. (USA)

ABSTRACT: A study was conducted to determine whether chess instruction would change the measure of a student’s field-dependence or field-independence as determined by the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT) in the direction of stronger field independence. Field dependence/independence is a psychological construct referring to a global versus an analytical way of perceiving that entails the ability to perceive items without being influenced by the background. This was done by comparing. the results of pretest and posttest scores on the GEFT for 11 African-American high school students (four males, seven females) in a rural northern Louisiana school. These students had received approximately 50 hours of direct chess instruction and playing experience. Chess instruction did have a significant effect on GEFT scores for females, but not male, students. Whether this might transfer to improved mathematics achievement is beyond the scope of this study, but it is a problem worth investigating. It is logical to surmise that whatever skill chess instruction enhanced for females may have already been present for males. (Contains 6 figures and 15 references.)(SLD)

[3] Margulies, S. (1991). The Effect of Chess on Reading Scores: District Nine Chess Program Second Year Report – Chess-In-The-Schools, New York, NY (USA)

ABSTRACT: Students in a New York City chess program improved reading scores more than a control group. The gains made by chess players were compared to national performance and district performance. Chess players outperformed the average student in the country and the average student in the district. The gains made by chess players were statistically significant at the .01 level. Thus the chances are only one in a hundred that these gains were due to chance. District Nine in the Bronx, New York City, conducted the chess program. This study evaluated two years of this program. Teachers and chess masters provided instruction in the first year. Instruction was enhanced in the second year by the addition of computers and software supplied by IBM. Chess students in the computer-enhanced program were significantly more likely to show gains than a control group who had the same average reading scores at the beginning of the year but did not receive chess instruction. Several theories are offered to account for the gains made by chessplayers, but no conclusion is reached.

[4] Liptrap, J. (1997). Chess and Standardized Test Scores, Chess Life, March 1998, pages 41-43 – Klein Independent School District, Spring, Texas (USA)

ABSTRACT: Regular (non-honors) Elementary students who participated in a school Chess Club showed twice the improvement of non-chess players in Reading and Mathematics between third and fifth grades on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills. In fifth grade, regular track chess players scored 4.3 TLI points higher in Reading (p<.01) and 6.4 points higher in Math (p<.00001) than non-chess players.

[5] Celone, J. (2001). The Effects of a Chess Program on Abstract Reasoning and Problem-Solving in Elementary School Children – Southern Connecticut State University, Connecticut (USA)

[6] Rifner, P., & Feldhausen, J. (1997). Checkmate: Capturing Gifted Student’s Logical Thinking Using Chess. Gifted Child Today, 20, 36-39, 48., SAGE Journals, New York, NY (USA) – Extract available online here from ERIC (#EJ545960), part of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education. (USA)

ABSTRACT: (Peer-reviewed) Describes the use of chess instruction to develop abstract thinking skills and problem solving among gifted students. Offers suggestions for starting school chess programs, teaching and evaluating chess skills, and measuring the success of both student-players and the program in general. (PB)

[7] Ferguson, R. (1995). Chess in Education Research Summary, paper presented at the Chess in Education – “A Wise Move” Conference at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York, New York, NY (USA)

[8] Vail, K. (1995). Check this, mate: Chess moves kids. The American School Board Journal, 182, 38-40, Alexandria, Virginia (USA)

[9] Ferguson, R (1986). Developing Critical and Creative Thinking through Chess – Federally funded research project that took place over three years (1979-82) – report on ESEA Title IV-C project presented at the annual conference of the Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA)

[10] Dauvergne, P. (2000). The Case for Chess as a Tool to Develop Our Children’s Minds. University of Sydney (Australia)

ABSTRACT: This article surveys educational and psychological studies to examine the benefits for children of studying and playing chess. These show that chess can:

  • Raise intelligence quotient (IQ) scores
  • Strengthen problem solving skills, teaching how to make difficult and abstract decisions independently
  • Enhance reading, memory, language, and mathematical abilities
  • Foster critical, creative, and original thinking
  • Provide practice at making accurate and fast decisions under time pressure, a skill that can help improve exam scores at school
  • Teach how to think logically and efficiently, learning to select the ‘best’ choice from a large number of options
  • Challenge gifted children while potentially helping underachieving gifted students learn how to study and strive for excellence
  • Demonstrate the importance of flexible planning, concentration, and the consequences of decisions
  • Reach boys and girls regardless of their natural abilities or socio-economic backgrounds

Given these educational benefits, the author concludes that chess is one of the most effective teaching tools to prepare children for a world increasingly swamped by information and ever tougher decisions.

[11] Whitman, N.C. (1975). Chess In The Geometry Classroom. Mathematics Teacher, 68, 71-72. – Extract available online here from ERIC (#EJ124752), part of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education. (USA)

ABSTRACT: (Peer-reviewed) A teacher tells how she uses the game of chess to introduce students to formal geometry by drawing analogies between rules of chess and deductive systems. (JP) (PB)

[12] Schneider, W., Gruber, H., Gold, A., & Opwis, K. (1993). Chess Expertise and Memory For Chess Positions In Children and Adults. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 56, 328-349. Elsevier (European) – Extract available online here from PubMed/MEDLINE (#8301242), part of the U.S. National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health. (USA)

ABSTRACT: (Peer-reviewed) This paper presents a replication and extension of Chi’s (1978) classic study on chess expertise. A major outcome of Chi’s research was that although adult novices had a better memory span than child experts, the children showed better memory for chess positions than the adults. The major goal of this study was to explore the effects of the following task characteristics on memory performance: (1) Familiarity with the constellation of chess pieces (i.e., meaningful versus random positions) and (2) familiarity with both the geometrical structure of the board and the form and color of chess pieces. The tasks presented to the four groups of subjects (i.e., child experts and novices, adult experts and novices) included memory for meaningful and random chess positions as well as memory for the location of wooden pieces of different forms on a board geometrically structured by circles, triangles, rhombuses, etc. (control task 1). Further, a digit span memory task was given (control task 2). The major assumption was that the superiority of experts should be greatest for the meaningful chess positions, somewhat reduced but still significant for the random positions, and nonsignificant for the board control task. Only age effects were expected for the digit span task. The results conformed to this pattern, showing that each type of knowledge contributed to the experts’ superior memory span for chess positions.

[13] Bell, T. (Former U.S. Secretary of Education during President Reagan’s entire first term in office) and Thorum, A., (1972) Your Child’s Intellect: A Guide To Home-Based Preschool Education, pp. 178-179. the University of Wisconsin – Madison (USA) – extract of later 1992 version available online here from ERIC (#ED355043), part of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education. (USA)

ABSTRACT: This book for parents and child care providers describes a program for home-based, early childhood education that does not use formal, disciplined instruction. The program uses the technique of “incidental teaching,” which emphasizes learning activities that occur while children participate in typical daily activities, such as eating, dressing, and playing. The book is divided into 14 chapters. The first four chapters provide background information that form the program’s foundation. Chapter 1 discusses techniques to help children build powerful intelligence. Chapter 2 provides general instructions and cautions, such as avoiding pressure and establishing an optimum physical environment. Chapter 3 outlines ways to think and act from a child’s viewpoint, and provides examples of the ways in which reinforcement can guide teaching behavior. Chapter 4 describes ways to use household items and educational toys as teaching aids. The next nine chapters provide information for teaching children in the following age groups: the first 10 months; 18 to 24 months; 2 to 3 years; 3 to 4 years; and 4 to 5 years. Each chapter discusses characteristics of the age group concerned, offers practical teaching suggestions, and describes games and activities that use common household items as teaching aids. The final chapter outlines procedures to help prepare children for school, and includes suggestions for teaching directions and games that require abstract reasoning. (MM)

[14] Hong, Saahoon; Bart, William M. (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities) 2007. Cognitive effects of chess instruction on students at risk for academic failure, International Journal of Special Education (Canada), Vol 22 No.3 2007, – Extract available online here from ERIC (#EJ814515), part of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education. (USA)

ABSTRACT: (Peer-reviewed) Cognitive effects of chess instruction on students at risk for academic failure was examined. Thirty-eight students, from three elementary schools, participated in this study. The experimental group received a ninety-minute chess lesson once per week over a three-month period; and the control group students regularly attended school activities after class. The experimental group performance on the test was not different from the control group performance. However, chess skill rating and TONI-3 post-test scores were significantly correlated when controlling for TONI-3 pretest score (d = 0.29). This suggests that chess skill rating is a key predictor for the improvement of student cognitive skills. Students at risk at beginning levels of competency in chess may be able to improve their cognitive skills and to improve their skill at chess. (Contains 4 tables.)

[15] Hall, Ralph L. 1983. Why Chess in the Schools. (Opinion Papers) – Extract available online here from ERIC (#ED237368), part of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education. (USA)

ABSTRACT: The game of chess is recommended as a school activity. In addition to requiring that individuals become actively involved in a mentally demanding competition, its effects are stimulating, wholesome, and healthy. Several benefits accrue from the teaching and promoting of chess in schools. Chess limits the element of luck (teaching the importance of planning), requires that reason be coordinated with instinct (it is an effective decision-teaching activity), is an endless source of satisfaction (the better one plays, the more rewarding it becomes), and it is a highly organized recreational activity with clubs (leagues, team play) and elaborate systems of local, national, and international governance. In addition, chess is an international language such that players will find a friendly reception in any of the thousands of chess clubs throughout the world. A brief description of the game, comments on its appeal, and techniques to support chess in schools are provided. Techniques suggested include providing opportunities to learn and practice chess in clubs, intramural competition, credit/non-credit classes, and in teams which represent the school in inter-school competition. (JN)

[16] Bankauskas, Deborah, 2000. Teaching Chess to Young Children., Young Children, v55 n4 p33-34 Jul 2000 [National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)] – Extract available online here from ERIC (#EJ610286), part of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education. (USA)

ABSTRACT: (Peer-reviewed) Presents suggestions for teaching chess to young children as part of the problem-solving component of a kindergarten mathematics curriculum. Discusses the introduction of pairs of chess characters, playing challenge games with teachers to enhance skill development, and writing down the rules of the game. Notes that children’s problem-solving and logical-thinking skills flourished while interest in the game remained high. (KB)

[17] Berkman, Robert M., 2004 The Chess and Mathematics Connection: More than Just a Game, Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School [National Council of Teachers of Mathematics], v9 n5 p246-250 Jan 2004 – Extract available online here from ERIC (#EJ765173), part of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education. (USA)

ABSTRACT: (Peer-reviewed) This article describes connections between chess and mathematics, including examples of activities that connect chess with set theory, patterns, algebra, geometry, combinatorics, and Pascal’s triangle. The author observes that competitive games play a dual purpose in advancing the work of mathematics educators: to reinforce a specific skill and to develop thinking strategies. Chess is a game that serves both functions simultaneously in that it involves numerous calculations–comparative value of pieces, number of squares that can be moved, the patterns in which they move, as well as higher-order thinking involving prediction, planning, and analysis. The “Chess Effect” works on numerous levels lasting a lifetime. (Contains 8 figures.)

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STEM Advisor Credits


Patrick Jones | Vanderbilt University & University of Louisville

Contributor profile – [ U.S. Graduate Math Instructor ]

> Math Instructor, Vanderbilt University

> M.A., Mathematics, University of Louisville, Kentucky

> Math Instructor, Austin Community College

> Wiley Publishing, Calculus “For Dummies” series author

Benjamin Scott McGahee | University of Arizona

Contributor profile – [ U.S. Graduate Math Education Expert ]

> B.S., Mathematics, University of Arizona

> M.A, Mathematics Education, Western Governors University

> Sponsored By Yamie Chess Ltd for Classic Chess Tournaments


Professor Ashley Ahlin, Ph.D. | University of Chicago

> Ph.D., Mathematics, University of Chicago

> Senior Lecturer in Mathematics, Vanderbilt University

> Math Lecturer, The Maine School of Science and Mathematics

> Guest lecturer in the Worldwide Online Olympiad Training (WOOT)

> Math Lecturer, Davidson Institute For Talent Development

> Math Outreach Coordinator, Michigan State University’s Mathematics Department

Professor Michael Ching, Ph.D. | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

> Ph.D., Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

> Math Professor, Amherst College

> Former J.J. Sylvester Math Professor, Johns Hopkins University

> Former Math Professor, University of Georgia

> Graduate Honors Mathematician, Trinity College, University of Cambridge (B.A., M.A., Certificate of Advanced Study in Mathematics)

> Gold Medal Winner, International Mathematical Olympiad

Professor Christian Hermann Hesse, Ph.D. | Harvard University

> Ph.D., Mathematical Statistics, Harvard University

> M.S., Mathematical Statistics, Harvard University

> M.A., Mathematics, Indiana University Bloomington

> ChessBase Contributor

> International Ambassador of the 38th Chess Olympiad, officially appointed with former undisputed World Chess Champion Boris Spassky

> Over 25+ Refereed Math Journals

Prof. Bernd S. W. Schröder, Ph.D. | Kansas State & Louisiana Tech

> Edmondson/Crump Professor of Mathematics, Louisiana Tech

> Academic Director & Program Chair, Mathematics, Louisiana Tech

> Ph.D., Mathematics, Kansas State University

> Over 30+ Refereed Math Journals

> Wiley Publishing Math Expert

> Conducted research for the U.S. Government’s National Science Foundation and U.S. military’s Office of Naval Research.

> Wiley Author and Wiley Blog Contributor


Gerardo Morabito | California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Contributor profile – [ U.S. Mechanical Engineer ]

> B.S., Mechanical Engineering, California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

> Founder and Former President, Caltech Chapter of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

Anna Sylvan-Jaffe | Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Contributor profile – [ U.S. Civil Engineer ]

> B.S., Civil Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

> Director and co-founder of the MIT Vehicle Design Summit

> Former Chair of the MIT UA Sustainability Committee

Yang Qiu | Stanford University & University of California, Berkeley

Contributor profile – [U.S. Electrical Engineer]

> M.S (enrolled), Electrical Engineering, Stanford University

> B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley

> Math Instructor, De Anza College (Cupertino, CA)

> Product Engineer, Texas Instruments


Professor Nazanin Komeilizadeh, Ph.D. | Simon Fraser University

Contributor profile – [ U.S. Theoretical Physicist ]

> U.S. College Professor of Physics, Department of Math and Science, Delgado Community College, New Orleans, Louisiana

> Ph.D., Condensed Matter Physics, Simon Fraser University

> Research and University Teaching Assistant, Department of Physics, University of Windsor including the DaimlerChrysler’s IRAMC Center

> Guest Lecturer, American Physical Society

Professor Arye Shapiro, Ph.D. | Columbia University

Contributor profile – [ U.S. Professor of Physics ]

> B.S., Physics and Mathematics, Columbia University

> M.A., Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

> Ph.D., Physics, University of Arizona

> Physics Professor, Austin Community College

> Former IBM Staff Engineer


2-time USA National Chess Champion Jennifer Shahade

> Named by the The Smithsonian Institution as the strongest American-born woman chess player in history.

> First woman to ever win the U.S. Junior Open

> Women’s Grandmaster & Yamie Chess Ltd’s resident chess expert

> Editor, United States Chess Federation (, Chess Life Online

> Board Member, World Chess Hall of Fame, St Louis, MO

> B.A., Comparative Literature, New York University

International Master Jeremy Silman

American International Master of chess

> Harry Potter Chess Consultant, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Warner Bros. Pictures, 2001)

> Preeminent, internationally-renowned classic chess author

> Winner of the American Open, the National Open, and the U.S. Open

International Master Thomas J. Bartell

American International Master of chess

> 4-time New Jersey chess champion

> 1-time Pennsylvania chess champion

> Coach

> Internet Chess Club Coach

> Top 100 U.S. Chess Player ranked by FIDE


Professor Deirdre Golash, J.D., Ph.D. | Georgetown University Law Center, University of Maryland & Barnard College

Contributor profile – [ U.S. Professor of Law ]

> Associate Professor Emeritia, Department of Justice, Law and Society, School of Public Affairs, American University, Washington D.C.

Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude, Georgetown University

> Author, The Case Against Punishment (NYU Press 2005)

> Editor, Freedom of Expression in a Diverse World (Springer, 2010).

Kate Epstein | University of Michigan

Contributor profile – [ President, The Epstein Literary Agency ]

> B.A., English with Highest Honors, University of Michigan


Margaret Cristell | Brookdale Community College

Contributor profile – [ Educational audio expert ]

> Broadcasting degree, Brookdale Community College

Ms Elizabeth Gates | Middle Childhood Education Specialist

Contributor profile – [ Illinois 7th grade Middle school math teacher ]

> Middle Childhood Education Specialist (with Endorsements in Math, Social Studies, and Reading), Evanston/Skokie School District 65, Illinois

> B.A., Middle Childhood Education, Miami University

> Ms Gates’ blog: Fast Times of a Middle School Math Teacher (Named by Teacher Certification Degrees as a Top 25 Middle School Teacher Blog)

Mrs. Jena Phillips | 7th and 8th Grade Science Teacher

Contributor profile – [ Arizona Middle school science teacher ]

> B.S. in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University

> Masters of Educational Leadership, Educational Leadership and Administration, Northern Arizona University

> NAU ESL endorsement Middle school math, science qualified

> Mrs. Phillips’ blog: Caught in the Middle: A blog about life teaching in the mostly overlooked middle grades (Named by Teacher Certification Degrees as a Top 25 Middle School Teacher Blog)

Professor James Stuart Tanton, Ph.D. | Princeton University

Special thanks for pre-publication support

> Ph.D., Mathematics, Princeton University

> M.A., Mathematics, Princeton University

> Visiting Scholar, Mathematical Association of America (MAA)

> Winner of Raytheon Math Hero Award for excellence in school teaching

> Recipient of 2004, Beckenbach Book Prize

> Professional development co-ordinator, Math For America in Washington DC (National Science Foundation program)

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