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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

GM Joel Benjamin and Chess Dropouts

In his latest "GM Joel" column at Chess Life Online, GM Joel Benjamin shares his thoughts concerning the not uncommon occurrence of kids giving up chess, particularly around 5th or 6th grade.

To summarize his thoughts, he lists three primary reasons why kids often drop out of chess:

1) Many school chess programs are available for children in earlier grades, but fewer exist for the middle school kids. Without organized programs, the kids will naturally gravitate toward other pursuits.

2) As raw beginners, kids can play and enjoy chess with little real effort. As they begin advancing a bit, though, in order to be competitive, more work is required. This necessitates a committment they may be unwilling to make.

3) Especially as kids reach middle school age, sports and social activities become more important and leave less time, if any, for chess.



  • Hi Steve, just wanted to let you know I've linked here from my chess blog. I think you're doing excellent work in promoting scholastic chess.

    Best Regards,


    By Blogger Wahrheit, at 7:00 PM  

  • Thanks, Robert! I appreciate the kinds words.

    Steve Goldberg

    By Blogger Steve Goldberg, at 9:44 PM  

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