In recent years I’ve become ever more interested in the value chess has in helping people to develop, whether it be intellect, brain health or character. So it’s great to see programs like the one described in this video clip, chess helping teenagers move away from crime and learn that their every move has consequences:
Whilst we’re on the subject it’s also worth quoting Benjamin Franklin’s essay entitled The Morals of Chess:
The Game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement; several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired and strengthened by it, so as to become habits ready on all occasions, for life is a kind of Chess, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a vast variety of good and ill events that are, in some degree, the effect of prudence, or the want of it.
It would be nice to see this aspect of our great game given more coverage and promoted more heavily by governing bodies. To my way of thinking it seems far more important and valuable than Elo ratings, Sicilian Najdorfs, prima donnas et al. When people improve their chess they also improve themselves, and this leads irrevocably to the conclusion that chess can help improve the World.