Playground Markings Explained – Playground Chess
Large playground chessboards using 300mm x 300mm squares
Chess is a competitive strategy and competitive tactics game originating in india almost 1500 years ago before the 6 century AD. It is thought chess was used originally to train princes in warfare strategy and tactics giving them valuable training without having to be on the battle field.
Chess spread to persia and the persian muslims subsequently brought it to southern Europe with their conquests of the area. The current form of chess developed in the 15th century and in 1851 chess became classed as a sport with the first official tournament taking place in London in 1851.
Chess is a two player strategy game based in the origins of warfare game, thus maligning it an ideal game too develop competitive skills and the ability to deal with negative and difficult outcomes.
Each player has the same pieces set out on the board mirroring each other, the board is made up of 64 squares alternating in colour, each player has 16 pieces. Each piece on the board has specific names and attributes and hierarchy and worth with the king and queen valued the most highly. The aim of the game is to capture the opponent’s king using strategic moves of their pieces so that the king cannot move anywhere without being taken. When this happens the king is in check , if he can’t move out of check, check mate is declared and it is game over. If both players continue without ever being able to obtain check of the other player ,stalemate is declared which is similar to a draw.
Throughout the game the players try to capture all of their opponents pieces, thus making it easier to get the king in check, if in check the king has to move out of check and if he can’t, game is over.
first4playgrounds install large playground chessboards using 300mm x 300mm squares in white thermoplastic and any other colour from blue, black, red, orange, purple and green, However we find that the best results are when leaving a blank square of tarmac as the black square. We also install a larger board using 400mm x 400mm squares called Chess 400.
Chess is a complex game which involves forward thinking and the ability to asses the opponents next moves. Chess grand masters of can calculate all the possible moves of their opponent and formulate strategy accordingly, Magnus carlsen who was the youngest ever grandmaster at the age of 13 can calculate up to 20 moves ahead, thus the minds of the grand masters have been compared to the most sophisticated computer systems. This ability relays on memory, logic and pattern recognition.
Studies have shown that when chess playing children significantly improved their maths skills and their ability to learn which was also shown to be transferable in other areas of learning.
Studies also showed children developed a greater motivation for learning in comparison to non chess playing children. Chess also improves spatial awareness, critical thinking, logic, pattern recognition, memory, strategy and analysis as well as the social and emotional development of positive competitive play. Russian and European schools teach kids chess as part of their school curriculum and has been used to improve children’s IQ’s
Please download this Teachers Guide to Chess as it is a valuable article outlining more evidence that playground chess using playground markings can help children to develop.
The playground chess board can also be used for the game of Chequers.