International Chess Day: Chess is More Than Just a Board Game

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International Chess Day: Chess is More Than Just a Board Game
Chess has taken 14-year old Thalía Cervantes on quite the journey, from the streets of Havana, Cuba to becoming one of the top female players under 21 in the United States, competing for $10,300 at the U.S. Girls Junior Championship. 

Thalía first discovered chess when she was seven-years old after learning basics in elementary school. She then studied the game with a Cuban chess master and after collecting accolades in various local tournaments, her talents eventually led her to the United States, where she is quickly making a name for herself.

In a story told by Johanna Alvarez of the Miami Herald, Cervantes tells her tale of playing chess against older men in Cuba to becoming “a more logical, calmer person, making better decisions because chess helps you a lot in life.” 

“I grew up playing chess on the streets of Havana with older men, smokers,” she told The Herald. “They were always bragging and saying, ‘No girl can beat me.’ I used to be one of those kids always running around, doing something. And for chess, you need to be calm and concentrated. … It’s a game for smart people.”


WATCH: Chess for Kids: A Model for Real Life Lessons | TEDxManchesterHighSchool 

The game has proven to be a great benefit to a child’s cognitive ability and social development, utilizing fundamental skills in strategy, calculation, tactical thinking, and evaluation. 

Skills in problem solving and logical thinking are what Spirit of Math students acquire through SoM’s unique program and curriculum. Spirit of Math Summer Camps offers young Canadian minds the opportunity to learn the fascinating game of chess, through partner camps; including West Coast Junior Chess Club (West Vancouver), Chess2Inspire Association (Vancouver, Steveston), and Chess ‘N Math (Toronto, Ottawa). Through these fun Summer Camps your child will learn skills in logic, discipline, attention to detail, and collaboration.
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