The Wall Street Journal:
It’s a popular notion that learning chess can make you smarter. Chess clubs and federations around the world promote the game for inclusion in school curricula, especially at the elementary level. In Armenia, every second-, third- and fourth-grader takes a chess class. American “tiger parents” often see chess lessons in the same light as music and computer classes—a way to give their children a leg up in the quest for better grades and admission to an elite college.
The game of kings has long been associated with intelligence, and chess grandmasters are capable of astounding mental feats. Magnus Carlsen, who is currently defending his title as world champion in New York against Sergey Karjakin, reportedly had a prodigious memory as a child. In a recent exhibition match in New Jersey, he played 11 opponents at once and beat every one of them in less than 20 minutes.
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