Published in 2012, this study evaluated the effect of chess training on development of cognitive skills for six-year-old children in Turkey. Fifty students who had previously received chess instruction and fifty students who had not were given a concept test that evaluated their understanding of spatial concepts. The children were tested individually by the researcher. The Mann-Whitney U test indicated statistically significant differences between children who had and had not received chess instruction for all tested concepts, resulting in an effect size of 1.600 standard deviation units.
This study, published in 2003, examined the effect of participation in chess on academic success in science at a boys’ school in Australia. Of the 508 students in grades 6-12 at the school, 64 participated in the school’s competitive chess program. The students’ results on the Australian Schools Science Competition were used to evaluate the effect of the chess program. Rasch scaling was used to include students from all grade levels on the same scale.
Conducted in Italy, this study was designed to test the impact on an in-school chess intervention on the mathematics performance of 3rd through 7th grade students. The treatment group was composed of 412 students and the control group was composed of 156 students. Students who participated in the in-school chess intervention were also invited to complete additional chess practice through computer-assisted training online. Each group was further subdivided and a portion of students in each group took a pre-test composed of OECD-PISA mathematics items.
This study was conducted in South Africa and results were published as part of a doctoral dissertation in 1991. Eighty students in fifth through tenth grades were a part of the treatment group and participated in weekly after-school chess clubs at ten different schools. The control group was composed of eighty students who did not participate in chess clubs and were matched to treatment group peers based on total IQ score, mathematics performance, and first language performance.
This 2006 report evaluated the performance of 233 students participating in an after-school chess instruction program, Chess for Success (CFS), on the mathematics and reading portions of the Oregon state test, the Coopersmith Inventory, and a student behavior scale. Treatment group student performance was compared to the performance of 88 students that did not participate in chess instruction. Based on t-test results, effect sizes were 0.276 standard deviation units in mathematics, 0.152 standard deviation units in reading, and -0.018 standard deviation units on the behavioral measures.