Learning chess at a young age could strengthen problem solving and strategic thinking, according to economist John Adams © 123RF
Learning chess at a young age could strengthen problem solving and strategic thinking, according to economist John Adams © 123RF

‘Teach chess to boost the Australian economy,' says economist

Adam Leach is a freelance business journalist
1 February 2016

Learning chess at a young age could strengthen problem solving and strategic thinking abilities in business, according to an economist.

Speaking to The Australian, management consultant and former political advisor John Adams suggested making the game more widely played could boost innovation and economic growth across Australia.

“Chess improves cognitive ability and that in turn has a strong relationship with human capital and economic growth,” he said.

In terms of actions, Adams pointed to countries such as Denmark and Hungary where the game is mandatory or at least an optional subject at primary and secondary education levels.

Adams, who serves as a director at the Australian Chess Federation, admitted that its overall benefits are not proven but should at least be explored further. "I'm not saying it's a silver bullet but there is definitely a public policy role for chess that policy makers shouldn't discount.”

In addition to aiding the development of mathematical and strategic skills, chess also mirrors the negotiation process with opponents seeking to outwit and get the better of the person on the other side of the table, a crucial component of success within the procurement profession.

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