Most sports are traditionally governed by some set of unwritten rules or traditions, which allow fair play, and ensure consistent adjudication of the outcome. In organised sports, reports of progress are often recorded, and for less popular sports, this info can be widely announced or reported by the teams. However, there is one unwritten rule that is nearly as important, and that is to protect the player and team from being injured during play. This unwritten rule is commonly referred to as the “player’s code”. Despite its importance, very few players and teams bother to follow it.
Perhaps, the greatest example of this unwritten rule is found in chess. Chess is a game of calculation and strategy, without any physical contact. Yet the sport of chess was created so that its outcome could be controlled by the skills of its players. Chess matches, like all other chess matches, are played within a fixed room, with the exception of very rare occasions when an extra board is allowed (usually to provide opportunities for a player to exchange places, thus increasing his ability to defend or counterattack). The sport of chess was developed so that the eventual outcome would be controlled by the skill of the players, not by strength or power. Its development was begun so that the skill of the chess player, rather than raw strength, would determine the final outcome of a game.
Unlike most other sports, it is virtually impossible for a team to forfeit. There are no boards that are used in chess matches, so the only real method of ending a game is by mutual agreement of all players to stop playing. Therefore, the sport of chess is not dependent on a fixed number of regulation boards. Sports which rely on official regulation boards, such as baseball, basketball and football, generally restrict physical activities to a minimum, although some still have very high standards.
Chess has become very popular in the education system. It is often used in mathematics classes, because it is one of those subjects where students learn most efficiently from doing it. In America, chess is often required for students to successfully pass examinations. Chess can also be used in teaching students the essential elements of logic, statistics and mathematics, as it teaches both how to get and use information, how to logically deduce and solve problems and how to develop the confidence to carry out the solutions that they have derived from their mathematical and logic theories. Chess play also enables students to improve their ability to concentrate and focus, two important skills that are necessary to successful school and college performance.
The wide appeal of chess stems from the fact that chess is a logical game, based on the application of abstract logic and the application of tactics. Chess can therefore provide a gateway to more serious study of other disciplines, such as psychology, because it combines logic with a non-physical activity that requires concentration, which is particularly useful in studying human behaviour. As well as being intellectually stimulating, chess gives students an opportunity to interact with people from different parts of the world who share common mental interests and who can provide great opportunities for cultural and social learning.
Chess is also a physical activity that students can enjoy and be involved with while they study. A physical activity that requires strength, flexibility, endurance and muscle memory is always beneficial for young people’s health, but few sports can compare with the physically demanding nature of chess. Young people can improve their sport performance and their confidence levels with just as much ease as they can improve their grades or their scores on exams. Chess is also a fantastic way to spend a few hours with friends and family while strengthening relationships, building up self-esteem and developing leadership skills. There are many benefits to engaging in a physical activity that requires concentration, which is just what young people need to excel in the subject that interests them.