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Character Education Through The Age-Old Game of Chess

Many people understand that chess is a fun game to learn how to play, but are you aware of the many life lessons the game has to offer children? At CMC, we believe that chess is an ideal mechanism through which to teach the essentials of good character, including Respect, Responsibility, and Integrity. Here are examples of how we connect good character and the game of chess:


  • When you win, do so in a gracious manner, and never insult your opponent’s performance.
  • Never underestimate the abilities of your opponent by assuming you can win.
  • Show respect to your opponent by introducing yourself and shaking his or her hand at the beginning and end of a match.
  • Show respect to your chess teacher by listening attentively, and raising your hand when you have something to say.
  • Show respect to other members of your team or class by not interrupting, honoring differences, and being kind.
  • Be open and respectful of other people’s ideas. Always hold open the possibility that something that someone else says is valid and worthy of consideration.


  • Take responsibility for yourself on the chess board. If you make a great move – terrific. If you make a mistake, learn from it rather than blaming your opponent for your mistake or accusing someone of cheating because you didn’t win.
  • Take care of the chess board, pieces and clock that are put in your charge, and be sure to put everything back as you found them at the end of the game.
  • Take responsibility for your own learning. Show up for play ready to learn, prepared to think critically, and willing to both ask and answer questions.


  • Be an honorable player, and follow the rules of the game. Players who are dishonest will find fewer and fewer players willing to play against them.
  • While exploiting an opponent’s weaknesses is a normal part of chess play, taking advantage of a player who may not fully understand the rules of chess is not acceptable.
  • Show yourself to be a reliable opponent. Show up on time for the class, game or tournament and create a reputation for yourself as someone who acts with integrity - even when no one is looking.