Correlation between Attentional Abilities and Spatial Orientation in Children Who Study Chess in School


  • Vlad-Ionut Stegariu Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Physical Education and Sports, Iaşi, Romania
  • Beatrice Abalasei Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Physical Education and Sports, Iaşi, Romania



chess, spatial orientation, attentional abilites, children


The role of attention in chess is obvious because the game is an ongoing battle between two players whose main purpose is to checkmate the opponent’s king. Every single move represents a decision that cannot be changed and therefore the ability to concentrate and maintain attention for a limited period of time is essential. Compared to other sports, the game of chess can be played on the Internet, so physical presence does not limit its development. By using the computer, chess is played in better conditions because there is no space limit for people involved in the tournament. The main focus of the game is to move slowly but steadily to another direction. Besides the fact that chess helps to develop intellectual abilities, it can also play a role in the psychomotor development. Twenty third-grade children were selected and equally divided into two parts, the experimental group, and the control group. The Bender-Santucci test (spatial orientation), Kraepelin test, and Toulouse-Pieron test (attentional abilities) were applied to observe the role played by chess in children’s learning process. The independent samples t-test was used to highlight the statistical difference between the results. The Pearson correlation was also used for both groups to emphasize the level of correlation between the two tests. The experimental group recorded better results in both tests, and these results were statistically correlated.



Aglioti, S. M., Cesari, P., Romani, M., & Urgesi, C. (2008). Action anticipation and motor resonance in elite basketball players. Nature Neuroscience, 11, 1109-1116.

Ahmad, N., & Sultana, M. A. (2021). Effects of metacognitive ability and selective attention ability on academic performance of adolescents. Dhaka University Journal of Biological Sciences, 30(1), 59-67.

Allen, C. P., Telford, R. M., Telford, R. D., & Olive, L. S. (2019). Sport, physical activity and physical education experiences: Associations with functional body image in children. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 45, 101572.

Bar-Eli, M., & Raab, M. (2006). Judgment and decision making in sport and exercise: Rediscovery and new visions. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 7(6), 519-524.

Chase, W. G., & Simon, H. A. (1973). Perception in chess. Cognitive Psychology, 4(1), 55-81.

Choi, Y., Kim, M., & Chun, C. (2018). Effect of temperature on attention ability based on electroencephalogram measurements. Building and Environment. 147, 299-304.

Dijkstra, K., MacMahon, C., & Misirlisoy, M. (2008). The effects of golf expertise and presentation modality on memory for golf and everyday items. Acta Psychologica, 128(2), 298-303.

Elo, A. E. (1978). The rating of chess players, past and present. Arco Pub.

Ferguson, R. (n.d.). Chess in education: Research summary. In P. S. McDonald (Coord.), The benefits of chess in education: A collection of studies and papers on chess and education (pp. 5-8).

Ferguson, R. (2000). The use and impact of chess. In Section B, USA Junior Chess Olympics Curriculum.

Gobet, F., & Simon, H. A. (1996). Recall of random and distorted chess positions: Implications for the theory of expertise. Memory & Cognition, 24(4), 493-503.

Golf, S. (2015). Biochemistry and psychology of chess and classical physical exercise: Concurring or conflicting evidence. Journal of Sports Medicine and Doping Studies, 5(2), 158.

Gucciardi, D. F., Jackson, B., Hanton, S., & Reid, M. (2015). Motivational correlates of mentally tough behaviours in tennis. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 18(1), 67-71.

Helsen, W. F., Hodges, N. J., Van Winckel, J., & Starkes, J. L. (2000). The roles of talent, physical precocity and practice in the development of soccer expertise. Journal of Sports Sciences, 18(9), 727-736.

Jastrzembski, T. S., Charness, N., & Vasyukova, C. (2006). Expertise and age effects on knowledge activation in chess. Psychology and Aging, 21(2), 401-405.

Kasparov, G. (2008). How life imitates chess. Arrow Books.

Liptrap, J. (1998). Chess and standard test scores. Chess Life.

Maass, A., D’Ettole, C., & Cadinu, M. (2008). Checkmate? The role of gender stereotypes in the ultimate intellectual sport. European Journal of Social Psychology, 38(2), 231-245.

Margulies, S. (1991). The effect of chess on reading scores: District Nine chess program; Second year report. The American Chess Foundation.

Memmert, D., & Furley P. (2007). “I spy with my little eye!”: Breadth of attention, inattentional blindness, and tactical decision making in team sports. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 29(3), 365-381.

Mitrache, G., & Tudos, Ș. (2015). Optimizarea capacității de performanță [Optimising performance capacity]. UNEFS Bucharest.

Moran, A. (2009). Cognitive psychology in sport: Progress and prospects. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 10(4), 420-426.

Müller, S., Abernethy, B., & Farrow, D. (2006). How do world-class cricket batsmen anticipate a bowler’s intention? Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 59(12), 2162-2186.

Palm, C. (1990). Chess improves academic performance. New York City Schools Chess Program.

Sala, G., & Gobet, F. (2016). Do the benefits of chess instruction transfer to academic and cognitive skills? A meta-analysis. Educational Research Review, 18, 46-57.

Seymour, J., & Norwood, D. (1993). A game for life. New Scientist, 139(1889), 23-26.

Stafford, T. (2018). Female chess players outperform expectations when playing men. Psychological Science, 29(3), 429-436.

Stafford, T. (2016). No stereotype threat effect in international chess. Cognitive Science.

Subia, G., Amaranto, J. L., Amaranto, J. C., & Bustamante, J. Y. (2019). Chess and mathematics performance of college players: An exploratory analysis. Open Access Library Journal, 06(02), 1-7.

Unterrainer, J. M., Kaller, C. P., Halsband, U., & Rahm, B. (2006). Planning abilities and chess: A comparison of chess and non-chess players on the Tower of London task. British Journal of Psychology, 97(Pt 3), 299-311.

Vasilyeva, M., & Lourenco, S. F. (2010). Spatial development. In R. M. Lerner (Ed.). The handbook of life-span development, John Wiley & Sons.

Vasyukova, E. E. (2012). The nature of chess expertise: Knowledge or search? Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 511 - 528.

Velea, T., & Cojocaru, V. (2019). The effect of playing chess on focused attention. In The European Proceedings of Social & Behavioural Sciences, 55, 685-690.

White, A. L., Boynton, G. M., & Yeatman, J. D. (2019). The link between reading ability and visual spatial attention across development. Cortex, 121, 44-59.

Wojcio, M. D. (1990). The importance of chess in the classroom. In P. S. McDonald (Coord.), The benefits of chess in education: A collection of studies and papers on chess and education, 57-61.




How to Cite

Stegariu, V.-I., & Abalasei, B. (2022). Correlation between Attentional Abilities and Spatial Orientation in Children Who Study Chess in School. Revista Romaneasca Pentru Educatie Multidimensionala, 14(3), 126-138.

Publish your work at the Scientific Publishing House LUMEN

It easy with us: publish now your work, novel, research, proceeding at Lumen Scientific Publishing House

Send your manuscript right now