Board game teaches children to play chess

Our KPRC 2+ team spoke with Jon Sieber, co-founder of Story Time Chess, who has successfully taught chess to over 100,000 children through his innovative teaching method and silly story-based curriculum.

Here are some questions and answers about the board game. The following information is courtesy of Story Time Chess.

Q: Let’s talk about some of the benefits of chess for development. Can you tell us how the game exercises both sides of the brain?

  • In a game of chess, the analytical left side of the brain searches for the next logical move.

  • At the same time, the creative right side of the brain will look for patterns and new possibilities.

Q: What about the educational value of playing chess? How do you give children an advantage in the classroom?


  • Playing chess can increase IQ, promote critical thinking, and teach basic math and verbal skills.

  • It also helps children retain information, improve test scores, solve problems, stay calm under pressure, and do well in school.

Q. Tell us about sportsmanship and some of the social skills that children learn by playing chess.

  • Through chess, children learn to explore the thoughts of the person sitting across from them, which helps develop important social skills and emotional intelligence.

  • They also learn to lose with dignity and win with humility: win or lose, they end each game with a “good game” handshake.

Q: You also say that playing chess teaches guts. Tell us more about it.

  • Kids work through different scenarios, learn to plan, course-correct, and wait patiently to see how things unfold, rather than being tempted by easy, more immediately rewarding moves.

  • Teaching children value at a young age sets them up for more success in the business world later in life.

Q: How do parents know if chess is right for their child? Do kids have to be in STEM?

  • Your child doesn’t have to be a “STEM kid” to fall in love with chess, it’s an old stigma!

  • I always ask, “Does your child love silly stories full of action and adventure?” If so, then they can learn to play chess.

Q: Your board game, Story Time Chess: The Game, is the only game in the world that teaches three-year-olds how to play chess. Tell us more!

  • We introduce children to the rules and strategy of playing chess one silly story at a time.

  • Each chess piece has its own Chessland character and a fun story that explains how the piece moves in a fun and memorable way.

  • For example, King Shaky is the king who is afraid of everything, cheese, trees, his knees and bumblebees, and moves “one slow step at a time”.

  • Storybook characters are brought to life through custom chess pieces, allowing kids to connect and practice how each piece moves in 30 mini-games.

Q: Will your child be a great teacher in the end?

  • Think of teaching kids chess like teaching them baseball: start with the tee ball and teach them the basics first. No child will be a great teacher overnight!

  • Our game is designed to grow with a child: it includes a double-sided chessboard with a “story side” and a “standard side” that children can use when they no longer need the character reminders.

  • We also have more advanced strategy, activity, puzzle, and coloring books available that incorporate new concepts over time.

Q: Where can people get Story Time Chess: The Game?

To learn more, watch the video at the top of the page or visit


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