Giving your kids the best start as they head back to school

As kids head back to school after a long summer break, many parents are looking for a way to give their children the best chance to succeed in the year ahead, that won’t add extra pressure to already full study schedules.

With this in mind, World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen and his team have created an addictive game that kids love playing - it just so happens to make them smarter as well.

Taking a break from his preparations for the World Championship match in November, Carlsen launched the game in his home town of Oslo earlier this year.

“Chess is such a great tool for educating kids in a fun way,” he said.

“With this new game, we hope that more kids will discover the fun in playing chess, and through chess, develop lifelong skills like problem solving and critical thinking that will help them perform better in school, while also improving their self-esteem.”

Our mission at Play Magnus is to use chess as a fun tool to make the world a smarter place. That’s why we partnered with the team at DragonBox to create a tool that would not only introduce chess to kids in a fun and adventurous way, but also develop in them vital life skills that will serve them throughout their school years and beyond.

While chess and intelligence are often associated anecdotally, there’s a great amount of academic research proving that chess does in fact have a positive impact on childrens’ academic performance.

In one study conducted by the University of Aarhus in Denmark, it was discovered that after one year, primary school students ended up performing better in math after teachers substituted a weekly mathematics lesson with a lesson in chess.

According to an even more recent study, students who receive extracurricular chess instruction have a significantly higher capacity for problem solving. The study concluded that chess was a “valuable educational tool”.

Other research shows a connection between chess and a more wide-reaching impact on kids’ overall capacity for learning. Many of these studies found links between chess and an increase in kids’ capacity to learn, with improvements in traits like focus, memory, concentration and an overall interest in learning.

In learning and playing chess, kids also improve their concentration and focus as they block out distractions and focus solely on the board and pieces. By playing chess, kids can also sharpen their memory by remembering patterns during the game.


So many parents are seeing the educational benefits that chess can provide. We truly believe it’s one of the best ways you can give your kids a head start as they head back to school. Download Magnus’ Kingdom of Chess at and see for yourself.

By Christina Louise Romstad


Gumede & Rosholm (2015) – chess in Danish schools led to Improvement by 0.16 - 0.18 standard deviation in maths scores.

Trinchero (2013) – chess in Italian schools led to small but statistically significant improvement in PISA maths scores. Impact greater among students who had more hours of instructions.

Gliga and Flesner (2013) – introduction of chess among novice children led to significantly improved performance in mathematics and language.

Kazemi (2012) – chess tested among Iranian 5th, 8th and 9th grade students led to significantly improved maths ability and metacognitive capabilities.

Aciego (2012) found among 170 students between age 6-16 years of age achieved significant improvement in problem solving capacity who received extracurricular chess instruction.

Scholz, Niesch, Steffan, Ernst, Loeffler, Witruk, Schwarz (2008) – Chess can significantly improve the calculation and counting ability of children with learning disabilities.

Ferguson (1983) – study showed significant improvement through 1979 – 1983 of Pennsylvanian year 7 to 9 students in fluency (19.9%), flexibility (22.8%) and originality (70%).