Spanish schools introduce chess class to boost maths learning

Eleven-year-old Alvaro Pineda has played chess at home since he was five. Now he plays it in the classroom too.In an effort to boost their pupils’ low maths and reading marks, more and more Spanish schools are holding chess clubs – and some could even make it a compulsory class.

“It really increases your mental capacity. I have improved a lot,” said Alvaro, at a chess group in his school north of Madrid.

“You have to really focus on the board and on where all the pieces are, and think lots of moves ahead,” which helps strengthen the memory, he added.

Spain’s parliament this year unanimously adopted a law allowing regional governments to introduce chess as a compulsory or optional subject in schools.

The law won the rare unanimous backing of lawmakers from rival parties.