Mann Shaw, H. (2023). Checkmate: A correlational analysis of chess and executive functioning ability in adolescents. The Young Researcher, 7(1), 126-139. http://www.theyoungresearcher.com/papers/mannshaw.pdf
The link between chess and executive functioning [EF] skills has been hypothesized since the 1990s and studied extensively in children and adults. This relationship is yet to be examined in adolescents. This study–through correlational analysis of Tower of London EF performance (measured by overall time taken, time taken on difficult problems, and time taken on easy problems) vs online Chess.com performance (measured by Blitz and Rapid ratings)–looks to examine this relationship and contextualize it with previous studies on differently aged participants. The findings of the study indicate that as a chess player’s time score improved on all metrics, their chess rating increased. Given that previous research has found EF skills to be highly correlated with chess ability in children, but very minimally correlated in adults, the results of this study introduce the possibility that adolescence is a transition period where EF skills and chess ability become less connected.
Keywords: chess, executive functioning, chess rating