Pre-Preparatory Classes -

More Math Competences with School Chess

The pilot project ‘Teaching chess in math’ showed that  chess math with instruction in chess-based mathematics improve the mathematic skills of children. Other studies also show that chess lessons cause better visual memory, as well as improve concentration and the skill to predict consequences. In this project, the Danish School Chess Association’s implementation of ISMS (Indskoling i Spil – flere Matematikkompetencer med Skoleskak) in Frederikssund is being process evaluated. The evaluation has a potential future randomized trial of the treatment in larger contexts in mind.

Time period:

2016 – 2017.

Target group:

Pupils in 0.-3. grade in Frederikssund municipality.

Number of participants:

4 schools participate in the project (65 classes). The number of pupils is 1.352. 


ISMS is a mathematics intervention, which is pilot tested in Frederikssund municipality in 2016/2017. 

The aims of the treatment are as follows: first, that the pupils learn math through exercises inspired by the chess world. The exercises consist of both pure chess exercises with a gradual increase in complexity as well as pure math exercises with chess as a theme. Second, the project wishes to contribute to the debate of upgrading of the content in the ‘supporting lessons’, which were implemented in all Danish schools during the recent school reform, but with varying quality and very different content. Contrary to ‘Teaching chess in math’, ISMS is an addition to the normal math lessons instead of replacing one of the normal math lessons. 

The pupils receive the chess lessons once a week in the ‘supporting lessons’ by the educator (primarily pedagogues), who otherwise teaches in the supporting lessons. The educator is not necessarily familiar with school chess, but is introduced to the game on three educational days etc. before the chess lessons begin.    


The implementation of ISMS is evaluated through observations on the three educational days in the beginning of the school year and on the knowledge-sharing day in November. Furthermore, lessons are observed at the schools in January, where the educators are interviewed as well. The focus is on educators’ and pupils’ experiences of the the treatment, on the degree of implementation, as well as factors hindering full implementation of ISMS. The project resulted in recommendations prior to future implementations of ISMS in a larger context.


Dansk Skoleskak (Danish School Chess Association), Frederikssund Municipality.


Expected in 2017.

Project group


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