Welcome to Chess for Overall Development!

What is it? (Information about the software)

    This software is designed for teachers and students who engage in the Chess for Overall Development training. This course aims at developing the ability to act mentally, and chess is an ideal material for improving this ability. As the difficulty level of the chess problems grows, other abilities start developing alongside the ability to act mentally, with this being the main intention of the authors and the reason why the training course has received its name. Teachers who add this method to their armoury enable their students to translate the abilities that have been shaped during the chess training to other activities, even outside school.

    Please note that the age of students who can engage in this training is almost unlimited. There are some specific aspects of using this software in work with preschool children. The software is especially useful for developing the ability to act mentally in primary school children as this ability is the main new mental formation of this age. The software may facilitate development of thinking and reflection in adolescents and high school students. Senior learners may find the software helpful for maintaining their intelligence at a high level as learning brings about developmental benefits at any age!

Why do you need it? (The software capacities)

    The software makes it possible to establish conditions for development, namely:

  • It allows for quick and accurate identification of which problems of which difficulty level the student is able to master at any given moment of the training.

  • It enables the student to proceed within his/her zone of proximal development without forcing this process and without getting stuck on the problems that the student can easily manage by him/herself.

  • It models working with a chessboard and makes it possible to use material tools when the student encounters difficulties while doing problems at the initial stages of learning.

  • It helps to travel a long way as far as development of the ability to act mentally is concerned: from elementary actions relating to identifying a square’s location and colour to solving challenging mate-in-two problems in one’s head. At each level, the students can learn the action on the material plane, and later on, their involvement in working on the ideal plane gets gradually increased. During the last level, the student solves every problem purely in his/her head without using a chessboard.

How does it work? (User options)

    At each stage, the student does problems of various difficulty levels, proceeding gradually to accomplishment of the main goal of the training course – namely, to develop the ability to make a mental move visualizing the position, understanding its meaning, analyzing and arriving at one or several solutions mentally.

    When working on mate-in-two problems, the actions relating to analysis and search for solutions become more challenging as the student needs to play in his/her opponent’s place mentally, hence arriving at options to defend from checkmate, and to keep possible changes in the position, which will result from the first move, in mind.

  • The software training stages correspond to the stages of developing the ability to act mentally, and the relevant instructions give a detailed account of these stages.

  • A unique feature of this software is its interactive interface, that is, the software interacts with the student who is working on a problem. Depending on the student’s choices and actions, the software offers the student relevant help or specific types of working tasks in line with the principles and stages of developing the ability to perform mentally embedded in the method.

  • When the teacher is working with a class, the software helps him/her to arrange simultaneous autonomous work of all children in the classroom, to pay attention to every student, and to ensure that every student makes progress within his/her zone of proximal development.

  • The teacher can monitor how each student works on a problem; which challenges he/she encounters; how the student overcomes them, and can use this information to design assignments for the students for the next lesson. Furthermore, the teacher can use the information stored in the software memory to perform collaborative reflection of the student’s autonomous performance, to discuss his/her difficulties and make a plan for further work.

How to get access to the program?

You can get a free demo access, or buy full access to the program. Choose your plan:
Demo Personal use (basic) Personal use (professional) Teacher
No advertizing
Full access to all 24 types of chess tasks
Technical and educational support
Registration of students and tracking their dynamics
A package of V. Zaretskii books "Chess for overall development" for free
Plan cost Free $10 $25 $20 for each student (teacher for free)
Get access Please register
Please send us an e-mail.

How to buy books? (For those who would like to go deeper into the subject of developmental psychology)

    Der Reichl Verlag (Reichl Publishing Company) has published a set of “Chess for Overall Development” books for you:

  • “To Development through Chess: Reflection and Activity Approach”

  • “Chess for Overall Development”

  • “Workbook for Teachers and Students”

    If you are interested in buying books, please, contact us by e-mail.

Articles and teaching aids

“Chess for overall development” software in the frame of Reflection and Activity Approach (A. Chernysh, 2017).

Who are the team?

The project team:

  • Matthias Draeger (Germany), a person without the assistance of which the very existing of the project would not be possible.

  • Victor Zareckii (Russia), author of the "Chess for overall development" technique.

  • Aleksei Chernysh (Russia), author of the computer program "Chess for overall development" and author of this web site.

We make grateful acknowledgement for collaboration to:

  • Professor Alexandre Buysse (Canada) - for some essential ideas and translation of the program into French.

  • Hans-Henning Mey (Germany) – for the translation into german chess language.

  • Norbert Lindenthal (Germany) – for the german localization.

  • Anton Gorbunov (Russia) - for attentive and careful testing of the software.