The RedBandit Chess Method
Along with all of the other benefits of chess, Harris teaches with a deliberate focus on assessing and improving executive functioning (EF). Broadly, EF comprises a set of cognitive control processes that enable goal-directed behavior and self-regulation. Specific skills associated with EF include decision-making, planning, sequencing behavior, inhibiting habitual responses, shifting between tasks, and coping with novel information or situations. As such, EF is necessary for developing good and flexible habits in everyday life. EF skills have also been linked to better overall academic, vocational, and emotional functioning. Thus, by using chess as a fun and evidence-based approach to targeting executive functions, Harris provides his students with life-long, cognitive benefits – whether their goal is to participate in a beginners tournament or reach the level of master. See below for more details about how chess is directly affected by specific components of EF.
“Chess is the gymnasium of the mind”
“The beauty of a move lies not in its appearance, but in the thought behind it”
“The game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement; several very valuable qualities of the mind are to be acquired and strengthened by it, so as to become habits ready on all occasions; for life is a kind of Chess”