This is the second Massachusetts Institute of Technology expert analysis of Yamie Chess, in a series that we conducted with nationally-respected academics for parents and educators across America. (MIT civil engineering graduate Anna Sylvan-Jaffe provided the first MIT analysis.) This page includes copyrighted material by MIT Professor Michael Ching, PhD, and has been split into sections below for your ease of reference.

Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyProfessor Michael Ching, PhD, Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
With a teaching background at Johns Hopkins University as the J. J. Sylvester Professor of Mathematics, Prof. Michael Ching, who is an MIT Math PhD and is currently a senior lecturer in Mathematics at Amherst College in Massachusetts, writes an in-depth assessment of the first Yamie Chess K-8 math learning aid. Prof. Ching, who is also a Kennedy Scholar from Trinity College, Cambridge University, meticulously analyzed the Yamie Chess math product's educational merit from his expert MIT perspective. The MIT math PhD concludes with a strong recommendation of Yamie Chess for children's K-8 math education.

1.  Introduction 2.  MIT Professor Ching's analysis of Yamie Chess 3.  More about the Expert 4.  Suggested Reading and Related Articles Introduction

One of the country's leading mathematicians, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Mathematics PhD, Professor Michael Ching, an award-winning and nationally respected math educator who resides on the Mathematics Faculty at Amherst College as a Math Professor, gives an objective, fair and balanced analysis of Yamie Chess.

Professor Ching, who was formerly the J.J. Sylvester Assistant Professor of Math at Johns Hopkins University, strongly recommends Yamie Chess on merit, and provides here for interested parents and educators a reliable and extremely well-researched analysis of Yamie Chess, after examining all the evidence pre-publication.

Yamie Chess Ltd used Professor Ching's impartial analysis in an internal evaluation to assess the view put forward by Caltech engineer Gerardo Morabito, that Yamie Chess: The Adventures of Tigermore and the Mind Angels is a valuable educational investment for parents and teachers to develop and supplement student's math problem-solving skills.

MIT math PhD, Professor Ching, independently confirms Caltech engineer Gerardo Morabito's considered opinion, and he further validates Yamie Chess as a credible and useful math educational resource that reinforces key mathematical ideas, and that will help children to develop their math skills and learn chess.

MIT Professor Ching PhD's analysis of Yamie Chess


Top-quoteReview of Yamie Chess: The Adventures of Tigermore & the Mind Angels

By Prof. Michael Ching, PhD, Mathematics, MIT

Date: November 3, 2013

Copyright © 2013 Professor Michael Ching, PhD. All Rights Reserved.

Permission to reprint this educational article on Yamie Chess Ltd's website was directly obtained from Professor Ching in writing.

Skill at chess has long been viewed as a marker of academic ability. Generations of children have learned to play, some at school, some at home, both for fun and for the intellectual challenge.

Chess has maintained its popularity in the face of modern technology because of its relative simplicity to learn and its acknowledged difficulty to master.

The Yamie Chess math and story book brings a new approach to learning the game by integrating a chess tutorial with a fantasy storyline and math questions of various levels.

The result is an amazingly imaginative introduction to chess that provides connections to, and inspiration for, the mathematics that a child will be learning in school.

I think the biggest strength of Yamie Chess is its appeal to a wide range of ages and abilities.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology reviewFor preschool children this is a coloring book portraying a dream world inhabited by a variety of fantastical creatures.

No knowledge of chess as a game is needed to follow the adventures of the boy Kimi as he dreams of the flying tiger King Tigermore and his vulture counterpart King Vigdor.

The older child can use Yamie Chess to learn the game, while simultaneously practicing basic math skills.

The story also contains an impressive line-up of scientific references that will intrigue and inspire children of all ages, and keep adults on their toes as well.

It is as a setting for learning the game that Yamie Chess really shines.

The ways that different pieces move are explained clearly (and neatly tied to the personalities of the characters in the story).

The sample chess match illustrates all the basic rules and is short enough not to overwhelm a child learning the game for the first time.

This book really makes chess sound like fun!

The book wisely does not attempt to explain the strategy behind every move, but basic tactics are considered in various cases.

Problems integrated into the text help the beginning player think about, for example, what pieces could be used to protect another, or which squares a king might move to in order to escape check.

The ultimate educational goal of the Yamie Chess comic, however, is to enhance and strengthen children’s mathematical ability.

Research has shown that, by itself, learning to play chess is tied to better logical reasoning and stronger performance in math.

Yamie Chess adds to this by integrating both mathematical content and math puzzles into the text.

The puzzles include both relatively standard ‘textbook’ problems to reinforce what a child learns in school, and more interesting ‘mindteasers’ that will help to extend that material. Most importantly there is a focus on explaining as well as just solving problems.

For example, the book includes a discussion (again, integrated into the storyline) of why the area of a triangle is given by the familiar formula.

This is in line with the current trend in school math toward asking why as much as asking how.

The math content of Yamie Chess covers a range of areas of the elementary and middle school curriculum (mainly grades 2-8), providing reviews of basic arithmetic, number lines, decimals, fractions and some geometry.

It should not, however, be confused with a textbook.

The problems here are suited to give a child some extra exposure to mathematics while learning to play chess, or while reading a fun story, but any one child will find only a few aimed directly at his or her level.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the Yamie Chess comic.

It brings imagination and fantasy to the basic game of chess, making it easy to pick up this classic skill, while simultaneously reinforcing key mathematical ideas.

I expect children of all ages will find it inspiring and interesting.

I strongly recommend it.Bottom-quote

More about the Expert

book iconAn accomplished mathematician, Professor Michael Ching earned a PhD in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Professor Ching was J.J. Sylvester Assistant Professor of Math at Johns Hopkins University, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Georgia, and he is currently Associate Professor of Math at Amherst College. With extensive graduate teaching experience at MIT, University of Georgia and Johns Hopkins University and Amherst College, Professor Ching has conducted sophisticated mathematical research for the United States Government's National Science Foundation.

In 2007, Professor Ching won an Excellence in Teaching Award from the Department of Mathematics at Johns Hopkins and in 2005, he won the Dean's Educational & Student Advising Award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's School of Science, for dedication to educational programs and student advising. Professor Ching has an academic background as a graduate honors mathematician at Trinity College in the University of Cambridge where he won the Yeats Mathematical Essay Prize and was a Senior Scholar. Professor Ching was also a Kennedy Memorial Trust Scholar. In High school, Professor Ching won the Gold Medal at the International Mathematical Olympiad.

book icon Visit the author's professional profile at Amherst College » Suggested Reading and Related Articles
In alphabetical order by expert's surname:
Harvard University MathematicianHarvard University mathematics expert, Professor Christian Hermann Hesse, M.S., PhD
Read an official product endorsement from Harvard University Math Professor Christian Hesse, M.S., PhD, who is an internationally-renowned mathematics expert, respected chess authority and bestselling author. After teaching math at Harvard, at graduate level, Professor Hesse was on the mathematics faculty of the University of California at Berkeley until 1991. He is a Fulbright Scholar and the recipient of Stanford University's Alan Abrams Memorial Prize.--[ Read Professor Hesse's educational analysis ]
University of ChicagoUniversity of Chicago Math Expert, Professor Ashley Reiter Ahlin, PhD, Math, UChicago
Read Mathematics Professor Ashley Ahlin PhD's educational analysis. A nationally-respected University of Chicago math educator, Professor Ahlin has been on the mathematics faculty of Vanderbilt University as a Senior Lecturer of Mathematics since 2002.--[ Read Professor Ahlin's educational analysis ]
American International Master of ChessWarner Bros. Pictures' Harry Potter chess consultant, International Master Jeremy Silman
Read International Master Jeremy Silman's educational analysis of Yamie Chess. Renowned for his famous chess books and as a preeminent international chess educator, IM Silman is an American International Master of Chess and the winner of the American Open, the National Open, and the U.S. Open. IM Silman provided vital pre-publication support to Yamie Chess Ltd during the developmental stages of the first Yamie Chess math learning product.--[ Read International Master Jeremy Silman's full analysis ]
jennifer-shahade-international-master-usa-chess-champion2-time United States chess champion and Women's Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade
The greatest American-born woman chess player in America's history, read U.S. Chess Champion WGM Jennifer Shahade's educational analysis of Yamie Chess. WGM Shahade is also Yamie Chess Ltd's resident classic chess advisor and principal educator on our main product line of K-8 math learning aids in Yamie Chess Ltd's math series.--[ Read United States chess champion Jennifer Shahade's full analysis ]
California Institute of TechnologyCalifornia Institute of Technology engineering graduate, Gerardo Morabito, B.S. (Caltech)
Read Caltech engineer Gerardo Morabito's educational analysis. A graduate of the California Institute of Technology, Mr Morabito is a professional U.S. mechanical engineer, and the founder and former president of the Caltech American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Caltech Chapter.--[ Read Gerardo Morabito's full analysis ]
State of Arizona 7th and 8th Grade Science TeacherState of Arizona 7th and 8th Grade Science Teacher and Specialist, Mrs Jena Phillips, B.S, MEd
Read Northern Arizona University Middle school math and science teacher, Mrs Jena Phillips' educational analysis of Yamie Chess.Mrs Phillips has over 15 years teaching experience from Title 1 and SLD to academic interventions and gifted students. Mrs Phillips runs an award-winning education blog, Caught in the Middle: A blog about life teaching in the mostly overlooked middle grades, which provides a fascinating glimpse into her work, which involves teaching children everyday.--[ Read Mrs Jena Phillips' educational analysis ]
Louisiana Tech UniversityLouisiana Tech University Academic Director & Program Chair of Mathematics Faculty
Read Professor Bernd S. W. Schröder PhD's educational analysis. Professor Schröder is the Edmondson/Crump Professor of Mathematics, Academic Director and Program Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Louisiana Tech University. An internationally-respected math expert, Professor Schröder earned a PhD in mathematics from Kansas State University.--[ Read Professor Schröder's full analysis ]
Illinois 7th Grade math teacherIllinois 7th Grade math teacher and Middle Childhood Education specialist Elizabeth Gates
An experienced State of Illinois math teacher who was interviewed as an award-winning educational writer by Teacher Certification Degrees, read Elizabeth Gates' educational analysis of Yamie Chess. Ms Gates teaches children everyday and holds a B.A. in Middle Childhood Education with endorsements in Math, Social Studies and Reading, from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.--[ Read Ms Elizabeth Gates' full analysis ]
International Master Thomas J BartellU.S. International Master of Chess, NJ and PA chess champion, IM Thomas J Bartell
Read International Master Thomas J Bartell's educational analysis. IM Bartell is a four-time New Jersey Chess Champion and Pennsylvania chess champion. He is ranked by FIDE as one of the Top 100 National USA chess players active today, he coaches on and Internet Chess Club.--[ Read International Master Bartell's full analysis ]
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