This dedicated section is an educational guide for K-8 educators and schools responsible for STEM learning in elementary and middle grades, to learn more about the credible math educational value and supplemental learning benefits of the Yamie Chess School Assistant series. harvard-university-math-phdAn internationally-respected, leading Harvard University mathematician, Professor Christian Hermann Hesse, Ph.D., who contributed hours in pre-publication support to Yamie Chess. harvard-university-math-phdEndorsed by former undisputed World Chess Champions GM Kramnik and GM Anand as an international chess authority, Professor Christian Hermann Hesse holds an MS and Ph.D. in Mathematical Statistics from Harvard University, and an MA in Mathematics from Indiana University Bloomington. After teaching math at Harvard, Professor Hesse was on the Mathematics Faculty at the University of California-Berkeley, until 1991. Professor Hesse is a bestselling chess author. He fully supports and praises Yamie Chess as a math learning aid. Extract from Harvard endorsement: "Next to the chessic aspects, the mathematical topics are at the center of the book: Here the readers are exposed to sets and Venn diagrams, numbers and raising them to powers, fractions and triangles including the theorem of Pythagoras. In terms of special numbers, the Fibonacci sequence appears. Yamie Chess is a beautiful, inspiring and very valuable educational tool. Teaching chess and math in a playful manner, embedding both in a fantasy story, is a great approach. The outcome is a feel-good-book for children and their parents with great pedagogical value. I recommend it highly." -- [ Read full endorsement ] > Read full endorsement from Harvard University math educator

Yamie Chess K-8 Teachers Guide
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Teachers and schools guide

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Table of Contents 1. Overview of Yamie Chess' K-8 mathematical benefits 2. An unpressurized and fun approach to math learning 3. Raising children's aspirations in K-8 math education 4. Defining Yamie Chess' limits: What it's not 5. The five educational principles that underpin Yamie Chess Overview of mathematical basis Like classic chess, Yamie Chess is governed by mathematical logic. As a K-8 educational learning aid, the Yamie Chess School Assistant is designed to make the mathematical beauty of chess, accessible to young children. With a credible process that inherits all of the accredited mathematical learning benefits of traditional chess, Yamie Chess works as a math-friendly chess explorer, asking children to think laterally about the mathematical and geometric basis behind classic chess; associating concepts with patterns, and intellectually developing a mathematical and scientific framework for problem-solving. Yamie Chess' K-8 math learning objectives

Through the engaging cartoon chess universe that Yamie Chess has created, the school assistant twins an understanding of chess moves and strategy with the algebraic and geometric flow of a real grandmaster level game to appeal to children to mathematically explore chess patterns in a way that is done through their own play, reading and coloring in cartoons that have meaningful representations with the chessmen.

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Designed to supplement the National Council of Teacher of Mathematics (NCTM) Curriculum Focal Points as a scholastic K-8 mathematics learning aid, the Yamie Chess School Assistant series will dynamically improve children's math skills in K-8 scholastic areas of number and operations, fractions, algebra, geometry, measurement, data analysis and probability.

In-depth analysis: learn further details by grade band. Unpressurized and fun approach to math using chess

At Yamie Chess, we understand that building a tangible mathematical foundation for future college study cannot be done in 10 minutes, nor any short period as some educational "crash-courses" will claim, and like most goals worth achieving in life, there isn't an easy shortcut to results without hard work and dedication.

Instead of regimenting the math ideas underpinning chess by text-book rote that can seem like chores to a lot of young children, or using narrow approaches that block children down to restrictive card moves (both of which we feel cage children's awesome mental potential and undermine the mathematical creativity that chess can champion) Yamie Chess provides an unpressurized and exciting fresh challenge, for even underachievers and the most math-phobic child.


The purpose is to be a unified supplementary K-8 math learning program, to help children master the prerequisite and specific mathematical thinking tools they will need for later study in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) areas, particularly calculus which underpins much of the hard sciences (i.e. physics and chemistry); and in the process, earn the trust and respect of American teachers, parents and the young minds who we hope will derive enormous intellectual benefit and joy from playing with our scholastic chess products for math learning.

Learn about Yamie Chess Ltd.'s U.S.-qualified STEM advisory team | Read Bios | To produce our exciting children's products, Yamie Chess Ltd. works with graduate math educators, engineers, chess masters and tech professionals including six math PhDs.

Made in America, and with the long haul in mind for our children's best interests, the Yamie Chess School Assistant series takes a definitively new approach, with a carefully developed classic chess comic and analysis chess gameboard designed for little hands. The Yamie Chess School Assistant will gently guide and open the door for children to the mathematical elements of chess, and supplement classroom math learning in school, using their own play and the power of cartoons.

Raising school standards in K-8 mathematics across America

The Yamie Chess School Assistant series is designed to get many more young American children interested in math, which has to start at kindergarten level, and raise school standards in mathematics across America. We want to make classic chess a superstar in American schools.

In terms of scholastic integration, teachers might find that having an after-school Yamie Chess School Club may be a non-intrusive math resource for existing events or new school clubs, and a good way to supplement K-8 school mathematics at home and alongside important classroom instruction from skilled teachers.


Improvements in attitude to learning and children's social behavior are also recognized by experienced teachers familiar with the practice of chess in schools, and this ethical dimension is a key side product of playing Yamie Chess both at home and in school.

At the heart of Yamie Chess is an American, secular message of good sportsmanship and friendship with values placed on academic success through hard work; communication that addresses the root of the matter; the dignity to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and individual self-worth that all children in the community regardless of their ability or socio-economic background will be able to understand and benefit from.

What Yamie Chess is not

While there are credible math benefits associated with Yamie Chess and classic chess activities like Yamie Chess, the educational product focuses on helping children master specific areas of K-8 math, it is not a "catch all" program; one size doesn't fit all. The makers of Yamie Chess would appreciate that teachers and math educators note the following:


    Yamie Chess is not claiming to be a chess variant of the beautiful, ancient game. Yamie Chess is classical chess with the cartoon characters representing "regular" pieces of the traditional game, woven around a unique fantasy comic story in the fictional "Mind Kingdom" and using chess to teach children fundamental mathematical, logical and scientific thinking processes in an educational, interactive method with our original cartoon intellectual property.


    As an educational learning aid for math, logic and science learning, Yamie Chess is supplemental in nature (as any good math learning aid should be) - the school assistant can be used as an after-school classroom or library activity or home-learning aid, but in no way is a replacement for any skilled math teacher or going to school.

    Apart from its educational mission to raise math standards, the purpose of Yamie Chess is to help children connect ideas they learn in class, handle math data more eloquently, nurture and build upon children's K-8 geometric and algebraic math understanding and knowledge-base with a cognitive approach that will help children more coherently weigh up evidence in math problems.


    While Yamie Chess seeks to supplement the Curriculum Focal Points, it is a third-party mathematical initiative and the scholastic product is not manufactured or devised by any local, State or Federal Government department, policymaker or the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, which historically does not promote any third-party manufacturer or classroom product.


    Due to its structured approach to mathematics, Yamie Chess can be adapted on a State-by-State basis for math education for the best interests of children in any particular K-8 learning program.

    The school assistant works on a sliding scale, being very expansive for the brightest pupils, and very supportive for those children who are math phobic or underachieving in K-8 math.


    Yamie Chess is very sensitive and respectful of teacher's requirements and the classroom environment. The school assistant is designed to be functional and practicable as a learning aid for schools, and the product has been exhaustively tested for safety and rigorous use by young children.

    As a responsible learning company, Yamie Chess Ltd is committed to our educational chess mission, to raise K-8 math standards across America and support good learning outcomes in math; we therefore wish to point out that the structured and cognitive developmental benefits for math learning that Yamie Chess imparts to children is useful in the broadest terms because it is a classical chess explorer.

    As a scholastic K-8 supplemental math product, Yamie Chess will survive future changes or updates to any U.S. math curriculum process across America, for the compelling reason that math education for children will always require the inherent key skills of coherent problem-solving and logical analysis that is at the heart of Yamie Chess, and are historically common and relevant to all standards and educational approaches regardless of any party's political position.

Incorporated as part of the company's vision and mission statement are five key principles behind the game that we'd like to share:


Please click on an acronym letter below to read more about our learning objectives tied to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards, under each heading.

Grades K to 2 Grades 3 to 4 Grades 5 to 8
Algebra Algebra Algebra
Geometry Geometry Geometry
Measurement Measurement Measurement
Data Analysis & Probability Data Analysis & Probability Data Analysis & Probability
Number & Process Standards Number & Process Standards Number & Process Standards

young minds

Kindergarten to Grade 2

Yamie Chess focuses on expanding children's intellectual frontiers and helping young minds to coherently examine the underlying properties of math problems that are presented through friendly chess arrangements.

With hand-holding support through cartoons, Yamie Chess then appeals to children to look for workable entry points through geometric and algebraic analysis (children are actually taught the algebraic notation of chess by the cartoon characters) and through interactive participation with their analysis tournament-size Yamie Chess sets, the scholastic math series provides children with a method to evaluate their findings in context to the chess geometry; with the goal of helping Kimi, the American boy chess hero of the story, as he develops clear and understandable chess strategies (with full-page interactive chess layouts) to help Tigermore and the Mind Angels (the light pieces) win a checkmate against Vigdor and the Chromemunchers (the dark pieces).

The chess school assistant helps to develop an understanding of how to connect number words and numerals to the quantities they represent; the prime numbers (which are Kimi's favorite numbers in the educational comic), relative position and magnitude of integers, through the chess, assessing the outcome from addition and subtraction with often an immediate effect of having a chess piece captured on the board, and then holistically being able to compute the differences and bring them together to work for a viable set of chess moves to gain a tactical advantage.

With a quantitative basis, the full-page chess layouts encourage visuo-spatial reasoning; the pattern geometry that Yamie Chess champions enable younger children to use concrete and pictorial representations of chess patterns to conceptualize the mathematical principles. Children are encouraged to check their answers, construct viable logic strategies, and work out for themselves, "why this makes sense?"

Grades 3 to 4

Encouraging an appreciation of the base-ten number system, one of the principle characters King Tigermore (the white king piece) in Yamie Chess shows Kimi, the boy chess genius, ways to compare whole numbers and decimals; which is in turn aimed to help children understand operations, develop meanings for fractions and percents, the order of decimals, and distributivity of multiplication over addition. It's hoped that third and fourth graders will find math ratios more interesting through experimenting with Yamie Chess.

Yamie Chess gives children a tangible numerical basis for sorting, classifying numbers and computation.

The Yamie Chess method of establishing a logical progression of arguments from one chess position to another, is directly linked to solving math problems; investigating an educated conjecture to find out why selecting one new chess geometric position is more powerful than another; helping to look for flaws in the logical structure with an end-goal in mind.

This should pay dividends when children learn to start modeling with math in the classroom in preparation for high school and need to compare the plausibility of two equally well-presented math structures, and justify their ideas, rather than simply blindly relying on unconnected information and textbook math assumptions.

Grades 5 to 8

Encouraging children to persevere, analyze concretely and coherently weigh up different chess outcomes, Yamie Chess is a platform for children to immediately consider analogous problems in the real-world and technology, helping children apply their understanding (and the way they arrived at an understanding) to practical situations. The educational school assistant gives an introduction to maps and graphs, co-ordinate geometry and other numerical representations that are key for K-8 number and operations.

Science ideas about the DNA helix, consciousness, atomic structure, the conservation of energy, and entropy; the disorder of the universe in thermodynamics - are also introduced in context to the magical story.

It's worth pointing out that U.S. scientific studies conducted by leading U.S. universities since the 1980s have shown time and again that playing chess has a direct positive impact on children's math and reading scores in school, and as a classical chess school assistant, Yamie Chess engages children to think and enjoy the math basis of the game as an added benefit. This will help gifted students excel and underachieving students achieve better learning outcomes with their math in school.


Kindergarten to Grade 2

With the friendly Yamie Chess cartoon characters teaching algebraic chess notation, and carefully focusing children's concentration, first steps in algebra can be a joy for children even as young as five as they are taught a solid grounding in understanding the algebraic basis of the chess board; how the algebraic symbols relate to the chess grid; and how to position chess pieces using the concept of Cartesian coordinates, which is traditionally not introduced until middle grade school in most U.S. State public and private school education systems.

Grades 3 to 4

As part of the instructional play through the interactive grandmaster level chess game (GM Johannes Zukertort vs GM Adolf Anderssen - Ruy Lopez/Spanish Variation with Cozio Defense, Berlin 1865) that unfolds through the educational comic activity book, children will soon be (without even realizing the significance) calmly manipulating the representation of symbolic notations to move the chess pieces around the board - the kind of algebraic basis that will help future work with modeling, understanding variables, and grasping key commutative, associative and distributive properties in algebra and relationships between math symbols and numbers.

Grades 5 to 8

Yamie Chess enables children to explore chess relationships between symbolic expressions, and understand why a symbolic chess algebraic statement represents a chess problem on the board; a must for successfully solving contextualized problems in school math using graph and table representations.

Technical terms are deliberately avoided like defining linear or non-linear properties, but Yamie Chess introduces exploratory concepts which are allied to the US school math curriculum, while responsibly being flexible enough to leave the task of unifying knowledge and math information for school teachers in the classroom.

Due to its classic chess basis, Yamie Chess will have a positive scholarly impact on children's algebraic understanding, and will help improving children's logical planning and reasoning for intellectual growth; Yamie Chess has firm educational benefits for the critical math skills development of every child.

On a broader point regarding chess, these educational qualities (that Yamie Chess inherits from classic chess), are part of the reason that in June 1999 the International Olympic Committee officially recognized classic chess as an intellectual sport.


Kindergarten to Grade 2

The Yamie Chess analysis gameboard grid provides a working math medium to understand units and process of measure, length, width; comparative sides of squares, and the game's requirement to estimate number of squares when playing through the educational comic activity book or thinking ahead in a new game using repetition of a single chess square unit, are all valuable measurement assets for the kindergartener.

Grades 3 to 4

Exploring two- and three- dimensional attributes is done in Yamie Chess both through the chess gameboard and the time-dependent cartoon chess universe in the story; the chess integration holds the key however to comfortability of a much more standard tool in school: that of handling and using math formulae, an integral process for relating future concepts in hard sciences, especially physics and computer science.

Measuring angles, grasping pictorial formulas for calculating areas of objects, surface area attributes, volumes and perimeters will be more accessible for the Yamie Chess playing student.

Grades 5 to 8

A child proficient at Yamie Chess will be at ease mathematically converting between parallel units of measure, handling and ordering data sets of number and algebraic formulae to develop strategies to find areas and work with systems of measurement.

It logically follows that the early cognitive intellectual and math training from Yamie Chess, will lead to children experimenting and modeling with mathematics sooner; before high school starts, to supplement the logical thinking skills in conjunction with children's K-8 math course tuition.

The point is to increase understanding and equip children to more effectively begin tackling problems involving trigonometry, more complex shapes like circles, parallelograms and trapezoids, together with working with changes of rate, ratio, velocity and volumes with coherent structured plans that are established with regular classic chess interaction in parallel context to math classroom work from educators.

By focusing children's critical thinking through chess and integrated cartoon character properties, Yamie Chess improves children's analytical ability to assess strengths and weaknesses, think ahead, multi-task, make sense of problems and persevere in solving them, measure grid distances on the chess board, and make better judgments and decisions involving those calculations.

Due to its classical chess basis, Yamie Chess provides educational tools to equip children for life; the K-8 scholastic assistant has credible math value and belongs in all American schools and family homes as a supplementary math instructor.


Kindergarten to Grade 2

More comprehensive than isolated 'brain-teasers' and random 'math puzzles', because of its classical chess basis, Yamie Chess is the perfect classroom partner to connect math ideas and help build children's IQ and real intellectual potential; helping children to reason abstractly; spatially, and quantitatively; construct viable arguments and critique the inferences and reasoning of others.

Yamie Chess provides the critical guidance to organize children's math creativity with algebraic concepts, geometry and numbers; and assists their analytical planning and problem-solving skills in the important developmental areas of data analysis and probability concepts from a set of presented chess data.

Grades 3 to 4

Through their own continued play with Yamie Chess, children will develop observational skills for tactical data-collection from a never seen before problem (a primary requirement to succeed in most IQ tests) with the direct consequence that if they don't accurately weigh up the likelihood of positional events on the chess board, they lose the game.

By challenging their friends and classmates to play Yamie Chess, children will find that each new chess game offers a never-ending symmetry of patterns to explore; each game different to the last - children who play regular Yamie Chess with each other will be naturally more functional in predicting the probability of outcomes of two events, understanding the concept of mutually exclusive and compound probability in relation to Venn diagrams and set theory from a cognitive perspective, and being confident enough to apply the results of their own logical assessment to new experiments and math problems.

Grades 5 to 8

For older children, the Yamie Chess School Assistant series has a credible role in assisting logical approaches to math problems. By first selecting, creating, and picking the required formulaic route to data representations in a new chess problem; Yamie Chess encourages children to picture in their mind's eye a pictorial representation of math data as a visuo-spatial reasoning aid.

For middle school histograms, tree diagrams, box, stem-and-leaf plots and scatterplot analysis, understanding data ranges to define interquartiles and suggest conjectures about overall data sets, Yamie Chess will be a organizational partner, structuring thought patterns to apply consistent and coherent math data analysis.

Through Yamie Chess's above algebraic qualities, placing probability of events into fractional descriptions, the math skills necessary for probabilistic outcomes like operating fractions over division, multiplication, addition and subtraction, will also be more intuitive, and part of the cognitive benefits inherited by playing Yamie Chess and thus developing the accessibility of classical chess's extensive math benefits for young minds.


From recognizing patterns, shapes and symmetry on the Yamie Chess geometric board during a chess game, to calculating whether to advance on the king’s side or queen’s side, to manipulating the L-shape moves of knights across the chess grid to achieve a strategic advantage, Yamie Chess offers an incredible geometric mathematical context where many children may not even realize the full implications of their spatial analysis and geometric modeling until they start finding math problems in school get easier to visualize, like shape transformations, co-ordinates and working with graphs and algebraic curves.

Kindergarten to Grade 2

Yamie Chess will help kindergarteners to recognize, structure, sort, name and work with two- and three-dimensional shapes; create mental images of geometric shapes using their innate spatial memory and spatial visualization for new classic chess patterns, interpreting distance and shape positions in space, and encourage young children to apply their own conclusions and ideas in relationship to basic numbers and measurement through coloring, play interaction and active 'hands on' participation that Yamie Chess instructs as a learning aid for geometry.

Grades 3 to 4

Inherited from classical chess, each new game of Yamie Chess is different, offering new math challenges, and requires the application of consistent logical strategy to analyze never-seen-before configurations of classic chess pieces.

The educational comic activity book in Yamie Chess is structured around the opening, middle game and end game of chess; helping children to frame patterns, and in each new game, coherently evaluate and determine the consequences of a strategic choice, from all the possible moves and multiple geometric options available, as children ask themselves quietly during a game... 'just which piece should I move next?'... 'Which one will help me gain the advantage to turn the game in my favor?'

For the mid-grade elementary school child, successfully playing Yamie Chess with friends is hard wired with identifying symmetry and congruence; comparing and then testing rapidly developing conjectures about the attributes of geometric chess board properties with the ultimate goal to checkmate your opponent and win the game. Yamie Chess also teaches use of the Cartesian coordinate system to specify geometric locations and to describe historical, current and intended chess moves.

It's not uncommon for very experienced classic chess players to be able to abstractly visualize in their mind's eye an entire sequence of planned chess moves from a geometric layout, without even seeing the board. The cartoon chess universe that Yamie Chess employs to spark abstract mental imagery of classic chess, develop cognitive memory function and integrate chess geometry with the logical algebraic grid analysis, aims to move children cognitively and spatially in this intellectual direction.

Grades 5 to 8

Yamie Chess is a friend to those children who need more math support, and a fair challenge to gifted children looking for new intellectual challenges (children who may currently feel bored by repetitive classroom activities or rote teaching) and by using cartoons to inspire children to visualize interesting geometric configurations and associate chess strategy, algebra and data analysis with pictorial representations and operational math patterns, Yamie Chess succeeds through exploratory visuo-spatial reasoning in the classic chess environment.

With continued play, Yamie Chess aims to take children from beginner to U.S. club level chess, and should motivate children's math interest as they prepare for calculus and later success in high school.

Yamie Chess encourages young minds to be precise in their deductive reasoning, to unify their geometric knowledge, interpret transformational distance with geometric shapes, and proceed confidently to more complex geometric areas like Pythagorean relationships, matrices, vectors and the dreaded problem-solving in middle school trigonometry that can be a breeze for Yamie Chess fans.

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