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Artificial Intelligence: A Key to the Future of Chess in Education

Introducing AI to the Chess in Education Curriculum

The emergence of AI content generators in the past year promise profound change and risks in education. As government and educational institutions cautiously work to formulate policy on this rapidly evolving technology, many teachers are experimenting with the new capabilities offered by ChatGPT, Google Bard, Microsoft Bing Chat (and its evolutionary successor Microsoft Copilot), and other content generators. At the same time, Alphabet, Microsoft, Meta, Microsoft, and others are incorporating generative AI for text and images into their mainline products.

Recognizing AI’s potential, Chess in Education – US (CIE-US) added an AI segment in its Chess Instructor Level 1 Certification course. The new material included an overview of generative AI, its limitations, and how such tools can aid teachers using educational chess in the classroom. We asked several AI chatbots to create a useful lesson plan related to CIE.

Class Challenge

In preparation for the class, I submitted the following four queries to different content generators. Click on the arrows on the right to see the response of the AI chatbots and editorial critiques of their response.

Explain the pedagogy driving the use of chess in education.

The following text is an unedited Generated Response by Open AI ChatGPT-3.5 (July 20, 2023 Version)

Editor’s rating: A+

“The chess in education movement is an approach that advocates the integration of chess into formal education settings to enhance cognitive, social, and emotional development among students. The pedagogy underpinning this movement draws from various educational theories and research to leverage chess as a tool for learning and skill development. Here are some key aspects of the pedagogy behind the chess in education movement:

  1. Cognitive Development: Chess is a game that requires strategic thinking, problem-solving, and critical reasoning. The pedagogy aims to enhance students’ cognitive abilities, such as concentration, memory, logical thinking, and pattern recognition. Through regular chess practice, students develop their capacity to plan ahead, analyze complex situations, and make decisions based on available information.
  2. Metacognition: Chess encourages metacognition, which is the ability to think about one’s own thinking processes. Students learn to reflect on their moves, assess their strengths and weaknesses, and develop strategies for improvement. This metacognitive approach fosters self-awareness and the ability to adapt and learn from mistakes, both valuable skills in education and life.
  3. Character Development: Chess involves both winning and losing, teaching students valuable lessons in sportsmanship, resilience, and perseverance. The pedagogy emphasizes the development of positive character traits, such as patience, discipline, humility, and respect for opponents, promoting a growth mindset and emotional intelligence.
  4. Social Skills: Chess is often played in a one-on-one setting, encouraging social interaction and communication between students. Engaging in friendly competition and sharing the learning process fosters teamwork, cooperation, and empathy. It also provides an avenue for students to build friendships and create a sense of community within the school environment.
  5. Inclusivity and Accessibility: Chess is a universal game that transcends cultural, linguistic, and economic barriers. The pedagogy emphasizes inclusivity by making chess education accessible to students from diverse backgrounds. It provides an opportunity for every student to participate and excel, regardless of their academic strengths or weaknesses.
  6. Cross-disciplinary Learning: Chess is not limited to mathematics or logic but can be incorporated into various subjects such as history, literature, and art. By integrating chess into different academic domains, the pedagogy encourages interdisciplinary learning, making education more engaging and meaningful for students.
  7. Long-term Skill Development: The chess in education movement focuses on developing skills that extend beyond the chessboard. The cognitive abilities, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills cultivated through chess can positively impact students’ academic performance and future careers.
  8. Joy of Learning: The pedagogy emphasizes the importance of joyful learning experiences. By presenting chess as an enjoyable and intellectually stimulating activity, students are more likely to be motivated and invested in their education.

Overall, the chess in education movement’s pedagogy seeks to leverage the inherent qualities of chess as a powerful educational tool to promote holistic development among students, fostering not only academic skills but also valuable life skills for their future success.”

Develop a lesson plan that explains how outflanking, as used in chess, applies to other domains.

The following text is an unedited Generated Response by Bing Chat from July 2023)

Editor’s rating: A+

“Here is a possible lesson plan that explains how outflanking, as used in chess, applies to other domains:

Objective: To understand the concept of outflanking and how it can be used in different situations.

Materials: Chess board and pieces, paper and pencil, examples of outflanking from history, sports, politics, etc.

Procedure:

  1. Introduce the term outflanking and explain that it means to gain an advantage over an opponent by moving to their side or behind them, or by forcing them to move away from a position they want to defend.
  2. Show an example of outflanking in chess using the king and pawn endgame. Explain that one king can use zugzwang (a situation where any move is disadvantageous) to force another king away from a defended pawn, or to step to the side of the other king and place a file between them, so that the other king cannot step in front of their king123.
  3. Demonstrate how to gain and lose the opposition (a situation where the kings face each other across an odd number of squares) and how it relates to outflanking23.
  4. Have the students practice some king and pawn endgames on the chess board and identify when outflanking occurs.
  5. Ask the students to think of other domains where outflanking can be applied, such as military strategy, sports tactics, political campaigns, business competition, etc.
  6. Have the students share their examples and explain how outflanking works in each case. Provide feedback and additional examples if needed.
  7. Summarize the main points of the lesson and review the definition of outflanking and its applications.”

____________

This is another AI response about outflanking from Chat GPT 3.5 in July 2023

“Extending the Concept of Outflanking to Non-Chess Domains

The concept of outflanking, which involves gaining an advantage by attacking or surrounding an opponent from multiple directions, is not limited to chess. It can be applied to various real-life scenarios and domains. Here are some examples of how the principle of outflanking can be extended beyond chess:

  1. Military Strategy: In military operations, outflanking is a crucial tactic to gain a positional advantage over the enemy. Instead of engaging head-on, a military force may attempt to flank the opponent from the sides or rear, cutting off their supply lines and isolating them from reinforcements. The famous “double envelopment” strategy used by Hannibal at the Battle of Cannae is a classic example of outflanking, where the Roman army was encircled and defeated.
  2. Business and Marketing: In business, outflanking can involve gaining a competitive advantage by approaching the market from unconventional angles. This could mean offering a unique product or service that meets a specific niche demand, targeting an underserved customer segment, or utilizing innovative marketing campaigns to reach consumers in unexpected ways. By outflanking competitors, businesses can secure a stronger position in the market.
  3. Sports Tactics: In team sports like soccer, basketball, or American football, outflanking is used to bypass the opposing team’s defense by attacking from the sides. This tactic often involves quick and coordinated movements to exploit weaknesses in the defense’s positioning. Outflanking allows teams to create scoring opportunities by accessing areas of the field that are less defended.
  4. Political Maneuvering: In politics, outflanking can be seen when politicians use alternative strategies to gain support and achieve their goals. This might involve adopting positions that appeal to different demographics, building coalitions with unexpected allies, or focusing on particular issues that are overlooked by competitors. By outflanking, politicians can build a broader base of support and enhance their chances of success.
  5. Negotiation and Diplomacy: In negotiations, parties can attempt to outflank their opponents by using indirect tactics. For instance, one party might gain leverage by securing support from influential third parties, applying pressure through economic means, or employing surprise tactics that force the opponent to reevaluate their position. This allows negotiators to achieve their objectives without relying solely on direct confrontations.
  6. Legal Strategy: In legal disputes, outflanking can involve using alternative legal arguments or evidence that the opposing party may not anticipate. Lawyers may strategically present evidence or call witnesses that support their case from unexpected angles, catching the opposition off guard and weakening their position.
  7. Problem-Solving and Innovation: In creative problem-solving, outflanking is akin to thinking “outside the box.” It involves exploring unconventional solutions or alternative approaches to address challenges. By outflanking the traditional solutions, individuals and teams can find innovative and more efficient ways to solve complex problems.

Overall, the concept of outflanking transcends chess and is applicable to various domains where strategy, positioning, and gaining an advantage are essential. Understanding this principle can help individuals and organizations navigate complex situations more effectively and achieve their objectives with a competitive edge.”

Explain how to use an AI content generator to create a lesson plan for elementary school students on a specific chess-related topic such as “outflanking”.

The following text is an unedited Generated Response by Constant Contact in July 2023 with editor-supplied edits/comments in italics:

Editor’s rating of the chatbot response: B

“In today’s technology-driven world, AI content generators are becoming increasingly popular among educators. These tools can be used to create high-quality lesson plans for elementary school students on specific chess-related topics such as outflanking. Here’s how you can use an AI content generator to create a comprehensive lesson plan on chess outflanking:)”  (Editor’s comment: I really want the plan to be about outflanking in general, not specifically limited to chess. To be fair, I could have made this more clear in my query. AI content generators work best when queries are consise, specific, and set context.)

  1. Start by selecting a reliable AI content generator that is specifically designed for creating educational content. Some popular options include OpenAI’s GPT-3 and Articoolo.” [Editor’s comment: This is dated info. There is now an OpenAI GPT-4 model available for $20/mo. The latest free version is GPT-3.5.]
  2. Once you have selected your AI content generator, input the topic chess outflanking and let the tool generate a draft lesson plan for you.” [Editor’s note: change the topic from “chess outflanking” to “outflanking”; the point is not to limit the lesson plan to just the chess domain.]
  3. Review the generated content and make any necessary edits to ensure that the lesson plan aligns with your teaching objectives and meets the needs of your students.
  4. Next, add any additional resources or materials that you may need to supplement the lesson plan. This could include instructional videos, interactive games, or printable worksheets.
  5. Finally, review and proofread the lesson plan to ensure that it is error-free and ready to be taught to your students.

Using an AI content generator to create a lesson plan on chess outflanking can save educators a lot of time and effort. However, it is important to remember that these tools should be used as a supplement to, rather than a replacement for, a teacher’s expertise and experience in the classroom.”

Are AI content generators suitable for teachers to use in developing lesson plans?

The following text is an unedited generated response by Open AI ChatGPT-3.5 (July 20, 2023 Version):
Editor’s Assessment: A+

“AI content generators can be a helpful tool for teachers in developing lesson plans, but they should be used with caution and in conjunction with other teaching resources. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Time-saving: AI content generators can quickly produce lesson materials, saving teachers time and effort in creating content from scratch. This allows teachers to focus on other essential aspects of teaching, such as classroom management and individual student support.
  2. Content inspiration: AI-generated content can provide fresh ideas and perspectives, which can be particularly useful when looking for ways to engage students or explore topics from different angles.
  3. Resource diversity: AI content generators can supply a variety of learning materials, including texts, images, and even quizzes, diversifying the resources available to teachers and students.
  4. Adaptation and personalization: Teachers can modify AI-generated content to suit the specific needs of their students and tailor the lessons to their teaching style and the unique requirements of their classrooms.
  5. Collaboration and sharing: AI-generated content can be shared among educators, facilitating collaboration and knowledge exchange within the teaching community.

However, despite these benefits, there are some important caveats:

  1. Quality assurance: The quality of AI-generated content can vary, and it may not always meet the high standards of a well-designed lesson plan. Teachers should carefully review and, if necessary, edit the materials generated by AI to ensure accuracy, relevance, and alignment with educational goals.
  2. Contextual understanding: AI content generators lack contextual understanding and may not consider the specific needs of a particular classroom or student population. Teachers should exercise their professional judgment to ensure the content meets their students’ learning abilities and backgrounds.
  3. Over-reliance: Using AI content generators exclusively without personal input and expertise can lead to a lack of originality and creativity in the classroom, potentially disengaging students.
  4. Ethical considerations: Teachers should be cautious about using AI-generated content that may violate copyright or plagiarism rules.
  5. Student-centered approach: Effective lesson planning often involves a student-centered approach, considering individual needs, interests, and learning styles. While AI-generated content can provide a starting point, teachers should still take the time to customize lessons to cater to their students’ unique requirements.

In summary, AI content generators can be a valuable tool for teachers when developing lesson plans, but they should be used as a supplement rather than a replacement for a teacher’s expertise and creativity. Striking a balance between automation and personalization is essential to create effective, engaging, and meaningful learning experiences for students.”
_________

The new AI segment was first used in a class of teachers on August 3, 2023 in Manchester,NH. After the overview of generative AI, each teacher received a homework assignment: to formulate and submit a query to producing a CIE lesson plan taking their own class. a chess-related term or concept and apply it to another domain such as science, history, politics, or life skills etc. [For example, two of the above queries use the term “outflanking”, but the technique can be used by a teacher for any term that might be a candidate for a word wall.

Class Response

The next day teachers discussed their experiences. Here are the scribe notes from the their discussion.

Did ChatGPT answer your questions?
  1. Asked for a basic Rook lesson (how does the Rook move) plan lasting 45 minutes
    1. Returned the following sections:
      1. Goals
      2. Assessment
      3. Materials needed
    2. Basically a Teachers Pay Teachers style lesson plan
    3. Did what I asked it to do
    4. Looked like a ChessKid explanation
  2. Asked for a 6th grade level lesson on chess notation and coordinate grid/graphing
    1. Returned two 45-minute lessons
    2. Would not have been able to “print and use” without massaging the text
  3. Asked about piece movement
    1. After repeated requests, ChatGPT began contradicting itself
  4. Opening strategy questions
    1. Spit out known information; specificity is important
    2. Referred to a handout that was not available
Take Aways
  1. For best results, queries need to be concise, specific and provide context
  2. If a user poses a question when they don’t fully understand the concept, they may not see the flaws in the ChatGPT output
  3. Format and outlines are great, but can’t be used “right out of the box”
  4. Input language is important:
    1. “Connecting” vs “Explaining”
    2. Responses improve when more input is offered
  5. ChatGPT cannot play chess because its algorithm is language/text-based whereas computerized chess games are created using a mathematical algorithm
  6. Garbage In = Garbage Out
  7. Users need to be able to connect the ideas they are asking ChatGPT to comment upon, ie. eclipses and chess
  8. It’s a great time-saver
  9. Watch out for hallucinations especially with regard to citing sources
Rate ChatGPT/AI (for those who have used it) on a scale of 1 ( not useful at all) to 4 (very useful)
  1. 4 – as technology improved, output will be strengthened
  2. 2.5 – good if you know what you are talking about and asking it to generate
  3. Worries:
    1. It will reinforce problems and untruths
    2. It’s like Wikipedia
    3. Fear associated with new technology (akin to calculators when they were first introduced)
    4. Needs to be seen as a tool
    5. Need to find a way to teach it and teach with it
    6. It’s not going to replace people, but the user can use it to change the validity of information based on input
    7. It’s just another way that kids are exposed to information — they no longer have to memorize facts because the facts are readily available
    8. People need to learn how to pose accurate (and precise) questions
    9. How will it be applied to other parts of life when the user doesn’t just need a catalog of facts?
    10. Teachers are familiar with the common mistakes that kids make when writing papers. A ChatGPT-generated paper will not have the expected grammatical errors
    11. It’s akin to using calculators in HS: kids enter the formula to get an answer but don’t need to understand how the formula works
    12. In the future, the emphasis will need to be on asking questions and evaluation sources; AI can’t determine if a source is good to not
    13. The institution of education must change to accommodate AI

 

Chess in Education – US will continue to follow the evolution of AI in education and its potential for chess in education.

 

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