Chess is such serious business in Eastern Europe that Armenia requires all kids starting at age 6 to play the game in school. The US should do the same, argues Alex Berezow at Pacific Standard. He likes the idea for all the reasons you'd imagine: The game sharpens young minds by teaching logic, memory, decision-making, and strategy. But Berezow likes it all the more because it also teaches kids about losing.
"In our culture, we hand out trophies to winners and losers—or neglect to keep score at all—out of some misguided, politically-correct notion that we should never hurt anyone’s feelings," he writes. The complicated and fascinating game of chess isn't set up for that. "Sometimes you lose. That’s an important lesson, and it should be taught at a young age." Click for the full column. (Read more chess stories.)