Chess News
Chess in Schools – Australia
Friday, 23 December 2011 20:35

Graeme Gardiner ( has, at our request, sent us an overview of Chess in Schools ‘Down Under’. Zone President Brian Jones provided some additional links.

aus_chessactivityIn Australia, it appears to me that the governing body, the Australian Chess Federation, is happy to administer chess in Australia, and also happy to leave the development of chess to the commercial organisations. Historically, chess in schools in Australia was largely dependent upon the odd volunteer parent or teacher. A school might have a great programme for a period whilst the volunteer was involved, but as soon as they went, the programme invariably collapsed. Since 1995 a whole group of commercial organizations have evolved. As commercial organisations have a vested interest, chess in schools is going to continue to grow well into the future.

There is some sign that the Australian Chess Federation, through its state affiliates, is able to benefit to some degree through working with the commercial organisations. The Australian Chess Federation has an official inter-schools competition, with each state holding a series of regional competitions, state finals, each providing a state winner to compete at the national finals. Some commercial organisations like to compete with this and hold their own comps, and others pay a licence fee for the right to run the official qualifying competitions.

Around Australia there are approximately 10,000 schools, and in the main population areas I suspect that there is a similar level of market penetration. I suspect that there is some kids of regular chess coaching programme in around 600-1,000 schools in Australia. In Queensland there are approximately 2,000 schools, and Gardiner Chess provide ongoing chess coaching services each week in around 120 of them.

Mikhail Gorbachev, Patron of FIDE Chess in School
Tuesday, 06 December 2011 08:21

Dear friends!

Today I am living through two events which happen in my life for the first time.

This is my first time in Albania. I am grateful for the invitation to visit this country and for the hospitality from the leadership of Albania.

This is also the first time for me to attend a top chess competition. I should confess that it is long time since I have been at a chess board. When I was young, I used to like this game, but then politics has not left any space for other things, chess included.

Andorra 2011
Saturday, 26 November 2011 12:04
andorra_logoOur thanks to Joan Andoni Obregon Gutierrez for sending us the report on the evolution of chess in Andorran schools during 2011 and the prospects for 2012.

You can find the complete report in our Reports section here. However, we should draw your attention to certain points, some interesting, some potentially important for you.

The Andorra project began in 1987 and employs two full-time chess teachers. Since 2007-2008, there has been a clarification of chess instruction during school hours (Ministry of Education) and after school hours (Ministry of Sport). The current split is about 70-80% during school hours. The detail in the report is potentially important for those working in countries where both Ministries are involved.

The world of chess in schools is on fire
Saturday, 26 November 2011 12:00
The chess in schools snowball is rolling. It is getting bigger by the day. Over the next week, we will be adding news of developments in (at least) Andorra, Australia, Belize, India, Kazakhstan, Laos, Nepal, Paraguay, Peru, South Africa and Uruguay, not to mention bringing you up to date with the CIS100 projects in Slovakia and Slovenia.
2nd George Koltanowski Memorial Conference - Chess and Education - Dallas
Saturday, 19 November 2011 14:06
2011_koltanowski-brochure-front_coverToday is the second and concluding day of this Conference. Yesterday, CIS members Margaret Murphy (USVI) and Professor Charles Moura Netto (BRA) gave presentations on Simultaneous Teaching of Teachers and Students, and Chess that Brings Freedom, respectively. Prof. Netto's talk elaborated on the video we presented here.

This afternoon, I will be presenting the 'Turkish Delight' and how that led to the development of FIDE Student Membership and the CIS100 Projects. You may download my two part presentation, including illustrations (Turkey - World ) or read the text (without the illustrations) below.

There have been many interesting presentations. Some were given in parallel, so I have not seen and heard them all, but I have been especially impressed by Damian Nash (How to Make Chess More Appealing to Schools and Educators), Dr Stephen Lipschultz (Brain Function and Cognitive Processes in at-risk Children), Dr Alexey Root (extracts from her forthcoming book Thinking with Chess: Teaching Children Ages 5-14), a most entertaining talk by David MacEnulty.

Perhaps the single most important presentation was that by Dr Teresa Parr. She spoke about her current research project Exploring Why Chess Works. This is a large-scale (300 children) and long-term (2-3 years) carefully implemented study with proper control groups. The research is funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. The funding is a massive USD 1,049,094!!

All (or most) of these articles should appear on the Conference web site soon.

Kevin O'Connell, Executive Secretary, FIDE Chess in Schools Commission

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