More and more chess federations have successfully introduced chess in school programmes during the last years. The key has been to use chess as a pedagogic tool that develops important skills in the children. The question is, what is the best way in this environment? It is to use the appeal of the game’s social side.
Jesper Hall narrates the Swedish success story ”Schack4an”, tells of its driving force, Göran Malmsten, and about the attempt to create a Swedish culture of chess.
It all started with a conversation I had with Grandmaster Lars Karlsson about the future of chess. Over a couple of beers, we went back and forth over the possibilities of how the Swedish chess elite could make their money and how chess could gain higher status. In the end, we had reached the grain of truth, and Karlsson concluded:
“We have to create a culture of chess. We must get chess associated with something positive, and we must succeed so well that when anyone hears the word chess, the lips of this anyone should form a smile. From that moment on, chess can grow strong at all levels.”
What happened next was, surprisingly, not that we resigned and ordered a new beer, but that we realised that the perfect tool already existed in Sweden, “Schack4an”.
Chess is like a Camellia - Shenzhen Fuxin Primary School
This video is from a gigantic chess country, China! Camellias are native to Shenzhen in South China, where the Fuxin Primary School prepared this video about chess in their school, their neighbourhood, their city and their country.
But why is chess like a Camellia? The most famous member of the Camellia family is the tea plant and chess, like tea, has health benefits. Chess, as praticed in this school, notably introduces friendly parent-child competition and serves to promote social harmony in the neighbourhood. [that is just the view of a Westerner after watching this 10mn video]
The FIDE President promoted the Chess in Schools programme in four countries during May:
Abuja, Nigeria Kirsan Ilyumzhinov met with Mr. Asishana Okauru, General Director of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF). Kirsan said: "In my opinion, along with economic problems and poverty reduction in Africa, no less important attention should be paid to the programmes developing children's intelligence. The inclusion of chess into the school curriculum will certainly have a positive and lasting effect." Following the meeting, the leaders signed a Memorandum of Understanding, under which FIDE and NGF will hold a preparatory event for the signing of the Agreement to promote chess in all 36 provinces of Nigeria. The Agreement should be signed in July.
Kiev, Ukraine Kirsan met NOC President (& IOC member) Sergey Bubka and Viktor Kapustin (President of Ukraine Chess Federation). Particular attention during the meeting was given to the Chess in Schools programme.
Chess is like a globe by WIM Alexey Root, Ph.D. (Empowering educators and librarians to use chess to teach academic subjects without relying on outside chess experts)
As an author with ABC-CLIO, I work at my publisher’s booth at conferences for educators and librarians. To attract customers, I used to ask conference attendees, “Are you interested in chess?” My question got responses ranging from “no” to scared expressions to walking away. Most educators and librarians are not tournament chess players. Chess may even intimidate them. Therefore, I changed my question to, “Are your students or library patrons interested in chess?” Educators and librarians said yes, and many bought my books.
I think my discovery is more than a sales trick. Educators and librarians are the most qualified people to interact with their students and patrons. That is, in the United States, educators and librarians earn certifications before being put in charge of classrooms and libraries. Outside chess experts may not have those certifications. My books enable educators and librarians to use chess to teach academic subjects without relying on outside chess experts.
Italian National Scholastic Team Championship set a new record on 2011!
(Video of Spoleto)
The qualified teams from each region came together to the big final held from May 12-15 in the beautiful city of Spoleto and attracted 1480 players representing 286 different teams from schools all over Italy. The event was held in the Palatenda and visitors had the chance to tour around one of the most beautiful cities of " Umbria". Spoleto has many attractions like il Duomo , Ponte delle Torri ,Teatro Lirico, Rocca Albornoziana and more ! (Report by Martha Fierro, some comments by Ali Nihat YAZICI)