2ая конференция памяти Георгия Колтановского - шахматы и образование - Даллас
19.11.2011 14:06
2011_koltanowski-brochure-front_coverСегодня состоялся второй и заключительный день конференции. Наканцне член проекта "шахматы в школах" Маргарет Мерфи (USVI) и профессор Чарльз Мур Нетто (BRA) выступили с докладами по синхронному обучению преподавателей и студентов, и докладом под названием  «Шахматы, которые приносят свободу», соответственно. Доклад профессора Нетто можно посмотреть на видео, которое мы представили здесь.

Во второй половине дня, я буду выступать с докладом "Турецкие сладости", о том, как мы пришли  к развитию Студенческого Членства ФИДЕ  и проектов CIS100. Вы можете скачать обе части моей презентации, включая иллюстрации (Turkey - World ) или прочитать текст (без иллюстраций) ниже.

На конференции было много интересных презентаций. Некоторые из них проходидли параллельно, так что я не видел и не слышал их все, но я был особенно впечатлен докладом Дамиана Нэша (Как сделать шахматы более привлекательным для школ и учителей), Д-ра Стивен Липшульца (Функция мозга и когнитивные процессы у детей группы риска), Д-ра Алексея Рута (выдержки из его будущей книги «Мышление с помощью шахмат: обучение детей 5-14 лет), самым  зрелищным докладом Дэвида МакЭналти.

Возможно, одной из самых значимых была презентация Д-р Терезы Парр. Она рассказала о своем текущем проекте исследования «Почему шахматы работают». Это крупное (300 детей) и долгосрочное (2-3 года) тщательно реализованое исследование с надлежащими контрольными группами. Исследование финансируется Институтом педагогических наук, Министерства образования США. Финансирование огромное - выделено 1,049,094 долларов США!

Все (или большинство) из этих статей должно появиться на веб-сайте конференции в ближайшее время.

Кевин О'Коннелл, Исполнительный секретарь Комиссии ФИДЕ по шахматам в школах.


dallas_turkey_slide1I first met Ali Nihat Yazici at the Istanbul Olympiad in 2000. The Olympiad closing ceremony was on 12 November. Eight days later he was elected President of the Turkish Chess Federation (TSF), a post he has held ever since, being re-elected in 2004 & 2008.  He acquired a small federation of about 300 members and a budget to match.

It does not surprise me that he has been successful. I had been impressed by the immense energy and organizational ability that he demonstrated during that Chess Olympiad. I recall one occasion when he and I were the last people still working late at night one evening during the event, a rare occurrence for me, but an everyday event for him.

By 2002, Ali and his small team succeeded in growing TSF membership more than 20-fold! Then he got an appointment to meet the Minister of Education. He told the Minister that the TSF wanted to make chess an elective course in all primary schools. The Minister asked “Why?” and Ali replied that it was because they wanted  Kasparovs and Karpovs to emerge from Turkish schools. The Minister’s response was: “Go to the Sports Ministry!” Everyone makes mistakes. The clever thing is to learn from them.

Three years passed. The TSF was apparently developing nicely, more than trebling membership again to 24,000. A new Minister, a retired Associate Professor, Dr. Hüseyin Celik, had arrived at the Ministry of Education in 2003. In 2005, Ali fluked a meeting with him and told the man, just like his predecessor, that he wanted to make chess an elective course in all primary schools. He got the same initial response: “Why?” Chess players rarely repeat losing variations, and Ali had done his homework on a new variation, telling this Minister that it was because he wanted Turkish children to become more intelligent.

The opening was followed up with a strong middlegame plan. Ali gave him a short brief, explaining the educational and social benefits of chess and how all this could be achieved. Even so, the position did not look promising and Ali thought there was little or no chance that the Minister would get back to him BUT …

Next morning at 08:00, Ali's mobile rang - it was the Minister "I want to see you in my office." At this meeting, the Minister joked that, as a politician he did not necessarily want a more intelligent electorate, but said that if the details in the brief were correct (and his staff were checking them), then we have to start this project. The Ministry was so keen,  they wanted to make chess a compulsory part of the curriculum. The TSF refused.  For a start, it was simply not practical instantly to train up 100,000 teachers or more to cater for  70,000 primary schools and 16,000,000 children. Second, and most important, was the idea that chess should be fun for the kids, something they choose to do and that the project would be more successful if chess was an elective subject.

The official protocol was signed on the 2nd of June. The project went full steam ahead immediately; it had to if they were to have a presence in classrooms at the beginning of the school year in the autumn.

Dr. Olgun Kulaç, a member of theTSF Education Committee, set to work writing three books; a first year class book, a follow-on class book and an accompanying teacher’s guide – more than 500 pages in all, and he had all of three months to do it, less the time needed for book design and printing!  FIDE Senior Trainer Mikhail Gurevich, undertook to train up 100 trainers who would then train the teachers. From the announcement, on the TSF web site on June 5, of that training course in Ankara, a mere 25 days elapsed until the 100 trainers were ready to be unleashed on the teachers in seminars held the length and breadth of the country.

There was no shortage of teacher applicants, all wanting to go on this training course, although they had to pay TRY 70 (about USD 40, €50) for the privilege. They have to get a TSF seminar certificate in order to teach chess in the schools. They knew that they would earn about TRY 80 (about USD 45, €60) a month by teaching chess two hours a week and it is possible for those earnings to reach almost TRY 150 per month. Here the Turkish experience enjoys a clear advantage compared with many other countries and from those teachers the TSF earns a lot of money, not least because each teacher pays a TRY 15 licence fee each year.The money is ploughed back into the “business” to build the future of the federation, which is a not-for-profit organization.

The 100 trainers taught groups of 30 or so teachers each week during the late summer. The schoolteachers are taught how to teach chess. Even though very few of them are chess players, it is quite easy; for a start, they already know how to teach! It does not matter that they are not strong players (or even not players at all), you don't have to be an Einstein to teach physics in school, especially in primary school.

By the time those courses were completed, at the end of September, some 10,000 teachers had been trained in time for the start of the academic year. That brought in some TRY 700,000 (about USD 400,000) to the coffers of the federation.

The training has continued apace, and there are now more than 50,000 certified teachers. Their licence fees, together with the fees from those attending the new seminars, amounts to well in excess of TRY 1million a year (some USD 600,000).

Of course, there are a lot of expenses. 30% of the seminar income covers the seminar expenses and trainer’s stipend. The rest goes to the federation.

With all those teachers trained, it was essential to have kids clamouring to be taught, so a one minute TV commercial was prepared. That was aired by the Public Broadcasting Service, starting in August 2005.

Just weeks later, that first batch of 10,000 teachers was introducing chess to more than half a million kids.

Those teachers are only part of the equation; they could not do much chess teaching without materials. The other core element is the provision of ‘chess classrooms’, consisting of a demonstration board, a bunch of boards and sets,  books for the children, and, of course, books for the teachers, with the answers inside! Initially, the federation provided a large quantity of these. Later, after a sponsor emerged, the sponsor took responsibility for these, installing 200 in 2007. 200 may not sound much, but the number doubled in 2008, and each subsequent year (although it’s running a bit behind this year – 2011). Also, those classrooms are used by multiple classes. [Some schools already had equipment.]

It should come as  no surprise that all this led to a huge growth in TSF membership.

Press coverage soon built up, averaging 15 column inches a day (almost 500 feet a year) with an enormous reach (detailed figures are commercially sensitive). By the end of the year, chess in schools was making its impact felt all over the country, so it was not really a miracle when a major sponsor appeared.

Here you can see the benefit of big numbers. It was those numbers that attracted Turkiye Is Bankasi (Bank of Turkey), the largest bank not only in Turkey, but in Eastern Europe and maybe in the Middle East. The bank approached the TSF - not the other way around! Half a million kids equals about three million people when you add in parents and grandparents, almost all of them consumers and voters. The kids themselves are all potentially future customers of the bank.

The first contact came in July of 2005, after the bank saw the news that chess was to be introduced to the curriculum. At first, they were interested to print the books, in return for including their advertising in them. However, that was not acceptable to the Education Ministry. As time went on, and the number of children involved began to be clear, so the bank was happy to print the books, 250,000 of them, as part of its social responsibility programme.   

The bank officially became the TSF’s sponsor on 23 December 2005. The following day, the bank announced that it was ending its sponsorship of Turkish football (soccer). Chess has gone on to become the biggest sport in Turkey, and the bank now sponsors the TSF to the tune of well over €1,000,000 (USD 1.5M). The bank is very happy with the arrangement and worked with the TSF on producing an annual TV advertisement, but in 2009, the TSF got a surprise … The bank produced this advertisement as a ‘surprise present’ for the federation.

That was the year that Spor A.S was founded. This limited company is 99.6% owned by the TSF, with the rest held by its senior management. The TSF itself can earn money from organizing chess events, from entry fees, memberships, seminars, licence fees, sponsorship, even selling its expertise and know-how in event organization (for example, providing an accreditation service to the organizers of a big bicycle rally), but it is not permitted to sell chess books and equipment. Nonetheless, the federation needs to purchase a lot of material, much of it for the school classrooms, but also for its members who “buy” the equipment with the points (like Air Miles) that they receive when they pay their membership dues (1 point for each TRY) or buy other services. Spor manufactures boards and sets, both for the TSF and for export, imports chess material that it does not manufacture and sells it on, as almost the sole supplier, to the TSF. The company is very definitely a for-profit organization and if, as anticipated, it makes a profit of USD 600-700,000 next year, then it will be floated on the Turkish stock exchange.

Chess in Schools has had a major impact in many countries around the world, but, so far, Turkey is the only one where the synergy between the development of chess among a country’s youth, and the growth of a genuine chess ‘industry’ has been demonstrated. Although the contributing factors do not all exist in every country, none of them is unique to Turkey.  Naturally, there are problems in managing all this, but these are nice problems to have.

The Ministry wants to see EVERY school with a chess classroom and there is a strong demand from schools. Teachers are applying at the rate of 30-60 per day. A cycle of renovation of the existing chess classrooms has begun. This is a project without end.

Many FIDE events are held in Russia; some say too many. But it is no coincidence that Russia is almost alone as a country that has built both an audience and a vault of potential sponsors. Practically all the leading businessmen know about chess, they can play the game, they were brought up with it. Turkey has begun to build in the same way. In 30-40 years, all the top politicians, businessmen and academics will know about chess, as will most of the population, and their children will be learning chess in the schools. Even if chess never becomes a popular TV sport, there will be a huge audience for other media. Other countries are beginning to follow suit. We are generating our own audience and our own future sponsors.

The project has no end and it continues to evolve. The TSF now has more than 200,000 active members, 80% of them kids. The conversion process from school classroom to TSF membership has been 8-10%. You will hear about the ideas inspired by Turkish developments in the second half of my talk, but I will mention now that they have come full circle and the TSF is about to launch a new promotion, based on our latest ideas, with posters going out to every one of the 100,000 schools in Turkey, in the firm belief that this will boost the conversion rate to something in the range 20-30%.


dallas_world_slide1At the FIDE Congress during the Khanty-Mansiysk Olympiad in late 2010, Ali Nihat Yazici asked me to be the Secretary of his Chess in Schools Commission. I was pleased to accept, even though there was no remuneration on offer, just  the honour of the appointment.

We had already had several discussions about chess in schools during his campaign for the Presidency of the European Chess Union. We now started to put flesh on those discussions, especially during the Women’s World Championship in December 2010, when we spent a few days together in Antakya (Antioch). There we drafted a preliminary road map for FIDE Student Membership and the CIS100 model.

We believe that this combination can be successful irrespective of whether or not a national education ministry can be persuaded to introduce chess to the curriculum.

Having ministry support is clearly preferable and FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has been making the rounds, endeavouring to persuade as many Ministers as possible. These visits have included Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Faroe Islands, Hungary, India, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Myanmar, Nigeria, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, UAE, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. In addition he received the President of Mongolia in Elista and also went to UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

CIS is Chess in Schools.

  • a social Project.

CIS is Chess Investing in Society.

  • focusing on helping forge a better, healthier, more intelligent society and helping to integrate minorities of all kinds into the community, rather than creating Grandmasters.

All stakeholders will benefit:

  • Individuals – chess gives the young a learning tool for life and has clear health benefits.
  • Federations – gain primarily from an increase in numbers and cash-flow.
  • Governments – stand to gain greatly:
  1. education – more intelligent generations, better adapted for a knowledge-based society;
  2. social services – reduction of social problems in schools and society in general;
  3. health – all sport has some health benefit but emerging evidence shows chess to be a powerful antidote to Alzheimer's and prevention is both better and cheaper than cure.
  • FIDE – greater worldwide presence and an increase in the number of  federations growing to professional status, with a permanent office and full time staff.
  • sponsors – chess has an excellent corporate image with powerful associations of intelligence and sophistication, an extremely rich heritage and interesting connections with art, music and science, but currently lacks a sufficiently broad base to excite global sponsors.


The same as for individual federations but on a global scale:

  • popularize and spread chess throughout the world.
  • create global heroes to promote chess to sponsors and the media worldwide.

FIDE has introduced student membership, the better to work with and for national federations. For the first time, national federations will receive cash from FIDE, a positive step towards the long-term objective of funding them. For FIFA (world body for soccer) it is easy because of their huge income from the sale of TV rights. Regrettably, there is no such interest in the rights for broadcasting chess events. FIFA invests about 98% of its annual income in its federations and soccer development worldwide - more than USD 1,000,000,000 a year. We may never reach that figure, but if we do reach our target of a billion chess players on the planet, then we would only need $1 a head to match that!

The main features of FIDE student membership:

  • open to all and free of charge, including basic membership card.
  • FIDE Premium student membership costs €10.
  • promoted through CIS programmes, aiming to maximize individual involvement in and commitment to chess.
  • benefits both for the individuals and their federations.

The principal benefit of premium membership is the Premium pack:

  • FIDE Premium student membership card.
  • FIDE Rating – members are given an initial rating according to age.

  • FIDE/CIS Textbook (in most cases).   
  • FUTURE:  FIDE s-miles – all fees paid resulting in “reward points” which will be exchangeable for products in FIDE's own shop, shops of national federations and other commercial organizations. Projected start date 2013.

How federations benefit:

  • Federations benefit from cash flow directly from FIDE.
  • All national federations receive a royalty on the fees received from FIDE student members resident in their territory.
  • National federations that do not themselves have individual membership will benefit from many more student memberships than would be the case if those children could only gain a membership by joining a club. It may seem strange to you, but in many countries, federations, including some very important ones like France and Greece, are not permitted to accept individual members.
  • Federations that do have their own individual membership schemes can benefit from an increase in numbers, especially since it is anticipated that many children (and their parents) will wish to enjoy the benefits of FIDE membership in conjunction with that of their national federation.

Individual student membership opens up additional strategic possibilities for the implementation of CIS programmes:

  • FIDE providing seed finance for national federations to run their own CIS programmes.
  • FIDE operating directly with governments and ministries of education, generally in those countries where the federation lacks the resources to do this for themselves, but also possibly in the case of larger federations, always, of course, with the consent of the national federation concerned.

FIDE & Federations – Working in Harmony

“FIDE and Federations Working in Harmony” is the motto, and the creation of a FIDE student membership greatly increases the possibilities for FIDE to help individual federations. Above all, it is a step towards FIDE providing funding to federations.

Just as national federations help their own subsidiary organizations (clubs, leagues and regions), so FIDE will help national federations with this win-win model. No matter how large the national federation, FIDE, as a world governing body, and a large one at that, has more clout. FIDE now has 175 member federations, far more than WBF (Bridge) 119, and catching up on the UN (193), IOC (205), FIFA (208) and IAAF (212). That clout can make itself felt, for example, in enlisting support and acquiring patrons. Perhaps you recognize the new patron of FIDE CIS?

There has been a disconnect between players and FIDE, with individuals and even national federations asking “What has FIDE done for us?” Student membership answers this in several ways:

  • first, by creating a direct relationship between individuals and FIDE.
  • second, by passing extra funds to federations, paying them a “royalty” on individual student members' fees.
  • third, it will enable smaller national federations, those without the resources to staff an office, or with insufficient members to justify commercial activities such as sale of boards, sets, clocks, books and so on, to receive financial benefit from orders placed with third party providers.

FIDE student membership fees are shared between FIDE and the national federation of the individual member. The share will vary. Federations with the resources to operate their own CIS programmes and their own commercial operations will receive the lion's share. Smaller federations, without such resources, and for which FIDE will be responsible for some or all of such programmes and operations, will receive a smaller share of the proceeds. Thus there will be a sliding scale of help and the apportionment of funds will be on a matching sliding scale.

This creates a model with three basic “suit styles” that can be tailored to fit any federation great or small:

  • Large federations, with their own commercial activities and extensive resources will enjoy some additional benefits of scale, especially if they do not have individual membership.
  • Medium federations, without sufficient resources to move up to the next step, will achieve that growth in harmonious partnership with FIDE.
  • Small federations will, in some ways, benefit most. FIDE's direct activity will gradually grow the resources necessary for those federations to move up to the next stage. A FIDE operated CIS programme should yield sufficient funds to offset all FIDE fees, cover the costs of a federation's Olympic participation and fund that federation’s organization.

Pilot projects of the ‘franchise’ model are running in Slovakia (82 schools, building up to 100) and Slovenia (104 schools). National federations are now being asked to submit project applications to the CIS commission, which will select the most appropriate ones and agree a detailed plan, with timeline,  for the second wave – we should be introducing a dozen or more in 2012.

FIDE, through CIS, provides investment funds for those projects in the form of interest-free loans. Investment in the future growth of those national federations and chess worldwide.

The CIS 100 model

A FIDE funded model for growing chess in schools by 100 schools a year in selected countries. This means a huge increase in numbers, for example …

100 schools = 100+ classes = 3.000+ kids

200 schools = 300+ classes (100+ from first year, now in their 2nd) & 200+ new classes (100+) in the ‘original’ schools and 100+ in the ‘new’ ones = 9,000 kids.

3rd year : 100 schools with 3 classes, 100 schools with two classes and 100 schools with one class (and there can be more). = 300 schools = 600 classes = 18,000 kids.

Specific steps national federations should follow:

  • If so desired, create a basic free version of “child member” or “junior member”, assuming it is permitted (cf France & Greece above).
  • get chess into schools, preferably with the support of the education ministry as part of the curriculum. Without ministry support and not being in the curriculum, the task is much harder, but not impossible.
  • train the trainers needed to train the teachers – each trainer can train 35 teachers in a seminar of 3-5 days. Thus a single trainer is sufficient for a CIS100 project.

For example, in Slovenia, three one day seminars were held in three different cities on consecutive Saturdays in September to train the 104 teachers (43 Celje, 15 Postojna, 46 Ljubljana).

  • train the teachers – each teacher can be expected to teach chess to 20-200 children each year (1-5 sessions each week for 28-32 weeks).
  • annual output of 100 teachers – 2000-20000 chess-playing children.
  • many of those can be attracted as Student Members for three to five years. We recognize that almost all countries face a problem of students dropping out of chess when they move from elementary into secondary education.

Federations signing up to promote Student Membership get both rights and obligations:

  • Their own entrance portal to the premium web site (, adapted to their main language and to the needs of their federation. They provide all necessary translations for materials provided.
  • They decide what benefit(s) they will provide their Student Members with. That is in addition to the standard elements:
  1. plastic ID card
  2. welcome letter
  3. FIDE Student Rating
  4. weekly newsletter of instruction and tips.
  • Advertise Student Membership wherever possible: on the federation web site, in their magazine(s), at their tournaments and, if possible, directly in the schools. We provide them with poster material (they just need to provide a translation). We send them a master copy, so that they end up with a locally branded product.


The web sites ( & should be live early next week.

Another thing to look forward to is the big Chess in Schools conference in Istanbul next April.

In the meantime, follow what is happening on the CIS web site –




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