The game of chess might have a rather elite
image but that could be about to change.
Nearly £700,000 has recently been set aside to introduce
chess to city schoolchildren who would otherwise probably
never experience it. Richard Payne has visited a school in
Bristol where chess is a popular part of the curriculum.
Louise Ellman MP visited
Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School
On Friday April 26th, Louise Ellman
MP visited Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School in
Liverpool which is in her constituency to present the
chess team with prizes in honour of their performance at
the National Schools Under 11 Girls Championships.
Louise Ellman MP for Liverpool Riverside
CSC tutor John Gorman, CSC
Chief Executive Malcolm Pein (right) and the
Heart's Under 11 Girls' team
scored spectacularly well
against pupils from fee paying
schools with a long standing
chess tradition, beating the
teams from King's Chester and
Bolton School. Sacred Heart A
would have qualified for the
national final but lost to their
own B team!
Mrs Ellman also awarded the prizes to
the winners of the Delancey UK Chess Challenge
competitions held within the school and these winners
will be going forward to the Mega Final.
CSC Chief Executive Malcolm Pein
congratulated the team and thanked the Head Teacher
Charles Daniels for agreeing to host the next
CSC Training Course. Malcolm also expressed his
appreciation for the work done by chess tutor John
Gorman which has been inspirational.
Sacred Heart is one of 193 schools
across England and Wales with a Chess in Schools and
Communities programme, meaning that they are taught
chess as part of the curriculum for one hour every week.
All chess equipment, books, teaching aids and software
are provided by Chess in Schools and Communities.
Alice Through The Looking
Glass: Chess for Children at Fortnum & Mason
All summer long, Alice Through The
Looking Glass will be found at Fortnum’s.
At the heart of the celebration is
the original Tenniel-inspired chess board, with replicas
for sale. Join chess impresario Jason Kouchak and the
wizard actors and actresses from the Iris Theatre Group
11th May between 12noon and 4.00pm and enjoy
the fiendishly clever game and its interpretation in
Alice Through the Looking Glass.
Every half hour, Jason will take a
new group of youngsters through the elements of chess,
and the thespians will give readings from the children’s
classic. It’s the most fun way for children to be
introduced to chess, and to the benefits they derive
from taking up this glorious game. Profits from the
afternoon will go to Chess in Schools and Communities.
A visit from BBC Radio 4 made to Ravenscroft
Primary School in Newham reveals how the
children are enjoying their chess. Head
Teacher Alison Sharp explains some of the
benefits of chess. Malcolm Pein, CSC Chief
Executive went along too.
(Runtime: 4 mins 40 secs).
Pupils to be given chess
lessons in school standards drive
Thousands of pupils from inner-city primary schools will be
given lessons in chess amid claims that the game can boost
children’s concentration levels and numeracy skills, it was
Graeme Paton | 20
Some 6,000 children will receive
specially-structured classes as part of a £700,000
taxpayer-funded programme designed to raise standards in
poor areas, it emerged.
The scheme will target 10-year-olds
in 100 schools to test the impact that chess has on
pupils’ abilities across a range of academic
Experts believe that the game – which
is already part of the curriculum in some other
countries – can dramatically improve pupils’ levels of
concentration, boost problem-solving skills and develop
their thought processes.
Chess in Schools and Communities launches first
Chess in Schools and the
Communities (CSC), a UK registered charity
and Newham Borough Council are working
together with East Village in an innovative
project to deliver chess to all 64 primary
schools in Newham and teach 20,000 children
to play the world's most enduring game.
The 'Urban Chess' program was
launched on 13th March. East Village
celebrated its sponsorship of CSC, by welcoming
local schools to Stratford Library for a fun and
educational morning of chess games and classes on a
giant board - led by British Champion Grandmaster
The Urban Chess funding from East
Village will bring chess sets and lessons to 14
Newham schools, with the aim of expanding to all 64
primary schools in the borough by 2015, so that
every local child can learn how to play the world's
most enduring game.
As well as promoting chess in
schools, the partnership will develop chess clubs
and lessons in libraries, and hopes to set up a
chess festival and provide giant chess sets in the
borough's parks, if there is a significant take up
of the scheme. The borough's first chess club will
open to the community from Thursday 14 March in
Battlelines: Clockwise from left, chess coach
Peter Mant, Catlin Grant (8), Nicole
Oduah (9), Febishola Akinde (9), Nicollette
Oduah (9), and Teslim Kolapo (9).
primary-aged children in Southward are
taking advantage of a year-long drive to
teach them chess.
The ancient pastime has
traditionally been seen as a "posh" game
played by knights and kings with playing
pieces including, er, knights and kings, but
now children in one of the country's most
disadvantaged boroughs are learning it too.
Susie Hunanyan, 7, takes on a chess opponent
in class in
Armenia's capital Yerevan [Felix Gaedtke/Al
Small Caucasus country is the first in
the world to make chess mandatory in schools, aiming to
build a better society.
Yerevan, Armenia - Little Susie
Hunanyan attended her favourite class in school last week,
and it wasn't drawing, crafts or sport. The seven-year-old
sat studiously through an hour of chess lessons.
In Armenia, learning to play the grand
game of strategy in school is mandatory for children - the
only country in the world that makes chess compulsory - and
the initiative has paid dividends. Armenia, a Caucasus
country with a population of just three million, is a chess
The Hungarian Institute for Educational
Research and Development has made Judit Polgar’s
”Skill-building Chess” subject available for elementary
schools from September 2013.
The Judit Polgar Chess Foundation for
Educational Benefits has been working on the „Chess Palace”
program for more than a year.
Chess makes a
Chess is making a dramatic comeback
in primary schools – thirty years after it all but
disappeared completely from the state school scene.
In the past two years, a total of 175
schools – including those serving some of the most
deprived areas of the country – have reintroduced the
game to the curriculum.
Now the charity behind its revival,
Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC), is optimistic
the take-up will spread to 1,000 state schools within
the next three years.
Academics are agreed the game is a
major stimulant for improving pupils’ concentration and
believe it can also be used in other subject areas –
such as maths – to improve skills. Read
CSC at the London Chess Classic
The 4th London Chess Classic 2012 took
place at Olympia in London recently. Hundreds of school children from around
the UK arrived daily for free chess lessons,
tournaments and the opportunity to see the world number one
Magnus Carlsen, former world champion Vladimir Kramnik and
current world champion Vishy Anand. Many other side events
took place too including a festival of chess tournaments.
London Classic ran from December 1st to 10th.
Schools are reintroducing chess
lessons in an attempt to boost children’s brainpower.
Three decades after it was virtually wiped out in state
schools, the game is making a dramatic comeback.
In just two years, 175 primary
schools across England and Wales have introduced formal
teaching in chess. It follows research suggesting the
‘game of kings’ brings a range of educational benefits
including improved concentration and memory. The charity
spearheading the revival, Chess in Schools and
Communities CSC, said its aim was to expose as many
children as possible to the benefits of the game. Read
Free Chess for Children at the London Chess
The 4th London Chess Classic 2012 again offered free admission to children for the duration of
the event which ran from December 1st to 10th.
Adult and junior ticket holders received
admission to the tournament, which was staged at
London's prestigious Olympia Conference Centre, plus a
guaranteed seat in the
auditorium and access to the Commentary Room where some
of the UK's leading Grandmasters gave insights into the
play and answer questions.
field was absolutely stellar, with
world number one Magnus Carlsen, the winner of the first two
London Chess Classic tournaments trying to unseat the 13th
world champion Vladimir Kramnik who won in 2011. The world
champion Vishy Anand has yet to take the London Chess
Classic title and having retained the world crown earlier
this year, was looking to add the LCC to his long
list of tournament victories.
First EU municipality introduces chess as school subject
ECU President, Silvio Danailov,
opens the first school chess
year in Slivnitsa.
31.10.12 - Bulgaria has become the first
European Union country to introduce chess as part of the
formal school curriculum, the European Chess Union has
announced. ECU and national federation president Silvio
Danailov and local education officials were in the Bulgarian
municipality of Slivitsa on 26 October for the formal
opening of a new term which will feature chess on the
curriculum for the first time, in accordance with the
continental chess federation’s Chess in Schools initiative.
Eighty of the 240 children at the St
Cyril and Methodius School in Slivitsa have chosen chess as
a subject, which means that they will be the first students
from the European Union to be formally assessed in chess in
this academic year.
Part of the Chess in Schools and
Communities mission is to encourage
schools wishing to become part of our
scheme to incorporate chess lessons into
curriculum time as this produces the
There are many places around the
world where chess within the environs of
the classroom is a reality and seen as a
way to aid the academic performances of
One such being the SYNA
International School of Katni, northern
India, where chess is taught as a
compulsory subject, just like math,
geography, history and English.
There’s a large pictorial report on
ChessBase on the SYNA International
School and their endeavours.
Click here to read it.
Pein at the Palace
Pein, the CEO of the
British charity Chess in
Schools and Communities,
received the Royal seal
of approval earlier this
week at St James’s
was presented with the
‘highly commended’ award
by HRH Prince Edward the
Earl of Wessex during
the Sport and Recreation
Sport and Recreation
awards ceremony. Congratulations!
MEP to visit Colston’s Primary School
15th June 2012
Lib Dem Member of the European Parliament
Sir Graham Watson will visit Colston’s Primary School,
Cotham this Friday to take part in a chess in schools
Graham will take on students in a game of
chess in addition to discussing with teachers how they
incorporate games into the curriculum. The visit follows the
launch of chess Grandmaster Gary Kasparov’s foundation at
the European Parliament earlier in the Spring to encourage
more students to play chess in school.
The event is organised by Chess in
Schools and Communities who organise chess tournaments and
events in schools to promote the game.
Schools and Communities is delighted to
announce that one of our coaches,
has recently won a Vodafone World of
He was one of
500 winners chosen out of 8,000 applications
in a national competition organised by the
Vodafone Foundation. His part-time paid
placement will last for four months (March
to June 2012) and he will be working on our
relations with other charitable and
voluntary bodies on teaching in some of our
West London partner schools, and on new
fund-raising ideas for our organisation.
In the next few
months, Chess in Schools and Communities
will be seeking to initiate partnerships
with like-minded bodies who are also seeking
to improve educational outcomes, and foster
social development amongst disadvantaged
children through extra-curricula activities
such as art, music, drama and physical
If this is an
idea that might interest you or your
organisation, Clive can be contacted
directly at .
Strasbourg Visit Report
working with the Kasparov Chess Foundation
Europe and European Chess Union (ECU) on a
political campaign to garner support for
chess to be introduced to schools
Pein, CEO of CSC and Rudi
Valcke, chess teacher (BE)
benefits of chess during the Chess in
School seminar at
the EU (on the
left Garry Kasparov)
This was sponsored by 5 MEPS from the UK, Finland,
Italy, Bulgaria and Malta.
declarations need the support of half of all
MEPs before they can go before the
European Commission for consideration and
For the last 6
months Garry Kasparov and his team, aided by the
office of Bulgarian MEP Slavi Binev have been
working tirelessly to secure the signatures of 380
MEPs. I am delighted to report that to date 377
signatures have been received!
Thanks to all those associated with CSC who wrote to
First birthday reception for the charity
Chess in Schools and Communities
18 October 2011
Rachel Reeves MP, Member of Parliament for Leeds West,
hosted our first birthday reception in the Jubilee Room
at Westminster on Tuesday. A huge thank you to Rachel
one of our schools in her constituency to give a
simultaneous display. Despite not having played
competitively for many years, she remains a very good
player and even Garry was impressed.
Children from Teesside, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool,
Swansea, Cardiff, Bristol, Barnet, Hackney, Newham and
Hammersmith and Fulham were accompanied by their
teachers and parents. Every child got the chance to take
on Nigel Short in a simultaneous display. Rachel spoke
about how learning chess at an early age had helped her.
CSC are also grateful to the 13th World Champion Garry
Kasparov who came to London and spoke at the event as
well as making many media appearances. Thanks also to
Nigel Short who played the children and a few MPs
without losing a game!
Grandmaster Jonathan Rowson and our Field Worker England
international Sabrina Chevannes, also made some moves.
There was an outstanding performance from Matteo Walls
of William Patten School in Hackney who nearly drew. I
played a few moves and came to his board to find the
position completely equal after about 30 moves – well
Rachel’s colleagues in the Labour Shadow Cabinet; Angela
and Maria Eagle also attended the event. They, like
Rachel, were strong junior players but in my home city