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Chess – a game to grow up with

World Conference on chess in schools, 25th – 27th February 2009, in Turin, Italy

The Role of Chess in the Development of Personality and Cognitive Capacities
Teaching Chess in schools: a comparison among different methods and Experiences

Torino, Italy, February 25-27, 2009

The conference was organized by Prof. Roberto Rivello, President of the Piedmont Committee of Italian Chess Federation, with the assistence of Alessandro Dominici (Savigliano Chess Club).

The participants of the International conference discussed the problem of proposing to the local Governments to include “Chess”, as a subject, in School Essential Program. It is supposed that chess can be a powerful tool for children, and many studies by scientific groups and researchers demonstrated it.

Torino 1

Tian Hongwei, the translator, Marley J. Kaplan, Uvencio Blanco

Experience has shown that bringing chess lessons in schools allows children to increase the level of logical reasoning, forces children make decision by themselves, develops ability to study and to make actions “in mind”. Finally these upsides increase children’ school educational progress in basic essential school program.

Chess as new educational subject is capable to make the quality of education grow up. The conference had the goal to make an up-to-date picture of teaching chess in school in the world. In Turkey and USA, for example, chess are taught to many children and there is the help of the governments.

Torino 2

Uvencio Blanco, Giovanna Pentenero, Roberto Rivello (chairman), Alì Nihat Yazici and Flavio Brugnoli

As far as Italy, where chess are considered a “sport” and included inside the National Sport Olympic Committee (in Italian: CONI), chess are also taught in the school but they are not in the essential programs of the morning. In any case about 200.000 children yearly follow the chess lessons. The request of learning chess in Italy is very high and sometimes the real problem is to find … the teachers!

The organizers received a very important message by the Italian Minister of Education, where you can read that Italian Government regards chess as higly instructive and character building and will encourage the spread of chess in school.

Torino 3

The world conference in Turin had a great success. People from all over the world come; we can mention chessplayers and teachers from many countries of Europe (Croatia, England, France, Germany, Russia, Slovenia), from USA, China, Egypt, Turkey, Venezuela: Ali Nihat Yazici (President of Turkish Chess Federation, FIDE Vice-President), prof. Uvencio Blanco H. (Chairman of the FIDE Committee on Chess in Schools), Mrs Marley J. Kaplan, President and chief executive officer “Chess in schools” New York, prof. Fernand Gobet (Professor of Cognitive Psychology and Director of the Centre for the Study of Expertise at Brunel University, West London), prof. Philippe Chassy (Researcher on Psychology – University of Toulouse), Tian Hongwei (Chinese Chess Federation), Gihan El Sahhar (Egypt Chess Federation).

Among the Italian speakers we have to mention the important scientific journalist Piero Angela (Italian Television RAI) one of the most famous in Italy – he is also a chess fan.

Article and photos by Adolivio Capece

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