Reports | March 14, 2012 17:58

Chess in schools program endorsed by EU Parliament

Chess in schools program endorsed by EU Parliament

On March 13th, 2012 in Strasbourg the European Parliament endorsed the 'Chess in European schools' program, a cooperation between the European Chess Union (ECU) and the Kasparov Chess Foundation. This was reported by Boyko Hristov, press officer of the ECU.

The Written Declaration 50/2011 for the implementation of the chess in schools program among the schools in the European Union was signed by 392 MEPs - the needed number was 378 signatures – 50%+1 from the total number of 754 MEPs. Here is the text of the declaration:

0050/2011
Written declaration on the introduction of the programme ‘Chess in School’ in the educational systems of the European Union

The European Parliament,

– having regard to Articles 6 and 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

– having regard to Rule 123 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, in its Article 6, provides that sport is among the areas ‘where the Union shall have competences to carry out actions to support, coordinate or supplement the actions of the Member States’;

B. whereas chess is an accessible game for children from every social group and can help social cohesion and contribute to policy objectives such as social integration, combating discrimination, reducing crime rates and even the fight against various addictions;

C. whereas whatever the age of the child, chess can improve children’s concentration, patience and persistence and can develop the sense of creativity, intuition, memory, and analytic and decision-making skills; whereas chess also teaches determination, motivation and sportsmanship;

1. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to encourage the introduction of the programme ‘Chess in School’ in the educational systems of the Member States;

2. Calls on the Commission, in its forthcoming communication on sport, to pay the necessary attention to the program ‘Chess in School’ and to ensure sufficient funding for it from 2012 onwards;

3. Calls on the Commission to take into consideration the results of any studies on the effects of this programme on children’s development;

4. Instructs its President to forward this declaration, together with the names of the signatories, to the Commission and to the Parliaments of the Member States.

Last month, during the first session in the Strasbourg parliament, already 369 MPs signatures were gained. This week the needed number 378 was passed easily, and the number of gained signatures at the end of the session is expected to be even higher. This is a clear indication of the recognition of MEPs across Europe of the benefits that chess can bring to children.

Having received the required number of signatures to be passed in the European Parliament, the Written Declaration will be officially communicated from the Parliament to the Commission and to the Parliament of each EU Member State together with the list of signatories.

This is a historical success for the European chess. The date of March 13th, 2012 will go down in chess history as the date when the game of chess wass moved on a higher level of recognition by the society – not just like sport, but also like a part of the education in the modern world.

– said Mr. Silvio Danailov, President of the European Chess Union.

The development and implementation of the program will be carried out as a joint project between the European Chess Union and Kasparov Chess Foundation Europe. All activities and events connected to the project “Chess in school” were held under the high patronage of the previous President of the European Parliament, prof. Jerzy Buzek and the MEP from Bulgaria, Mr. Slavi Binev, who is the main supporter of the project and who introduced the Written Declaration 50/2011.

Silvio Danailov, Slavi Binev and Garry Kasparov toasting on the success in Strasbourg

Editors's picture
Author: Editors
Chess.com

Comments

milane's picture

And what does it ACTUALLY mean? Will it be implemented in EVERY school in Europe? How will they fit it into their existing program? Should the students stay longer in school to learn chess? Who will teach them? Who will train the teachers? Who will support it? Who will pay for the training materials?

svej's picture
darkergreen's picture

Silvio Danailov and chess in schools! Like leaving chemistry lessons to the drug dealers!

Gavin's picture

I think that this is a great idea. I understand that there are lots of important subjects at school that might have to loose some time but mind games are also an important subject that does not get enough time. Also the way math is taught could (and frankly needs to) be improved this might be one way to help children learn to think in an analytic manner.
For young children there is enough other stuff that goes on at school (like choir, PE and art) that is of debatable importance that chess should fit in. For older children why not just have chess as an elective?

Chris Girardo's picture

I'm sure this is all very well and good, but does the Kasparov Chess Foundation really need to use such a picture of a position (in the link Written Declaration 50/2011 above) which clearly has an illegal position? I can't make out all of it, but certainly the White king on c1 can't be checked simultaneously by a Knight at d3 and a Rook at a1. I believe there was another problem with the position, which is on display at the North Shore Chess Center in Skokie, IL, but I don't remember what it was and can't really make it out.

Henk de Jager's picture

Whatever may come of this, it is good news for chess. I´m not so convinced myself of all the redeeming qualities that are attributed to chess in this resolution, but the Royal Game does deserve a permanent place in European culture and education, if only for the 5% or whatever percentage of children that are exposed to it will learn and profit and take up the game in a more serious fashion. I´m not sure either how binding this is for the European Commission, but hell it was close and we won. One of the first decisions however should be to axe Danailov and quaranteen him as far away as possible,or this project will be subjected to abuse, fraud, money laundering and whatever. It is painful to see how often Kasparov chooses the wrong friends in chess politics.

Henk de Jager's picture

And why is it that this Slavi Binev-dude does not inspire too much confidence either?

http://www.slavibinev.com/index.php?lang=en&cont=data&page=9

S3's picture

So three crooks and a corrupt organisation now want kids to waste valuable school time on a hobby-game. You'd think the EP has better things to do.

And what does "sufficient funding" mean?

Anthony's picture

Although it is pleasant to hear Chess gaining status, it is also an undeniable fact that the EU is looking more and more like SU every day.

Now they're even promoting Chess to prove their wonderful construct leads the world!

Csaba Gerencsér (Hungary, Veszprém)'s picture

This was a grandiose idea of Kasparov! Look at the manuscript (codex) of X Alphonso the Wise from the 13th century! There are visible that the Kings and Queens are teaching his children for chess. Our lateness is more as 700 years!

Rekthna's picture

e4 undengil c5 undalloooooo

Frits Fritschy's picture

This is more a declaration of how some people would like to see chess, then it has anything to do with reality.
Team sports are far better for social integration and combating discrimination, I would say. When playing chess you don't commit crimes, but the same is true of sleeping. Chess can be addictive itself, and I wonder whether the number of alcoholics in chess isn't higher than the average. There are many young players who concentrate on chess and not on their (other) school work, as maybe they should. Many chess players don't care about creativity too much, they just want to win. For the rest: is this based on any trustworthy, unbiased scientific investigation?

Why should chess be useful? As Tarrasch wrote: "Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make men happy". Isn't that enough?
(By the way, Siegbert forgot to mention that, like love, chess also has the ability to make men very unhappy...)

Barone (Italy)'s picture

Gee, what a flow! Face the reality of our times, guys!
All this obviously only means that each of the EU member states are encouraged to subscribe this Chess in Schools program.
Which, by EU standards and if EU itself will still exist when time will come, means that in 15 years from now possibly all EU states will have adopted this program.
Once tis happens, there will be a tiny insignificant amount of money given from each adehering state of the EU to some of the schools inside its borders.
Those schools will buy a couple of Chessboards and pay a less then significant course to some teachers (teachers too old to learn anything at all, but who will be given the title of Chess-Teachers) and program one hour a week or less in their lessons' time schedules in order to give poor students some more time to be bored to death and wonder why their parents are not rock stars or tv personalities.

Possibly there will be some exceptions to the model situation I just described, and somewhere some dedcated idealist group of teachers will grow and groom the new generations of Chess wonders, but anyone who has seen burocrats working knows they'll do whatever they can to minimize the chance for such a thing to happen.

Jens Kristiansen's picture

Baaaah! The photo shows three complete fools. Ok, it could be the bulgarian MEP is harmless when it comes to chess.
First: It is only a "declaration", meaning a kind of proposal to the EU-commision. They will quite likely ponder it over for some 5-6 years and the turn it down. You did´nt believe there were some kind of democracy in EU, did you?
Conclusion from that: Silvio and Garry have wasted a lot of time and efforts,for what? Ok, they have in some way promoted themselves.
Second (and more important): Chess is a wonderfull game and a great occupation for the passtime, also for kids. BUT...so are many other sports/games. To worship chess as something sublime to other other sports/games can only and will inevitably backfire. What our chess politicians should do, is of course working together with other organisations to improve the conditions for the passtime occupations for kids.
And, just for the record: I am an educated teacher and a chess adict since childhood.

Fernando's picture

Great news! I expect that other nations adopt chess in schools too.

BORIS ALEXIS ARIZA OSORIO  "aleselandfra"'s picture

CONGRATULATIONS TO MR Garry Kasparov, FOR APPROVAL OF A FEW OF THE PROJECTS FOR THE WORLD REPRESENTATIVE of world chess.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE E.U. FOR APPROVAL AS IMPORTANT PROJECT FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE
CHILD-WORLD EDUCATION
INCALCULABLE-BY IMPACT ON BEHALF OF THE EUROPEAN SOCIETY
-APPLY FOR UNDERSTANDING AND THAT MAKES A GREAT CHESS VAOR ADDED TO THE
-Moral
-A COGNITIVE PROCESS
-TO AUTODICIPLINA
-A CREATIVE
AND BENEFITS
-IN THE PROCESS OF LEARNING
-DEVELOPMENT OF INTELLIGENCE
CONCENTRATION-
-INCREASE IQ
LA HIPERPROCESIA.
ONCE AGAIN THE E.U. PROVING THAT IS MORE MATURE SOCIETY OF THE WORLD, AND greater social responsibility.

FELICIDADES AL SEÑOR GARRY KASPAROV, POR LA APROBACIÓN DE UNOS DE LOS PROYECTOS MÁS REPRESENTATIVO PARA EL MUNDO DEl AJEDREZ MUNDIAL.
FELICIDADES A LA E.U. POR LA APROBACIÓN DE TAN IMPORTANTE PROYECTO EN BENEFICIO DE LA
-EDUCACIÓN MUNDIAL INFANTIL
-POR EL INCALCULABLE IMPACTO EN BENEFICIO DE LA SOCIEDAD DE LA COMUNIDAD EUROPEA
-POR ENTENDER Y APLICAR QUE AJEDREZ OFRECE UN GRAN VAOR AGREGADO A LA
-MORAL
-A LOS PROCESOS COGNITIVOS
-A LA AUTODICIPLINA
-A LA CREATIVIDAD
Y VENTAJAS
-EN LOS PROCESOS DE APRENDIZAJE
-DESARROLLO DE LA INTELIGENCIA
-LA CONCENTRACIÓN
-AUMENTO DE COCIENTE INTELECTUAL
-LA HIPERPROCESIA.
UNA VEZ MÁS LA E.U. DEMOSTRANDO QUE ES LA SOCIEDAD MAS MADURA DEL MUNDO, Y DE MAYOR RESPONSABiliDAD SOCIAL.

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