Reports | February 17, 2012 11:23

Successful follow-up chess in schools project in EU Parliament

Successful follow-up chess in schools project in EU Parliament

The 'Chess in European Schools' project had a very successful follow-up on Thursday in the European Parliament. Almost the full needed number of MPs signatures (369 signatures – 50%+1 from the total number of 736 MPs) was gained during the session of the Parliament which was held on February 13-16, 2012 in Strasbourg, France. Just a few signatures are left for the next session in March. The joint project between the European Chess Union and the Kasparov Chess Foundation Europe was supported by the MPs from all parties represented in the European Parliament.

To promote the many educational benefits from the implementation of the chess as an obligatory subject in the European schools, the President of the European Chess Union Silvio Danailov and the legendary former World Champion Garry Kasparov had travelled to Strasbourg. They participated in seminars devoted to the program "Chess in European Schools" and had many meetings with European MPs. Garry Kasparov played a simultaneous exhibition against children and European deputies.

We are very close to the full success. After the acceptance of the written declaration, the EU Commission will start to work on the project “Chess in schools”

commented ECU President Silvio Danailov. All activities and events connected to the project are held under the high patronage of Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament, and Slavi Binev, European MP from Bulgaria, who is the main supporter of the project.

L-R Slavi Binev, Garry Kasparov and Silvio Danailov

On September 20th last year, Danailov and Kasparov presented the program ‘Chess in European Schools’ to the European Parliament. The program is designed to promote chess in schools throughout Europe by offering chess curriculums, chess materials, chess teachers and communication material to encourage and motivate children to discover and learn the game.

Here's the video we produced back then.

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Solomon Francis's picture

I would love to see this happen in the US!

RuralRob's picture

LOL, imagine the current brain trust in the US Congress being confronted with the proposal of "chess in schools". It would probably result in the complete paralysis of government for a week while everybody scrambles to "earmark" their own pet projects/issues to the bill.

soraby's picture

On the screen is written: Why chess in "Shools" (sic!)? Maybe Kaspy should care more about spelling...

deadend's picture

This is a very SHAMEFUL idea!

No matter how beneficial chess is our community should never, EVER even intend to force it upon children through political action.

The only person who can take decision about children playing chess is their parent!

Macauley's picture

Yeah, and how dare those intrusive paternalist politicians force on our children (FORCE I say!) such nefarious subjects as history and foreign languages! If I want my kid to speak Spanish, I'll teach him myself dammit! FOR SHAME!


[Full disclosure: Chess was a required weekly class in my elementary school starting in kindergarten.]

mishanp's picture

I'd give another vote for it being better for chess NOT to be compulsory in schools. It's in the interests of chess officials, organisers, players, journalists and the future of the game... but I don't think it's honestly in the best interests of children. Actually Ivanchuk might agree with both of the posts above, however tongue-in-cheek:

"What’s your attitude to the idea of introducing chess lessons into schools?

Ivanchuk: Chess can have a place in schools, of course, but exclusively as an elective subject. Why torture children with chess if they don’t like it? Those children who like it, on the other hand, should go to chess clubs. By the way, since the second half of December 2011 the Vassily Ivanchuk Chess School has been operating in Lviv. Children are going to study there from the age of five.

You don’t think it’s worth studying chess like mathematics or literature?

Ivanchuk: In general our school syllabus isn’t well thought out. For example, I remember my own school years. All those logarithms and integrals… Why did we study all of that? Of course, for the children who took an interest in maths it was necessary, but how many such children were there in the class? They could easily have studied all that in clubs. When the school syllabus is being established they should take into account what to offer all the pupils, and what should be individual or at least for those interested."

S3's picture

I agree, it's ridiculous to force kids to learn a meaningless hobby when they could be spending their time on more important things.

S3's picture

Seeing crooks like Kasparov and Dainalov with their political counterparts I didn't really take this seriously before, especially since Kasparov's projects tend mostly to fail.
But does the EP possess power to force this issue in all EU countries?

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