Today 5 million children play chess every week in the schools of Europe. Compare this with the 250,000 FIDE-rated chess players in Europe and you understand that chess is not just about titles and competitions. We must recognise that the future of chess is as a tool to develop life skills. This means that the way we teach chess must be changed. The journey has just started, and there is a lot to explore, and methods to develop. I see problems and I see possibilities!
A common problem amongst those who teach chess is that they believe that they know best. They have got nothing to learn from others, so for them the most important thing is to protect their “secrets”. I believe the opposite – that instead of being protective, we should be willing share our ideas and materials.
There are three reasons for this mission: 1) we make more progress if we share our explorations in this new field; 2) the larger cause is to prepare our children for the future not just to make them strong chess players; 3) even though Chess in Schools reaches 5 million kids the movement is growing fast, and in ten years time I predict there will be 20 million kids playing chess each week. That means that every instructor is needed. So let us co-operate on this!
Chair ECU Education