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Christ College Irinjalakuda, Kerala, pioneers Chess Literacy in Physical Education

by Peter Joseph M - 07/02/2024

Chess and education go hand-in-hand. The sport is a mandatory subject in various schools all across India. However, it is quite rare to see chess getting included in a college academic program. In a historic move, Christ College, Irinjalakuda in Thrissur, Kerala, has decided to integrate chess in their Physical Education curriculum. A total of 146 Bachelor in Physical Education students have undertaken a five-month training program in chess. The initiative is aimed at equipping these students to teach chess in schools and foster a comprehensive awareness of the game. The path paved by G N Gopal, S L Narayanan and Nihal Sarin have already inspired a lot of chess players in Kerala. Now, it will only garner more interest towards the sport by this impressive initiative by the autonomous college. Photos: IA Peter Joseph M

A historic step towards chess awareness in schools

Felicitation of Peter Joseph M, Resource Person and International Arbiter

In a groundbreaking move, Christ College Irinjalakuda in Thrissur, Kerala, has set a new standard in education by integrating chess into its physical education curriculum. What makes this initiative even more remarkable is the involvement of seasoned professionals, adding a layer of expertise and credibility to the program.

Expert panel evaluates and awards certificates

A total of 146 Bachelor in Physical Education students at Christ College have undertaken a five-month training program in chess. The initiative is aimed at equipping these students to teach chess in schools and foster a comprehensive awareness of the game. To ensure the highest standards, an expert panel comprising Mr. Gopakumar M S, Councillor of the FIDE Fair Play Commission and A-grade International Arbiter, along with Mr. Sureshkumar, Former Indian Youth Team Coach, FIDE Trainer and FIDE Arbiter, evaluated the students' proficiency.

IA Gopakumar M S interacting with the students

Leadership and guidance from chess veterans

Leading the extensive training sessions were Mr. Peter Joseph, Secretary of the Chess Association Thrissur and International Arbiter, and Mr. Akhil Thomas, a prominent figure in Physical Education and accomplished chess player. Their combined experience and passion for the game have played a crucial role in shaping the students into capable chess instructors.

A vision for complete chess literacy in schools

The vision of Christ College extends beyond the campus, aiming for a complete chess awareness in schools. By instilling chess literacy in the physical education department, the college is contributing to the holistic development of its students.

A unique achievement in Indian education

This marks the first time in India that a Physical Education department has achieved complete literacy in chess. The initiative not only enhances cognitive skills but also introduces a strategic and intellectually stimulating dimension to physical education.

Certificates awarded in recognition of achievement

At the conclusion of the program, Mr. Gopakumar and Mr. Sureshkumar presented certificates to the students in recognition of their dedication and proficiency in chess. The ceremony was a celebration of the successful culmination of this pioneering initiative.


Christ College Irinjalakuda's commitment to expanding educational horizons is evident in this forward-thinking endeavor. The collaboration with experienced professionals has elevated the program, making it a landmark achievement in the realm of Indian education.


In a grand ceremony, Dr. Fr. Jolly Andrews inaugurated the much-anticipated evaluation and certificate distribution function at Christ College Irinjalakuda. The event witnessed a confluence of esteemed personalities, with Mrs. Neena Thekkan extending a warm welcome to the gathering.

Mr. Sony John, Head of the Physical Education department, presided over the meeting, lending his expertise to the proceedings. The event also benefited from the wisdom and guidance of Fr. Joy Peenikaparambil, Manager of Christ Monastery, Irinjalakuda, who delivered a compelling keynote address. Fr. Joy Peenikaparambil's address was a highlight of the evening, encapsulating the spirit of academic pursuit and holistic education. His insights into the importance of such initiatives in shaping well-rounded individuals resonated with the audience. Dr. Anilkumar, in a gesture of recognition and encouragement, felicitated the participants and contributors to the program. His presence added an academic gravitas to the event, underlining the commitment of Christ College Irinjalakuda to academic excellence and overall development.

The ceremony, held under the auspices of these distinguished individuals, was a testament to the college's dedication to fostering excellence in education. The evaluation and certificate distribution function marked not only an acknowledgment of achievements but also a celebration of the collective efforts towards academic and personal growth.Christ College Irinjalakuda continues to set benchmarks in education, and events like these underscore its commitment to providing a holistic and enriching academic experience. The collaborative efforts of leaders, faculty, and students contribute to the college's ongoing legacy of excellence.

Group photo

About the Author

Peter Joseph M is an International Arbiter, General Secretary of Chess Association Thrissur, and also the Chairman of Thrissur Chess Academy.

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