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Galvanizing the Chess in Schools project

by Praful Zaveri - 07/09/2019

A major way to make chess popular in the country is to introduce it in schools. The Chess in Schools (CIS) project has been one of AICF's priority for many years. However, there has not been an appropriate strategy taken by the national chess federation to roll out the CIS program for the entire nation. With the International Chess in Education Conference (ICEC) held in Delhi on 7th and 8th of September, AICF would like to change this situation. Apart from some of the most well known trainers of the country and state secretaries being present, two Armenian maestros Smbat Lputian and Vahan Sargsyan were also invited. Armenia is an epitome when it comes to CIS project implementation. Indian chess stakeholders learnt from their experience on day one of the conference.  

Two-day International Chess In Education Conference held at New Delhi

The International Chess-in-Education Conference got off to grand start at Hotel Caspia, New Delhi with inauguration at the hands of GM Smbat Lputian, Chairman, FIDE Chess-in-Education (EDU) Commission along with Bharat Singh, Secretary of the All India Chess Federation.

Smbat Lputian, Head of Chess in Education Commission of FIDE, Head of Chess Academy of Armenia and Chess Scientific Research Institute | Photo: Amit Sharma

Bharat Singh, Secretary of AICF is all ears | Photo: Amit Sharma

This 2-day international conference is being conducted by the All India Chess Federation to examine the possibility of introducing chess-in-schools across length and breadth of India. Besides nearly 70 representatives from almost all the State affiliated units of AICF, the conference is being attended by great Indian players like GM Pravin Thipsay, GM R.B. Ramesh, IM Tania Sachdeva, Dronacharya Raghunandan Gokhale, IM Neeraj Kumar Mishra, IM D.V. Prasad, IM Sekhar Sahu, IM C.S. Gokhale, IM Dinesh Kumar Sharma & IM Vishal Sareen. 

GM Pravin Thipsay, one of the most experienced GMs of Indian chess | Photo: Amit Sharma

One of the finest trainers of Indian chess - GM R.B. Ramesh | Photo: Amit Sharma

Neeraj Kumar Mishra's training abilities have been admired by one and all | Photo: Amit Sharma

Former National blitz champion IM Dinesh Kumar Sharma | Photo: Amit Sharma

IM Sekhar Sahu was one of India's top players in his days of prime and is now a well-known chess trainer | Photo: Amit Sharma

The Secretaries of almost all the states of Indian chess were present at the conference| Photo: Amit Sharma

The growing popularity of chess in India is purely due to school children taking up the game and, to augment this process, it becomes necessary that schools are guided to have chess in its curricula. The participants were presented with the CIS model of Armenia, where chess is a compulsory subject for students from Grade II to IV. The presentation for this was provided by GM Smbat Lputian and Vahan Sargsyan - Head of Research Projects at Chess Scientific Research Institute. 

Mr. Vahan Sargsyan - who is considered as the leading authority in this subject - shared his vast experience of researches over a decade and provided various insights to help AICF introduce CIS. | Photo: Amit Sharma

This was followed by presentation on the 'Pilot Project of CIS in India' by FI. Praful Zaveri. Both the presentations were followed by detailed Q&A session and lively interaction from the participants.

The afternoon session witnessed talks by IM Tania Sachdeva, who stressed the importance of introducing CIS in India to create a better citizens for tomorrow. | Photo: Amit Sharma

This was followed by addresses from all the titled players of India. All these players are supporting the AICF initiative of taking chess across India by implementation of CIS program.

Schedule of the program:

The seminar schedule is as follows:

Day-1: 07 September 2019

10.00 – 11.00 am: Inaugural Ceremony

11.00 – 11.30 am: Introduction to FIDE EDU (CIS) Program

11.30 – 11.45 am: Tea break

11.45 – 12.30 pm: CIS Program – Republic of Armenia Model

12.30 – 01.00 pm: Q & A

01.00 – 02.00 pm: Lunch break

0200 – 03.00 pm: The analysis of CIS program in India. CIS Model of the State of Gujarat. CIS Model of the State of Tamil Nadu. CIS Model of the State of Maharashtra

03.00 – 03.30 pm: Q & A

03.30 – 03.45 pm: Tea break

03.45 – 04.45 pm: Chess as a ‘Subject’ in Primary Schools

04.45 – 05.30 pm: The Role of Chess Text Books in CIS

05.30 – 06.00 pm: Q & A


Day-2: 08 September 2019

10.00 – 11.00 am: The biggest motivator – ‘Inter-Schools Chess Tournaments’. Belaya Ladya Model of Russia. MSSA Inter-Schools of Mumbai. FIDE World Schools Team Chess Championship. AICF Schools Chess Olympiad – an Introduction

11.00 – 11.30 am: Questions and Answers

11.30 – 11.45 am: Tea break

11.45 – 12.30 pm: Bachelor Degree in Chess – An Introduction

12.30 – 01.00 pm: Questions and Answers

01.00 – 02.00 pm: Lunch break

02.00 – 03.00 pm: Challenges for Schools in implementing Chess Education. The School’s Mindset. Trained Teachers.Absence of Chess Curricula

03.00 – 03.30 pm: Questions and Answers

03.30 – 03.45 pm: Tea break

03.45 – 04.45 pm: Mission CIE 2020 – 2021: – Launch of Program. Chess in 500 Schools Across India. 1000 Trained AICF/CIE Instructors. AICF Chess Olympiad Pre-Qualifiers: 500 Schools. AICF Chess Olympiad 2020 – The Finale

04.45 – 05.45 pm: Feedback from the Participants, Q&A

05.45 – 06.00 pm: Valedictory Function

About the author:

FI Praful Zaveri is the founder of Indian Chess School Academy. He is a popular trainer in Mumbai and also the author of the critically acclaimed beginners' manual 'The Chess Course'. His vision is to build the chess culture in his hometown Mumbai as well as India and help the country produce many more grandmasters in future.