Will chess be taught in schools?

It is quite possible that chess will be taught in elementary schools of Russia. FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has asked the Minister of Education to support an initiative on the introduction of chess into the curriculum of grades 1 to 4.

Earlier a similar request was made by the member of the Russian Federation Council Vadim Tyulpanov, who suggested replacing one of the physical education lessons by chess. According to the initiators of innovation, chess as a compulsory discipline will improve the overall level of education.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov said that chess is not only an interesting game, but also an exercise that inculcate the math skills, improve orientation in time and even develop the ability to think strategically. According to statistics, cited by the FIDE, chess improve academic performance.

Vadim Tyulpanov also stresses the practical benefits of including chess in the school curriculum. If a student is medically exempted from physical education, he would be able to play chess and, thus, take part in sports competitions and taste the sense of the fight for the victory.
Every third lesson of physical education is replaced by chess in 250 schools of Moscow; and now chess is a compulsory lesson in all elementary schools of Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District. A specially created foundation "Chess in Schools" has already begun training teachers. Prosveshcheniye Publishing House has prepared manuals, programmes and methodological materials. The course is designed for 135 lessons: 33 lessons in the First class and 34 lessons in the next three.
Psychologists believe that chess lessons will improve the quality of education and develop the essential potentials such as memory, attention and discipline. Chess helps training concentration and logic. Children who spent too much time on internet and in virtual space start to lack the above qualities.
In addition, chess develops self-sufficiency: between ages 6 and 10 a mechanism of "mental activity" is being formed in a child, and chess promotes its proper formation much better than any other training or educational discipline. It is also important that chess lessons need inexpensive equipment: chess sets with boards and a magnetic demonstration board.
What is chess as such? This model of conflict and confrontation that has rigidly predetermined amount of initial resources but infinite number of options for further development of the struggle. It turns out that chess is kind of a fighting platform, on which a student competes with an equal opponent.
This game forms a resistance to stress. Anyone, who is not able to continuously withstand the state of nervous tension, will not be able to win especially in a time limited game.
An additional effect of the game is ability to restrain emotions. Therefore, chess has very useful features that are useful these days. With the increase of the competitive environment, especially important becomes the ability to think long term and to allocate resources properly, moving toward the goal.
Another positive feature of chess is exercise of the mind. Child playing chess learn to end an ordinary children's conflict, which is often settled by a physical means, using intelligence. Chess is a model of business competition where you can win, lose or reach a temporary compromise. The ability to win and lose nurtures the will to win and ability to prioritize correctly.
"Rossiyskaya Gazeta" conducted a survey among parents and received a wide range of responses. Parents, in general, do not doubt the benefits of chess as such. However, they are concerned about the emergence of another compulsory subject in the tense school curriculum.
Teachers have concerns of a different kind. When chess becomes a compulsory subject, then it should be included into final examinations like the other subjects. Is there a ready-made solution on the way it could be done? Is it supposed to evaluate a child by his knowledge of chess moves? Could it be that only those who won greater number of games would get an excellent grade? Is there sufficient number of chess teachers capable of working with children with different motivation, different degrees of vulnerability and who would be able to convey the beauty of chess to any child?
Parents reacted positively to the proposal not to replace the physical education with chess but to use the reserved free lessons, which any school has and has the right to use them at its discretion. After all, the drawback of school education is that it does not teach how to apply the general knowledge in practice. And children do not see any real sense in gaining knowledge, formulas and algorithms.
To teach the child to connect the real life with the theoretical knowledge the vocational work is needed. That’s where chess would help. This ancient intellectual game, which theory and practice are inextricably linked, without reservations can be called interesting and useful for activities of children.