Chess lessons are to be introduced in military academies of Russia

In the near future, students of higher educational institutions of the Ministry of Defence of Russia and Rosgvardiya will start studying a new discipline — special chess lessons will appear in curriculum.

As FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov told Izvestia newspaper, this will happen within the framework of the “One billion chess players” project.

"We are preparing an agreement with the Ministry of Defence on compulsory or elective chess classes to be introduced in the higher military educational institutions, cadet corps and Suvorov Schools starting from the next academic year. We have signed a similar agreement with the head of Rosgvardia Viktor Zolotov two months ago. Chess lessons will be taught in their academies. We have already started holding chess competitions in the military units of Rosgvardiya. In my opinion, future officers should be able to play chess and develop logical thinking, patience and perseverance," Ilyumzhinov said.
The Federal Service of troops of the National Guard confirmed this.
"We pay a lot of attention to chess," chairman of the sports committee of Rosgvardiya Colonel Vladimir Malofeev said. "It contributes to intellectual development. Cadets learn chess in academies of the troops of the National Guard in their leisure hours. By attending chess circles, future officers are preparing to participate in championships of military institutes. The winners defend the honour of military collectives at Rosgvardiya championship. The departmental publications print chess puzzles to be solved by employees and military personnel. This great systemic work is being done owing to an agreement signed by Director of Rosgvardiya Viktor Zolotov and FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in March.
Malofeev noted that Dzerzhinsky separate operational division hosted the final of chess championship on March 17. The competition was attended by 13 teams representing central apparatus, departments and military institutes totalling 39 chess players.
Recall that the popularity of chess in Russia has increased significantly after match for a title of the World Champion between Magnus Carlsen and Sergei Karyakin in New York. For the first time since 2008, the Russian GM had an opportunity to return the chess crown to Russia. However, Karjakin lost to the current champion on a tie-break.
Despite this, the number of children studying chess in sports schools has grown several times and large companies have started using Karjakin's photographs for marketing purposes. Many compare today's chess boom with the popularity of this ancient game in the USSR.
During the Soviet period, there were chess circles at schools, palaces of pioneers and culture. Chess essays and puzzles were published in newspapers. The status of a chess player was extremely high. People lined up for tickets for matches of the world and national championships and thousands of fans came to watch the games. However, chess fell out of favour later.
There were several reasons for this: disintegration of the USSR and technology progress — millions of people were carried away by computer games. Nevertheless, chess is gradually regaining lost ground. The FIDE programme "Chess in schools" covers hundreds of thousands of children throughout Russia.
The idea of ​​the programme is not that schoolchildren automatically become chess players but that they receive skills useful both in studies and in later life, such as ability to concentrate, make decisions and hold a punch. After all, there is no competition without defeats and chess instils ability to fight and struggle, evolve and move on.