Local authorities prepare for chess lessons in schools

Mandatory chess lessons, which should be introduced in Russian schools in the next two years, will be useful to promote children's analytical thinking, experts in the regions believe.

The Ministry of Education and Science intends to introduce chess lessons in schools in the next two years: they will be mandatory for first-fourth grade students -- one hour per week.

Experts are satisfied that the government has paid attention to intellectual sports. However, they wonder how to organize the learning process. At the same time, it is noted that chess is often taught as an optional subject in schools, which needs only chessboards. Thus, the introduction of compulsory lessons will not require large expenditures.
President of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has repeatedly said to media that the whole world learned about Elista (Kalmykia) owing to chess. So, Elista is called the chess capital of Russia now. The 1998 Chess Olympiad was held in Kalmykia and a special chess complex -- City-Chess was built there.
The chess boom in Kalmykia began before the Olympics -- in 1995 and the interest in the game does not fade to this day. A special programme was adopted in Kalmykia and primary school teachers were retrained before the classes began. Now there are three grandmasters, prize-winners and winners of Russian and international chess competitions in the region.
The introduction of chess lessons is actively supported in the North Caucasus, where they have already begun to implement their projects on a new discipline in schools. According to a Russian chess player, Grandmaster and multiple champion of Dagestan Dzhakay Dzhakaev, mandatory chess lessons were introduced in schools in the republic since 2016. Chess players conduct special seminars for teaches, while the Ministry of Education and Science together with some parents purchase the chess inventory.
"Kirsan Nikolayevich Ilyumzhinov came to us in 2010 and an agreement was signed between him and Chechen Minister of Education Muzaev on the gradual introduction of chess into the school curriculum," said executive director of the North Caucasus Chess Federation Ruslan Yandarbiev, stressing that chess players of the Federation are ready to advise teachers on chess.
A similar project has already been tried and implemented in Kabardino-Balkaria region, said President of the Federation of Chess and Drafts Arthur Shakhmurzov addressing to the authorities in his letter.
Nevertheless, Ingushetia was most active in chess development: children are taught to play chess for the second consecutive year in all schools of the region. However, chess lessons are not compulsory but conducted as chess circles. According to Deputy Minister of Education of Ingushetia Zarema Padiyeva, it would be advisable to make the chess lessons mandatory: for example, one chess lesson with duration of two and one hour could replace three physical education lessons a week.
The number of children who are fond of chess has almost doubled in Karachay-Cherkessia over the past two years, while school chess sections are opened in the republic. "I believe that the introduction of compulsory chess lessons in schools will promote the popularization of intellectual sports among children. It is gratifying that interest in chess is growing in Karachay-Cherkessia and chess sections are being opened in the schools of the republic," said international grand master, President of the Karachay-Cherkessia Chess Federation Kazbek Akbaev.