FIDE Chess School in Minsk

There is a licensed by FIDE chess school in Belarus with an unusually high status: there are only fifty such educational institutions all over the world. The school is located in the very heart of Minsk. It rents space in the old building of the IFC on Yakub Kolas Square, where children have been studying since the age of three. In total, about three hundred children study there.

This project is remarkable and very attractive for many reasons. We have already mentioned the first one, which is the official recognition of FIDE that makes this school so unique. Secondly, the experience of similar foreign projects is gathered in this rather not standard organization. Chess is not boring but full of fun there. The conditions created are such that children and parents feel comfortable and want to come back there again and again. And thirdly, it is remarkable that the school was transformed from an initially commercial undertaking into a product of a purely social orientation.

Many famous people of the chess world were guests of this school including the sixth FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

Kirsan Nikolayevich is confident that FIDE School in Belarus will soon begin to produce grandmasters. And this, as we know, is the highest chess title. A proposal to teach this analytic game from an early age was made by the sixth FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov at a meeting with the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko in December 2015. Alexander Lukashenko supported the idea, and as early as next year pilot electives appeared in many educational institutions.

It was then when Kirsan Nikolayevich said: “For its part, the World Chess Federation will help in the preparation of coaches, conducting seminars, arranging textbooks and master classes.”

Already on 5 October 2016, in the very centre of Minsk - within the walls of the Olimpiysky sports and recreation complex - the grand opening of the renewed FIDE Chess School took place. The school has been operating for four years now. Today, more than 300 children from 3 to 12 years old study there.

“The National Olympic Committee is carrying out its activities in order to implement such sports start-ups. The leaders of the country and the sports industry are paying serious attention to the promotion of chess among young people. The development of this sport in Belarus was discussed in December 2015 at a meeting of Head of State Alexander Lukashenko and FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. I am proud that we managed to open this school,” noted the First Vice-President of the NOC, Maxim Ryzhenkov.

Every day there is clamour, laughter and joy at FIDE School. Not every one of these kids will become a famous grandmaster or devote its life to chess. But there is no doubt that chess will play an important role in their lives by teaching them how to think and make the right decisions.