Ilyumzhinov meets with Minister of Education of the Russian Federation

On July 25, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov met with Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation Olga Vasilyeva at the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia. The main topic for discussion was the study of chess in Russian schools.

Opening the meeting, Vasilyeva said that the study of chess in schools should become mandatory – at extracurricular activities and elective courses – with the essential methodological support for teachers.

"I think that we will be able to implement the idea of ​​introducing chess to school as a course together with FIDE and all interested parties – deputies and experts. My deepest belief is that chess lessons should be taught in every school from the first grade. It is affordable, does not require large expenditures and provides the basis for the intellectual development of a child. Parents support this idea. Children who play chess demonstrate better performance. We cannot overload the curriculum but every school should practice chess at extracurricular activities and elective courses," the Minister said.
In turn, Ilyumzhinov spoke about the experience of introducing chess into educational programmes.
"Programmes for studying chess in schools are being actively implemented in 180 countries world-wide. Chess is introduced as an obligatory subject studied twice a week in Armenia. We started studying chess at extracurricular activities in Vietnam 9 years ago. Today, chess is an obligatory subject in Vietnamese schools and Vietnamese representatives show excellent results at world championships. Mastering the art of chess is included in the mathematics programme in Latvia. Among the countries that pay special attention to the study of chess are China and the CIS countries."
Ilyumzhinov told about the FIDE activities in preparation of textbooks and teaching aids and conducting seminars on mastering and teaching chess.
"We have specifically prepared methodological recommendations for teachers of the first and second grades. Not only schools in the Russian regions but also universities are becoming actively involved in cooperation; among them are the Russian Social State University and the Moscow Technical University. "
Ilyumzhinov proposed to affirm the right to preferential admission to institutions of higher education of applicants – the winners of national and international chess championships. He also suggested that a special nomination for chess teachers shall be introduced in the All-Russian contest "Teacher of the Year".
"This has already been implemented in Kalmykia. We paid for trips of the best teachers – the winners of the finals of the "Teacher of the Year" contest to the world chess competitions. I want to offer such a nomination from FIDE and at the All-Russian competition "Teacher of the Year", said Ilyumzhinov.
At the end of the meeting, Vasilyeva said that all the proposals will be worked out at federal and regional levels.