Chess in Schools – a major movement in primary education

Author: Juri Agafonov  |  Translated by Lauris Laimiņš and John Foley (CSC, Chess in Schools and Communities)


Chess and Education

A major "Chess and Education Conference" was held in London on 7-8 December 2013. The conference was held during the 5th Congress of the London Chess Classic, which also included chess tournaments for children and adults, amateurs and professionals, as well as exhibitions and seminars.

The Chess in Schools movement is being developed around the world by public organisations with the support of enthusiastic individuals, state and municipal structures, chess federations and clubs. Three dozen countries were represented on the conference. The only notable absentee was the international chess federation (FIDE) which has its own programme.

Conference participants shared their experiences of teaching children chess in different countries, discussed the organisation of learning, the choice of strategy, fundraising, and public relations policy. In an extra day, December 6, there were specialist talks about issues of science research - teaching methods and the impact of chess on children's development.

Key topics:

  • Chess as a separate course or as an aid in the development of mathematical, logical, and communication abilities;
  • Education for all children (chess as a compulsory subject) or on a selective basis as an elective;
  • When to start training - in kindergarten or in primary school;
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of investments in ''Kids Chess movement'' and financial models;
  • Chess for boys and girls;
  • Schooling books and computer solutions.


The ways of developing chess in schools varies across the world. The Chess in Schools project is rapidly developing in  Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Armenia, Hungary, South Africa, Germany, Britain and France. Latvia lags behind in implementing the social and educational benefits of chess, so its development deserves a detailed consideration.



Juri Agafonov,
yuri.agafonov (at)


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