Kasparov Foundation to Start Chess Lessons in 12 Schools
The Estonian Chess Federation today signed an agreement in Tallinn with former chess world champion Garry Kasparov, now president of the Kasparov Chess Foundation, to initiate a chess program in Estonian grade schools.
Twelve schools have so far confirmed participation in the chess program starting next fall.
The president of the Chess Federation, Andrei Korobeinik, said bringing chess to schools has been a major goal of his organization. “The popularity of chess cannot grow if there are no opportunities to learn and play the game as a child,” said Korobeinik.
“If we succeed in finding supporters the pilot project may grow to include multiple times more schools than the current 12 because schools have shown great interest even without any major publicity,” he said.
Kasparov says chess can improve concentration, logical reasoning and emotional development in children. He said studies have shown that chess improves children's confidence and grasp of the hard sciences.
The Kasparov Chess Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes chess around the world, has developed the European Commission-supported program for students aged 8 to 16. In Estonia, the project will initially focus on the youngest students. The foundation plans to expand to all EU member states.