Commissioner backs chess in schools
Former world champion Garry Kasparov presented his 'chess in schools' initiative to Commissioner Vassiliou at a meeting on 21 March. The idea is to develop a comprehensive chess curriculum which can be introduced in schools across Europe to help young people develop skills in critical thinking and problem solving.
Kasparov, the highest-rated chess player in the world for over 20 years, was accompanied by Bulgarian master chess player Silvio Danailov, who is the President of the European Chess Union, and by Pigasios Hadjinicolaou from the Cyprus Chess Federation.
Commissioner Vassiliou expressed her enthusiasm for more children to take up chess as a 'mind sport'.
"Chess can help improve attitudes and motivation, which can mean better results for children at school. I believe chess in school can help create a more open learning environment, a key element of the EU's vision of 21st century schools," she said.
The Commissioner highlighted that the Commission's Comenius programme provides funding for partnerships between schools of different countries – and chess could be a feature of such partnerships. However, she underlined that school curricula are a matter for Member States to decide on as they are responsible for the organisation and content of their education systems.