FIRST RANK - Newsletter No.10 October 2018

First Rank - The Future of CiS looks great!

First Rank is a weekly newsletter (starting regularly autumn 2018) for everyone interested in chess for education. In this issue we talk about the future of Chess in Schools in Europe and in the world with the Batumi Olympiad as the view point. Beside that we give you the Weekly Minigame and a Weekly excercise.

Great interest for  chess as a pedagogic tool
at the Batumi Olympiad

The both candidates to become president for FIDE (The Word Chess Organization) Giorgios Makropoulos and Arkady Dvorkovitch (that later won the election) showed great interest for chess as a pedagogic tool, and both said that this area is one of the most important ones for FIDE the fortcoming years. Here you can see them learn how "The Playing Method" works. John Foley, secretary of ECU Education and Zurab Azmaiparashvili, President of ECU, play "Cross the Board" with a big audience around the board.

The Weekly Minigame: Cross the Board

This is the very first Minigame for a beginner that wants to learn how to play chess. With the Playing Method you step by step add complexity with simpler games that will bring you towards classic chess. But eventhough it might seem simple, masters like John Foley and Zurab Azmaiparashvili can enjoy the game. The difference is that the masters calculate far ahead compared with the beginner.

How is the world of chess structured?

The chess world is united by FIDE. Every fourth year at the Chess Olympiad there is an election for the board and not the least an election of whom to become president. The federations of the countries in the world has got one vote each. The federations are also united in different organizations depending on what continent they belong to. One is European Chess Union, in which Zurab Azmaiparashvili was re-elected as the president.
This year it was a close race with three candidates to become president in FIDE. In the end Arkady Dvorkovitch from Russia won. The board will now create commissions for the different areas of chess. The most important one is of course FIDE CiS ... 
Here you can find the webpage of FIDE and here is the one for FIDE CiS

Facts about FIDE

  • FIDE = Fédération Internationale des Échecs 
  • Was founded 1924
  • The most important thing that FIDE does is to define the rules of the game
  • Beside that, FIDE arranges the World Championships and the chess olympiad
  • FIDE also take cares of the ELO-rating system. (Read more)
  • FIDE represents chess and all the chess federations in the world 

Exciting Future for Chess in Schools

During the Chess Olympiad in Batumi I had almost hundred meetings and discussions with chess leaders from around the world. Not the least I had the chance to talk with Arkady Dvorkovitch who is the new president of FIDE. Dvorkovitch said that Chess in schools is one of the main projects for FIDE the forthcoming years and he promissed to back it up with resources. What was obvious in the meeting with the new president was that he had great knowledge of the challenges the worlds educational systems face, and that he could see that chess could play an important role to try to solve them. It will be very intersting to follow the work of Dvorkovitch's team and  to see what comes out of his efforts.

Jesper Hall
Chair, ECU Education

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      ECU School Chess Teacher Course in Batumi

During the Olympiad ECU Education arranged a ECU School Chess Teacher Course with eleven participants. All of them had great experience ,as most of them run the Chess in Schools program in their countries. The course became a wonderful possibility to share ideas and excercises. Here the "opening theory" of a Minigame is discussed.

The Chess Puzzle of the Week

   Is checkmate possible?

Can you create a checkmate position on the black king on e4 using
following white pieces: a rook, a bishop, a knight?

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Is checkmate possible?
No, it is not possible to give checkmate with only these three white pieces as long as the king is placed on a square where it can reach eight squares.
During the course in Batumi the following creative solution was suggested:

The bishop stands on the head of the king, and  by that the bishop covers d5, f5, f3 and d3. The rook guards the bishop. Not possble, but creative, and the kind of stuff children love.
A good next step is to let the children try with the black king placed in a corner, and/or at a back rank. Now it is possible! What conclusions can you and not the least the children draw from that?
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