21 December 2014

FIDE's 'Chess in Schools' 2014

Going back a year to an early post in this CIS series, 'Chess in School' Is Quantifiable, I noted,

The involvement of the world chess organization [FIDE] is fundamental to the success of the CIS program. FIDE has automatic access to its 160++ member federations.

Once a year, at FIDE's annual pow wow, we get the chance to find out what its Chess in Schools commission has been doing for the previous year. In 2014 it has been a tough act to follow. Documents from the CIS commission have been released at three separate occasions: at the announcement for the General Assembly in Tromso (GA, coinciding with the Olympiad), at the minutes of the GA in August, and at the Presidential Board (PB, Sochi) in November.

Fortunately, the documents for all three occasions are available from one point. In my post on the FIDE Journalists' Commission, FIDE's 'Principles of Chess Journalism', I explained how to find them.

The 2014 4th quarter Presidential Board -- Agenda (5 November) and Press Release (9 November, 'agenda included the proposals deferred from Tromso') -- had released the commission documents in the same directory as the Agenda.

From the same source, here are the three documents for CIS: Annex 30, Annex 31, and Annex 32 Let's have a summary of the three annexes.

Annex 30 is titled 'Report of Commission Chairman Ali Nihat Yazici' and dated 2014-06-24.

There have been six principal areas of activity since the last Congress in Tallinn:

1. Promotion of chess in schools through multiple means, such as the Chess and Education conference (2012) and the ongoing visits, especially by the FIDE President to many federations, the promotion of chess in schools being the main unifying factor of these visits.

2. Major sponsorship from Rosneft meant that we were able to purchase a substantial quantity of chess sets in 2012-2013 and this year sees us distributing the last of those, albeit, with no renewal of that sponsorship, we have been seriously constrained in our budget.

3. Multi-lingual web sites, launched in January 2012, to support both our chess in schools work and FIDE-CiS Student Membership (a synergistic part of the whole), are now available in 11 languages, with a 12th planned.

4. We have now produced class books and a teacher guide in several languages, including English, French and Arabic.

5. We have produced more than 100 magazines (some 800 pages, all in a choice of languages!) for our FIDE Student members.

6. The major Chess in Schools projects have proven their worth, and not only those, since several small federations have shown that good organization is more important than funding for the development of a programme.

Annex 31 is titled 'Chess in Schools Commission Meeting, Tromso' and dated 2014-08-06.

Chairman Ali Nihat Yazici opened the meeting. He thanked His Excellency Kirsan Nikolayevich Ilyumzhinov for having appointed him as Chairman of the Commission for a second time (2004 & 2010). He referred to the general acceptance of CiS and expressed his thanks for the help and appreciation received from federations. He went on to restate the principles behind the main approach of CiS :

• For FIDE, CiS is neither a social project, nor a program to generate Grandmasters. The CiS approach of FIDE is to focus on primary schools with the aim to introduce chess to young children to help their education.

• CiS is not a charity. It is very important that there should be a benefit for our members – the national chess federations. We are not UNICEF, UNESCO or the Red Crescent to make donations, we are FIDE, with basic aims to:
    o Access millions of children in primary schools
    o Direct the maximum number of these children towards membership of our national federations.

Annex 32 is titled 'Chess in Schools presentation to PB meeting in Sochi 2014', signed 'Kevin O’Connell - CiS Commission Chairman', and dated 2014-10-26.

At the start of the new mandate for 2014-2018, we wish to inform the PB of our main plans for this period and to seek your approval and support for them. Given the experience of the last four years, and following preliminary discussions with Commission members (past, present and future), we foresee a number of changes to the way that we implement chess in schools projects. The most important of those changes are covered in this presentation.

[The sections of the presentation are titled:-]
  • CiS100 Projects
  • 2014 Highlight - Erevan Conference
  • FIDE Schools Chess Challenge
  • ACES [Europe]
  • Further Cooperation FIDE - National Federations
  • FIDE Chess in Schools Commission
  • National Federation Structure
  • Budget 2015
  • Research
  • Better Working Relationship with TRG [Trainers' Commission]
  • Commission Composition

The three annexes provide a total of 22 pages of reading, with plenty of material for further review.

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