24 January 2016

FIDE's CIS Chairman O'Connell

Earlier this month Chessdom.com posted an Interview with CIS Commission Chairman Kevin O'Connell, a good read for anyone interested in the Chess in School movement. It lists O'Connell's accomplishments, then opens with some historical background.

I was one of the founders of the Commission in 1984. Despite the hard work and financial support of founding chairman Nicola Palladino, few of the initial goals were achieved. It seems that the time was not quite right, with too much emphasis on chess development and not enough on using chess to help children develop educational and life skills.

Since 2010 we have refocused on using chess for education, for absolute beginners, mainly in the age range 4-12. The appearance of chess players from these programs (about 5% of those in CiS programs go on to play some sort of competitive chess, joining chess clubs and their national federation) is a happy by-product, but not the principal objective. This is in contrast to the previous focus (and current TRG – Trainers’ Commission – focus) on developing chess players, coaches and trainers.

There's much more, including a discussion of the materials I included in Chess Curriculum - Summary (December 2015).

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