Turin, 25th 27th February 2009


Final report

The conference was organized by Prof. Roberto Rivello, President of the Piedmont Committee of the Italian Chess Federation, with the assistance of Alessandro Dominici (Savigliano Chess Club).

The participants of the International Conference  debated on the way  they could propose, to the local Governments, Chess as a basic subject taught in the schools. The chess game is recognised as an effective learning tool for children - an hypothesis supported by abundant and authoritative research.  

Numerous experiences show  that chess classes in schools enable  children to raise the level of logical reasoning, urge children to make decision by themselves, and help them develop their ability to study and to make actions "in mind". All the above mentioned aspects improve basic educational school programmes. We can definitely state that chess game as a teaching subject improves the quality of education.

The conference has had the goal to make an up-to-date survey of chess teaching in schools all over the world. In the USA and Turkey, for example, chess teaching programmes for children are widespread and financially supported by Local Governments.
As far as Italy is concerned, we can say that the chess game is mainly considered as a “sport”, that’s why it is included in the Italian National Olympic Committee (in Italian: CONI).
In some cases the chess game is taught in the morning school classes, but it is not part of the core didactical programme. In spite of this, every year more than 200.000 children attend chess game classes. The demand for chess training programmes is so high that the real problem  is...  finding enough teachers to satisfy it!

The organizers of the Conference received a very important message by the Minister of Education, stating that Italian Government regards the chess game as highly instructive and character building, and that will encourage the spread of chess in schools.

The world conference in Turin has had a great success. Participants came from all over the world - chessplayers and teachers from many countries of Europe (Croatia, England, France, Germany, Russia, Slovenia), from USA, China, Egypt, Turkey, Venezuela: Ali Nihat Yazici (President of Turkish Chess Federation, FIDE Vice-President), prof. Uvencio Blanco H. (Chairman of the FIDE Committee on Chess in Schools), Mrs Marley J. Kaplan (President and chief executive officer "Chess in schools" New York), prof. Fernand Gobet (Professor of Cognitive Psychology and Director of the Centre for the Study of Expertise at Brunel University, West London), prof. Philippe Chassy (Researcher on Psychology – University of Toulouse), Tian Hongwei (Chinese Chess Federation), Gihan El Sahhar (Egypt Chess Federation).

Among the Italian speakers we have to mention the well-known and esteemed scientific journalist Piero Angela (Italian Television RAI)  who’s  known as a chess game fan.