27 March 2013

Chess is mandatory for students in Armenia

In Armenia, learning to play the grand game of strategy in school is mandatory for children - the only country in the world that makes chess compulsory - and the initiative has paid dividends. Armenia, a Caucasus country with a population of just three million, is a chess powerhouse...

In 2011, Armenia made chess compulsory for second, third and fourth-graders. That's why Susie and her classmates have two hours of chess every week in school...

"Chess is having a good influence on their performance in other subjects too. The kids are learning how to think, it's making them more confident," said teacher Rosanna Putanyan, watching her pupils play from the periphery...

"Chess develops various skills - leadership capacities, decision-making, strategic planning, logical thinking and responsibility," Ashotyan said. "We are building these traits in our youngsters. The future of the world depends on such creative leaders who have the capacity to make the right decisions, as well as the character to take responsibility for wrong decisions."

More than $3m has been spent on the project so far to supply chess equipment and learning aids in all Armenian schools, Ashotyan added. The majority of the budget was allocated to train chess players to become good teachers. In coming years, spending on chess is expected to rise, he said.
Kudos to Armenia.  Further details at Aljazeera.

1 comment:

  1. Chess is competitive, meaning entirely uncooperative. It is far too personal and defeats can be devastating to relationships between mates, friends and siblings, fostering a false sense of inferiority or superiority.
    It teaches kids to be deceitful, manipulative and exploitative.

    Chess is falsely propped up to be game of mind, when it is in fact a game of memorization, trickery and practice, which is why modern Chess software wipes the floor with just about anyone.

    Being devoid of randomness, Chess is a poor model for any kind of real life, rationality based decision making and risk assessment. Consequently it's a piss poor metaphor, for anything real.

    The paranoid setup of a chess board seems to discourage honest mistakes or any risk taking, it rewards routine, patience and entrapment.

    The only good thing to come out of Chess is Elo ranking and matchmaking. Which ironically doesn't work all too well for Chess, because of the constant stalemates.


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