Chess in Education Commission Workgroup Reports

Rita Atkins

Here is a summary of our Workgroup activities between January and May 2023.

Strategy Workgroup (by Mothokomedi Thabano)

The Strategy Workgroup is planning to host its first online workshop, which will be in English on the 8th of July 2023. This workshop is planned for twenty African, Fide affiliated Federations. Request has been sent to Africa Chess Confederation president, Tshepiso Lopang, to help in nominating countries. We are expecting about three attendees per Federation. This is our main activity planned for this summer. More workshops to follow.

The main purpose of the workshops is to highlight awareness of chess as an educational tool for federations. FIDE EDU would like chess federations to take an active interest in promoting chess in education. Presentations, discussions, research projects and examples of training activities and material await the audience.


Research Workgroup (by Dr. Mark Nowacki)

Over the past 1.5 months, the Research Group has finished collecting the second round of data for the FIDE-sponsored research in Yerevan and are in the process of analysing the results. We also continue to collect data for the “Post-COVID Global 50” research project, and again extend our invitation to additional groups to participate. We have also submitted and are awaiting funding approval of a revised version of the “CIE#1” research project. This project promises an incredibly rich source of data immediately useful for all involved in educational chess. Working with an educational partner in San Francisco, the project would involve 800 primary school students over the course of an entire academic year. In addition to overcoming several challenges that have hindered previous studies, CIE#1 will feature:

  1. Appropriate pure control groups;
  2. Use both Armenian and non-Armenian assessments of chess proficiency;
  3. A wide battery of psychological assessments that incorporate both qualitative research methods in addition to established quantitative measures;
  4. Investigate the relation of chess to student well-being and not just academic performance.

This is looking to be a high-visibility, rigorous, and very exciting project in education.


Social Media Workgroup (by Boris Bruhn)

Our main presence is on Facebook and Twitter. We have broken the barrier of 1000 followers on Twitter. The EDU Commission is mentioned in the posts of the big players several times a day. Our most active followers are:

  • The gift of chess (New York);
  • Chess for champs (Ghana);
  • Critical Thinking (The Movie).

Our posts have different numbers of impressions, one average about 140 impressions each.  On Facebook we write between two and four posts every week, mainly about the activities of our members of the EDU Commission. Our latest Preparation of Teachers course received 1000 impressions and 21 Likes.


Universities Workgroup (by Bartek Macieja)

The University Workgroup’s current focus is on the organization of the World University Online Championship. We are still in search of an organizer willing to provide a sufficient number of arbiters and to take care of other organizational aspects. A meeting between the EDU University Group Leader and the FIDE Secretary General took place this week, where different options were discussed. The necessity of cooperation with the Event commission was stressed. A follow-up meeting in a larger group is expected to happen within 1-2 weeks, where further discussion with corresponding decisions will be taken. Recently, FIDE conducted a scholastic online championship on Arena. Experience, including cons and pros were discussed in the context of the World University Online Championship.

The Mathematics of Chess 3 credit hour upper-level course (MATH 3399: Special Topics in Mathematics) took place at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in the Spring 2023 semester. The instructors were Professor Alexey Glazyrin and grandmaster Bartek Macieja. The topics included, but were not limited to combinatorics, graph theory, game theory, and group theory. It was the second time the course was offered at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

The first year of the Chess in Education minor took place at Webster University. The experience is being analysed to further expand the educational opportunities offered via chess.


Educator Awards Workgroup (by Tamara Sargsyan)

This workgroup will create a competency framework to award excellence in the use of chess as an educational tool. We have already collected the ideas about the possible criteria that might be included in the evaluation process. With this we will make a presentation, then we are going to work on the application process. Our presentation is expected for the end of June. We want to share this with members of the EDU Commission to receive their feedback on what is acceptable and what may need to change. Eventually will have the application form posted on the website.


Website Workgroup (by Rita Atkins)

We are planning to redesign the Education Commission website to be a kind of an information sharing searchable database. It will contain educational material for downloads, information about courses, certification, best practices, and many more items. The new website will be more dynamic than the old one with pictures, videos and intuitive navigation of content. Most of the work is expected to be done over the summer.

Here is a list of some of the searchable databases:

  • FIDE-certified schools;
  • FIDE-certified world-wide courses;
  • Educators holding School Instructor and Lead School Instructor titles;
  • Educator Awards;
  • List of past courses run by FIDE;
  • FIDE-certified online teaching tools, books, and other materials.

Here is a brief overview of other items:

  • Upcoming chess conferences;
  • Chess for Life Skills: little uplifting stories about how chess changes lives around the world;
  • School chess events: information about regular, established country-wide events (e.g. White Rook in Russia, UK Chess Challenge in the UK);
  • Information about Commission and Workgroup activities;
  • Partnerships;
  • Link to FIDE Journal of Chess in Education;
  • Calendar, Blog, News, Regulations etc.

Upcoming Events

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