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Thread: Chess mania captures Armenia's attention

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    Chess mania captures Armenia's attention

    Chess mania captures Armenia's attention - Features - Al Jazeera English

    Chess mania captures Armenia's attention
    Small Caucasus country is the first in the world to make chess mandatory in schools, aiming to build a better society.
    Yerevan, Armenia - Little Susie Hunanyan attended her favourite class in school last week, and it wasn't drawing, crafts or sport. The seven-year-old sat studiously through an hour of chess lessons.

    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.

    Susie listened attentively as her teacher explained chess moves on a large board in front of the class at the Yeghishe Charents Basic School in the capital, Yerevan.

    "I like chess lessons a lot. They always pass by smoothly," she said, setting up pieces sequentially on her board.

    Armenia has produced more than 30 grandmasters and won the team chess Olympiads in 2006, 2008 and 2012. Armenian champion Levon Aronian is currently the third-best player in the world, according to the World Chess Federation
    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.

    "My grandpa taught me how to play chess. But now that I learn chess in school, I am better at it than he is," Susie said, adding when she grows up, she'd like to become a chess champion like her idol, Levon Aronian.

    For an hour, the students playfully engaged in one-on-one matches against each other.

    "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.
    READ THE REST IN THE LINK, THERE IS MUCH MORE!!

    Ok, so, I LOVE chess and I think this is a brilliant idea. They implemented this in 2011 and has been running since, now, even more so.

    This is great. These are the kind of small, good ideas that can be implemented in schools cheaply and have a massive improvement overall on children development. Good for them.

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    Re: Chess mania captures Armenia's attention

    I also love chess. In my opinion it is the greatest game ever devised. And I am all for chess clubs or even having it as an option for an elective class. I disagree with making it mandatory though.

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    Re: Chess mania captures Armenia's attention

    It is cheap and fairly easy to implement. i cannot complain about it being there. On the other hand, it is a game. getting this excited about chess being in school is about the same as being excited you school has a basketball team. It is good to find games you can enjoy, but it is for fun and entertainment and really is not a life skill. Right now in america we have problems with kids who cannot do math, or think science equates to god did it. We have revisionist history which has all the truth of a tarantino written disney film about nazis. Where extracurricular games would help get some kids interested in being around a school, I cannot really see the great benefit to a person for knowing how to play chess over any other game.

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