Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Chess in Schools, Da!

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If you thought that chess already was a school subject in Russia, this article from Pravda (in English) will disabuse you. Getting chess into the curriculum, and not just as an after-school or lunchtime school-sponsored activity, has been a holy grail for many groups. In 2001 I went to Mexico with some other people from KasparovChess Online (including the now new president of the US Chess Federation, Beatriz Marinello. Hey, I did tequila shots with the USCF Prez!) as part of a KCO initiative to put chess into Mexico. Garry had been there earlier to meet with all the government education bigwigs and there was a great deal of fanfare. (Photo) In the end pomp didn't lead to pawns and things petered out along with KCO.

The most amusing part of that trip for me came after my requisite trip to the fantastic Fine Arts Museum in Mexico City. (I lived in Guadalajara for two years and visited this museum whenever I came through the capital to commune with the murals.) There are a huge number of chessplayers in the large park in front of the museum. Not just on little chess tables, but with covered areas and clubs that organize tournaments.

Of course I had to stop by for some blitz and was warmly greeted, especially when they found out I could speak Spanish. I told them I worked for KasparovChess and showed them my card. A few moments later I heard that "an advisor of Garry Kasparov is here to play blitz!" over a loudspeaker! Suddenly there was a big crowd around my board and a line of people waiting to play me. I was trying to explain that I ran his website, I wasn't his coach, so my chessboard exploits shouldn't be held against me. But it turned out well in the end when I managed to go undefeated with a few draws and even a win against a local IM (admittedly IMs in Mexico have a 50-50 chance of being rated around 2100 due to a title-giveaway scandal a few years ago).

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on September 13, 2003 3:16 AM.

    Kasparov in Crete was the previous entry in this blog.

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