"Chess is a meritocracy"

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LONDON CHESS CONFERENCE 2018

The sixth edition of the annual London Chess Conference, supported by Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC), European Chess Union (ECU) and Erasmus Plus, will take place from 8th-9th December in Irish Cultural Centre, in London, United Kingdom.

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The theme of the conference this year will be the future of chess in education. The question arises because there are many developments in the world of chess and also many challenges facing our education systems. In the UK, the head of the schools inspection body, OFSTED, recently announced that they would switch their attention from looking at how children perform in exams to looking at how they learn in the classroom. The new idea, “quality of education”, is a reversion to a time before league tables forced schools to narrow the range of education. The likely consequence of the revived approach is that schools should make time for arts, music, sports and, we may hope, activities such as chess.

A strong argument for chess in schools is that it prepares children for the digital future. Chess is about the manipulation of abstract ideas – the raw material of the digital age. Citizens need to be able to navigate a range of logic-rich scenarios. For example, using a mobile phone or an iPad involves appreciating that there is a logical sequence to performing any task. The chess playing child goes deep into the logical relationship between the elements. At its essence, chess becomes a series of if-then conditions. If you move your bishop, then I will checkmate you. Once you begin to think in this structured way, you can overcome a wider range of problems that one meets in everyday life. Conference speakers will explain how schools will be using chess to develop not only intellectual but also social skills which are vital for future citizens.

CHAMPS multiplier event

The conference will also host a multiplier event for the Erasmus Plus CHAMPS project on Chess and Mathematics in Primary Schools which takes place as a conference stream on Saturday 8th December. Attendance at the CHAMPS sessions is free but is subject to registration (below). The CHAMPS project explores the connections between chess and mathematics and adapts a number of these into instructive problems suitable for solving by young people.

After the end of the London Chess Conference, venue of Irish Cultural Center will host ECU School Chess Teacher Training Course, which will take place on 10th and 11th December, and on 12th December, new course accredited by European Chess Union, ECU Chess and Mathematics Teacher Training Course.

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The ECU School Chess Teacher Training Course will comprise two days of interactive presentations, group discussions and practical exercises, and after the course, participants will have a test to pass to receive the ECU School Chess Teacher Certificate, which certifies that the attendee has achieved a professional level in teaching chess in schools.

The ECU Chess and Mathematics Teacher training course is a one-day course of interactive presentations, group working and hands-on exercises. The purpose of the course is to prepare teachers to use chess to develop problem solving skills with a focus on mathematics . The course is suitable for teachers and tutors who want to make chess an exciting and educational experience for children. The ECU Chess and Mathematics Teacher Certificate is available to those who complete the course and pass a test taken at the end of the course. The Certificate is endorsed by the European Chess Union (ECU) to recognise that the individual has didactical methods for the classroom.

Official Website 

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