The Education Commission of the European Chess Union (ECU) was established in 2014. Our role is to develop and promote chess as part of children’s education. We seek to make a strong and successful programme in each member country by sharing knowledge and resources and encouraging international co-operation. We contribute to public discussion and lobby for chess.
We must support our arguments with evidence. Ultimately, we seek to obtain quantitative data on the number of schools offering chess and the number of children learning chess in each country. This will enable us to measure progress and report developments to the federations and educational funding bodies.
We decided to conduct a survey of the 54 member federations from summer 2015. The purpose is to gather information about the situation in each country. Basic information about the federations was also gathered to provide some context. This is the first time that the ECU has conducted a survey (FIDE conducted a survey previously) and we have learned a great deal from the process.
In what follows, we shall use “CiS” to refer to the “Chess in Schools” movement. We found that chess is widely regarded as important for children’s education, particularly in primary school (up to the age of 11). CiS is being implemented in every ECU country.
We have received 33 completed questionnaires with 21 still to come i.e we have 61% of the total. We are grateful to the national chess federations and the CiS organisations which made the effort to respond. Some important countries are missing but we hope to obtain them all eventually.
CiS is largely a grass roots movement with initiatives often led by enterprising individuals. The federations may not be aware of some CiS projects within their own territories. Some CiS projects were established on a private commercial basis and may be unknown to the federations. We aim to capture the main projects but there will inevitably be some gaps within each country.