Russia has announced that chess is to become a compulsory subject in schools.  The Minster of Education and Science is quoted as saying, “Children playing chess have better academic performances.  Engagement with chess helps them with mental development”.

As someone who never learned chess I think this is an enlightened idea.  It teaches kids to think ahead, map out a strategy and try to foresee the reaction of opponents.  I don ‘t think a lot of the Russian government, but this is a smart move.  First graders will, from the current month, study chess for at least 33 hours a year over four year.   Chess is also compulsory in Armenia and Hungary, which have produced world- class chess players.

I just wish people learned more history.  Too many simply associate it with dates and find it boring.  Actually, it  is a study of human nature and motivations and helps explain how we got to where we are, and gives us clues as to what to avoid in future.  If you don’t know where you’ve come from it’s hard to spot where you’re headed.  You can work out for yourself to what I am referring.




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