John believes that chess can make a positive difference in the lives of children. Chess can help to improve concentration, engender a willingness to solve problems and facilitate logical analysis. John’s approach is to deconstruct chess to reveal its potential as an educational tool. This involves moving away from regarding chess as a competitive activity and towards regarding it as a rich field of logic giving rise to the joy of problem solving – from the simplest to the most complex.
John Foley is the Managing Director of ChessPlus and Secretary of the Education Commission of the European Chess Union. He is active in promoting and developing chess as part of the school education system. He has been Director of the international London Chess Conference since 2012. He was Director of Training and Education at Chess in Schools and Communities from 2010-2016 where he trained over 2,000 teachers and tutors in how to teach chess. He is responsible for the intellectual outputs from the CHAMPS project funded by ErasmusPlus which is developing educational material combining chess and mathematics for primary schools.
International Master, FIDE Senior Trainer and Chairman of ECU Education Commission
For twenty years I have been obsessed with finding the best ways to teach chess on all levels, from five year old beginners to world champions. The reason for my obsession is that I think that chess can make a difference!
Chess is one of the best ways to train the working memory, but chess also cross all kind of boarders like age, sex, handicaps and knowledge of the language. Everyone can play chess on equal ground! That is why I believe so much in Chess in Schools where chess is only the tool to obtain skills that can be used in life! My goal is to find the best pedagogic method so the game can develop kids from an intellectual and social point of view.
Rita Atkins is a chess tutor in Cambridge. She holds a degree in Mathematics and Physics as well as a Diploma of Education from Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, and an MSc in Computing Science from Imperial College, London. She has spent over ten years as a teacher of mathematics and physics in the UK and in Ireland. She is an Women International Master. She uses her experience in competitive chess to coach children about the mysteries of the royal game.
Stefan Löffler is a chess education consultant and teacher trainer with projects in several countries. He was the founding director of the London Chess Conference. He has organised and chaired many meetings on chess, health, science and technology, which were his specialities as a journalist. He studied Communication, Politics and Social Studies of Science in Berlin and in Amsterdam. Stefan is an International Master and he is also a distinguished chess writer and event organiser.