ECU School Chess Teacher Training Certificate Course

Graduation photo

The ECU School Chess Teacher Training course provides a certificate recognising that the participants have met the required level of chess knowledge and understanding of didactical methods for teaching chess in schools. The course deploys chess as a vehicle to teach thinking skills such as problem solving and logical analysis. The course is suitable for teachers of pupils from age 8 upwards.  The training course has been held throughout Europe.

Who should attend: Teachers, teaching assistants, school chess tutors 

Pre-requisite: Basic knowledge of chess

Duration: Two days       Participants:  12-24 

Content: Didactical methods for chess in the classroom: SMART® playing method, questioning techniques, structured thinking, code of conduct, arranging tournaments, mini-games, social formats, problem solving, planning. 

Credentials The course draws upon decades of experience by European chess teaching pedagogues who have trained thousands of teachers across Europe. The approach has been validated by ECU Academic Advisory Board comprising leading international professors.

Trainers: Professional trainers have been licensed to run the course.

Course Test: Online multiple-choice test taken at the end of the course.

Certificate: Numbered Certificates endorsed by the European Chess Union

See our register of successful graduates.

Current Trends and Developments in Chess Education

by Stefan Löffler, ChessPlus, Member of FIDE Education Commission

A very well organised and fruitful conference “Current trends and developments in chess education” took place in Tsakhkadzor, a resort town north of Yerevan in Armenia. Most of the speakers were connected with the Armenian school chess programme, which is easily the most ambitious in the world: all children in the 2nd to 4th grade in Armenia have two chess lessons each week. When the scheme was established the President of the Armenian Chess Federation was conveniently the President of Armenia.

Foreground: Smbat Lputian, Judit Polgar, Nigel Short, Kevin O’Connell

As the schools chess programme developed, more and more scientists became involved. In 2018, the Chess Scientific Research Institute was established at the Armenian State Pedagogical University in Yerevan. It comprises 18 scientists from education, didactics, psychology, sociology and philosophy. The Institute’s Director, associate professor Vahan Sargsyan, is also initiating a new scientific journal that will be cover scholarly publications about educational and social aspects of chess. 

Vahan Sargsyan

The conference opening speech was delivered by Armenia’s Minister of Education Arayik Harutyunyan. Foreign speakers addressed practical angles. Belarus, Iceland and Kazakhstan sent representatives in preparation for the national roll-out of their own national school chess programmes. The character of the conference was more academic than at the informal London Chess Conferences organised by ChessPlus. The conference comprised a single stream rather than parallel sessions of workshops and debates as in London.

Luis Blasco, Stefan Löffler

Smbat Lputian, the founder and leader of the Armenian school chess programme, is also the Chairman of the Education Commission of FIDE (the World Chess Federation). This newly constituted Commission held their first meeting to coincide with the Conference. The Commission sees its main objective in helping school chess programmes worldwide to raise their standards. Communication is crucial in improving the effectiveness of its mission. The construction of a new website is underway, The former system of FIDE directly providing training courses for teachers and tutors is being revised and possibly dismantled. The continuity with FIDE’s former Chess in Schools Commission is that its chairman Kevin O´Connell has moved over as the Secretary of the FIDE Education Commission. Kevin is not the only link, because a Latin American (who didn´t come to Armenia) was already a member of CIS in 2014-2018.

All presentations are available in English here

Photos: Armenian Chess Academy