Komsomoltskaya Pravda has recently reported on the introduction of chess as a subject in all Russian primary schools. Children from Grade 1 through 4 will have a weekly chess lesson. We have tried to verify what is actually the case.
Russia’s Minister of Education and Science, Olga Vassilyeva, had previously announced her intention to make chess mandatory in 2017. She explained that chess helps with children´s development. In support of the
The introduction of chess helps to solve a problem within the management of school sports. A few years ago the level of sports in schools was expanded to three lessons a week. The policy has not worked out as planned due to a lack of facilities and physical education teachers. Furthermore, some parents consider extra sports lessons excessive. Now, primary schools are permitted to replace one sports lesson with chess.
Chess is already present in thousands of Russian primary schools. However, it has yet to be seen how many extra schools will take up this opportunity in the new school year. Alexander Kostyev, the veteran school chess activist and a Professor at Moscow State Social University explains the
Pilots for teaching chess in several Russian regions have been sponsored by the Timchenko
The chess textbooks used in many Russian schools were devised by International Master Vladimir Barsky (photo), an experienced chess writer. Published by the Vaco School Publishing House, there are separate editions for primary and secondary schools. The textbooks provide a solid knowledge of chess basics using a tried-and-tested approach. The material focuses on orthodox chess eschewing the modern trend towards instructive minigames and transversal chess in other subjects. The attractively illustrated textbooks are moderately priced at roughly €6 for 100 pages and are supplemented by exercise books.
We will bring you up to date on the situation in Russia at our next London Chess Conference.