A new program, Chess in Schools, initiated by the science and education Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation and Kazakhstan Chess Federation (KCF) will kick off this year.  The program will run in test and development mode until 2020 covering three regions of the country: Almaty, Kyzylorda and Pavlodar.

A substantial input to the program’s realization came in opening of chess clubs at Pavlodar region’s 200 schools, which happened at the initiative of the regional akimat. Also earlier, the Yessenov Foundation and Chess Federation addressed the akimat with the idea of introducing a new subject, chess, in Pavlodar region’s secondary schools. This collaboration will introduce the new subject into the curriculum of 10 schools starting September 2017.

So opening of the mentioned chess clubs in a way was a special lead up to the big step.  As the local akimat report, out of 200 schools, the 110 are in rural areas. Famous chess players and veterans of the sport attended opening ceremonies for the chess clubs. For example, a 2013 World Champion among senoritas and International Grandmaster Yelena Ankudinova joined the students at the secondary school No.25. While there, she also gave a simultaneous display. Starting with the new academic year in September сhess will be introduced in the curriculum of the second grade in eight of Pavlodar schools.

– Choosing Pavlodar region to participate in this project was no coincidence; more than three thousand children living here are fond of playing chess. Each year many schools hold chess tournaments, and each time they involve a growing number of young chess players. This year we held the first tournament among preschoolers and it turned out to be a very interesting competition, – said the Executive Secretary of KCF and the main chess coach in Pavlodar region Yevgeny Yegorov.

This year the region saw another big change – a systematic approach was introduced to carry out competitions among children. First, the competitions will be held within villages, the winners of which will move up to compete at district level, and the best of the best will finally participate in the regional competition.