"Chess at School" Program
In 2011, Chess was included in the 2-4 grades of public schools of the Republic of Armenia as a compulsory subject. Armenia is the first country in the world to make such an innovation in its educational system, with a tendency to create new factors for improving the quality of students' education.
The goals of teaching Chess are the following:
- to stimulate students' research activities
- to develop the ability to navigate changing chess situations
- to form the ability to find options for solving chess problems
- to develop learners' convergent and divergent thinking as a structural component of intelligence
"Chess" as an educational subject develops convergent and divergent ways of thinking. It gives the opportunity to think about several possible steps, evaluate them and choose the best one. Chess develops focus and diffuse thinking. It gives an opportunity to focus on the game for some time, and then switch to diffuse thinking during the opponent's move. This alternation of the two modes of thinking is considered important for the efficient functioning of the brain.
"Chess" as a subject contributes to the development of analytical and critical, creative and alternative ways of thinking among students, the formation and development of the ability to predict, the ability to influence the course of different situations, the promotion of the ability to learn and the appreciation of education through imagination and creativity.
"Chess" as a subject contributes to the development of students' abilities of internal planning of mental actions, decision-making in complex situations, self-analysis, attention and intelligence, as well as self-organization of behavior, discipline and responsibility. From the point of view of sport, Chess develops students’ volitional qualities, abilities to fight to the end, to be objective, to evaluate correctly, as well as to lose with dignity. In terms of art, chess develops students’ taste, ability to perceive and appreciate the fine.
The basic principles of the subject teaching are the following:
- the provision of access to chess education
- the active participation of students in the teaching process
- the practical orientation of the subject teaching
It is also important to mention the direct support of the third President of the Republic of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan during the implementation of the idea and dedicated work of the RA Chess Academy under the leadership of Smbat Lputian, the first deputy of the RA Chess Federation, International Grandmaster.
Until now, 17 RA schoolchildren's Chess Olympiads have been held, which ensured the popularization of chess in schools.