“Chess in school” endorsed by European Parliament

Strasbourg, France – March 19, 2012 – The Kasparov Chess Foundation Europe and the European Chess Union proudly announce that the European Parliament has adopted the Written Declaration 50/2011 “Chess in School”. In order to pass, a declaration must be signed by a majority of Members of the European Parliament (in this case, 378). The declaration on Chess in School received 415 signatures (or 37 signatures – about 10% - more than required), a clear indication of the recognition of MEPs across Europe of the benefits that chess can bring to children.

Having received the required number of signatures the Written Declaration will now be officially communicated from the European Parliament to the Commission and to the Parliament of each EU Member State together with the list of signatories.

The declaration calls on the Commission and Council: - To encourage the introduction of the program “Chess in School” in the educational system of the Member States; - To pay, in its forthcoming communication on sport, the necessary attention to the program “Chess in School” and to ensure sufficient funding for it from 2012 onwards; - To take into consideration the results of any studies on the effects of this program on children’s development.

The “Chess in School” program is designed to promote chess in schools throughout Europe by offering chess curriculums, chess materials, chess teachers and communication material to encourage and motivate children to discover and learn the game. The development and implementation of the program will be carried out as a joint project between the Kasparov Chess Foundation Europe and the European Chess Union (ECU).

Garry Kasparov, Chairman of the Kasparov Chess Foundation Europe: “This is a great moment for chess. With this program it is our ambition to realize the dream of bringing chess into classrooms so that everyone may enjoy the benefits the game of chess offers. I would like to thank all members of parliament that have signed this declaration. My special thanks goes to Slavi Binev for having introduced the Written Declaration and for having supported us in our efforts to get this declaration adopted.”

Slavi Binev, Member of the European Parliament: “This Written Declaration is a mutual victory of the European Parliament, through which it proved that for the good causes and ideas there are no political boundaries and prejudices. Introducing chess in school is something good; actually, it is something more than just ‘good’ because it is good for our children, our future.”

Silvio Danailov, President of the European Chess Union: “Today is an historical day for chess in Europe. For the first time chess is recognised as educational tool besides being a sport. Our game is on a different social level.”

Jan Callewaert, President of the Kasparov Chess Foundation Europe: “Our future depends on our children who will have to find their way in a very competitive environment. We are convinced that the Chess in School program will stimulate them to take initiatives, think out-of-the-box, raise their self-esteem and make them ready to confront the challenges in a globalized economic world.”