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Monday, March 28, 2011

Nice Chess in the Library programme helps kids

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011 

Checkmate: Chess is much more than just board game. Left to right, Stefan, Claudio Garcia-Espejo and Niraq, show focus, fun and fearlessness at the Bloor/Gladstone Library chapter of Chess in the Library. Courtesy/Daniela Muller-Shapiro

Hi everyone,

We found this very interesting feature on a project called 'Chess in the Library'. It was Brookbanks Public Library in North York that was the birthplace of Chess in the Library - a weekly program created by Canada's youngest female International Master, Yuanling Yuan, 17. The library is where young chess players gather to play and learn.

Already two years in, Yuan's idea has been a tremendous success. Chess in the Library now spans across 12 Toronto libraries, and has more than 40 volunteers. The program also operates in three libraries in Ottawa, and one library in Victoria, BC and Calgary, Alta.

Chess in the Library is designed to boost social and intellectual development. Chess demands the expansion of math and literacy skills and the emotional capacity to learn how to win and lose. But more importantly, these skills help prepare participants for the challenges which lie ahead as they transition through elementary school to middle school, to high school and beyond - something not offered by today's digital mediums.

Although video games do offer entertainment, there's limited emphasis on engaging one's intellectual faculties.

"Instead of just hitting buttons, you have to decide how you want to play and consider the consequences of your actions," said Kevin Wu, 15, executive director of the program. "Chess is a parallel to life - cause and effect."

Wu started playing when he was seven years old after his parents bought him a book on chess. Since then, he's been completely absorbed by the game. Following in Yuan's shoes, he's now a Candidate Master.

You can read the full article here.

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