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Monday, December 19, 2011

Highlights of Second Koltanowski International Conference on Chess and Education

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

Hello everyone,

The U.S. Chess Trust is a proud sponsor of the Second Koltanowski International Conference on Chess and Education. 

The Second Koltanowski International Conference on Chess and Education was held at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, TX, on November 18 and 19, 2011. The conference was invaluable in providing resources for those interested in well researched and documented studies as well as those looking for ideas for teaching chess. Anyone who wants to understand the value of the Koltanowski Conferences needs only to compare the status of chess in education today with its status ten years ago when the first conference was held. 

The conference was appropriately named in honor of George and Leah Koltanowski and serves as a memorial to them. George Koltanowski excelled as a chess player, a chess organizer, a chess tournament director, and a chess journalist. His creativity and sense of humor enabled him to make significant advances in chess tournament procedures while popularizing the world of chess to countless new devotees through his syndicated newspaper column, books, TV show, and especially his personal appearances which focused on remarkable demonstrations of memory and humorous chess stories. He became the National Chess Champion of Belgium and later, after moving to the US, was awarded the title of Dean of American Chess. His wife, Leah, was always by his side and fully supported his constant promotion of chess. Her name was always on the chessboard when George did his popular Knight’s Tour exhibition. They were both wonderful people that enriched the lives of those who knew them and countless others who didn’t.

Each session focused on one general topic and included from one to three presentations related to that topic. 

Professor Frank Brady on “What we can learn from Bobby Fischer”, which was based on his decades of interaction with his friend Bobby Fischer. 

Margaret Murphy, President of the US Virgin Islands Chess Federation, spoke on “Teaching Chess Simultaneously: A Program for Students and Classroom Teachers”.

Professor Charles Moura Netto, Vice President of the Brazilian Chess Federation spoke on “Chess That Brings Freedom” project, which works with 22 prisons in Espirito Santo, Brazil and involves 2250 prisoners, many of whom were arrested for such crimes as murder, robbery, and drug dealing. 

Kevin O’Connell is a FIDE Senior Trainer, and International Arbiter, and FIDE Master. He spoke on successful effort to get chess in schools in Turkey and to provide information on the FIDE Chess in Schools program worldwide.

Dr. Teresa Parr, a Doctor of Clinical Psychology, explained why chess works with young children. 

Joseph Eberhard, EdD, TAGT Statewide Teacher of the Year in 2002 elaborated on an earlier South Texas study where there was an emphasis on classroom chess instruction and its impact on economically disadvantaged students.

Professor James Bartlett, head of UTD’s doctoral program in Cognition and Neuroscience, his doctoral student Amy Boggan, and Professor Dan Krawczyk of UTD’s Center for Brain Health presented three related papers. Professor Bartlett presented “On Holistic Processing with Faces and Chess”. 

Professor Dan Krawczyk presented “The Brain and Chess Perception”.

There were several other fantastic presentations and you can read a full report at the US Chess Trust website

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  • At December 20, 2011 at 12:52 AM , Anonymous amrit puri, knights chess club, new delhi said...

    fanatastic papers. just went through the details. absolutely fantastic.

  • At December 20, 2011 at 7:37 AM , Anonymous alexis cochran, nz said...

    what an event!!! What amazing work has been done. No words to describe the wealth of information in the papers. Amazing. No words to describe the joy I feel just reading about all the topics. Congratulations to the organisers truly.


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