"Human Chess" - an event to teach children chess

by Niklesh Kumar Jain
11/12/2015 – In 1988 Vishy Anand became India's first grandmaster. Now, 27 years later, India has 39 grandmasters and at the World Youth Chess Championship in Porto Carras that just ended, India won more medals than any other nation. This chess boom relies on chess teachers like Niklesh Jain who again and again have new ideas to teach children the game.

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Since 2005 I have been promoting chess in schools of central India and during the last ten years I have organised a number of international and national events. I also teach chess at the SYNA International school and the students from this school have not only profited academically from chess but have also won a lot of medals in national and international chess events. The school team, for instance, in 2012 became Champion of the Central and West part of India zone (which includes seven Indian states) and 2014 won the Madhya Pradesh state championship.

I have also always tried to find ways to teach young children chess and to instill a passion for chess in them. One way to do this was "live human chess", in which students acted as pieces. This would allow us to turn the game into a public event in which the whole school could participate.

I proposed the idea of "Human Chess" to the school and got a positive response. The main aim was to create an atmosphere that allowed our pupils to connect to the game and to introduce them to the history of chess while also teaching them the basic rules of the game.


The SYNA International school is one of the major chess spots in Madhya Pradesh.


The big chess board (24x24 feet) created a big hype - even before the match started.

The pupils who slipped into the role of the pieces with the
school Principal (in the blue shirt) and your author (in the red shirt)

The students showed the spectators how the chess pieces move. The rook...

...the bishop...

..the knight...

...the pawn when capturing...

...the king...

...and the queen. The queen is a powerful piece - here it covers
27 squares, almost half the chessboard.


Aman Khanna, Elo 1564, acting as black king

The white king was Ayush Pattanaik, Elo 1724.

After showing the children how the pieces move, I shared with them the story how the game of chess originated in India to maintain peace among the kings. Today chess connects million of people all over the world and also helps the world to stay in peace.

Then thiings got serious - with a real game.

Before the start of the game I was not sure whether the audience would understand it but ten to fifteen moves later I realized that the audience not only enjoyed the game but excitedly followed it. They wanted to know who is better, what White or Black would play next and what the best move was. Therefore I am sure "Human Chess" has a great future in helping to develop the chess in schools project.

The end is near - White mates next move.

After the match the school principal Dr .Aditya Kumar Sharma congratulated
each member of the two teams and stressed the benefits of chess in education.

Group picture after the game - I was really happy
that this "Human Chess" was such a big success.

The media also took note and published an article about
the successes of the SYNA International School chess team:
it won 21 medals out of 27 in Madhya Pradesh State

This table shows the academic success of the students who
are part of the chess team:
chess really is good for education.

SYNA International school/a>& 

Chess in School in India

The Origins of Chess


FIDE Instructor Niklesh Kumar Jain Jain is an international chess player who has participated in tournaments in almost in 20 different countries, winning the international tournament in Sri Lanka in 2010. He also worked for a television network as an anchor and news writer for two years and reported in Hindi during World Chess Championship 2013 and 2014.


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gourav31 gourav31 4/4/2016 07:26
sicilian_D sicilian_D 11/13/2015 03:16
very nice!!!