Kasparov Chess Foundation promotes chess education in Asia

by ChessBase
4/23/2017 – In conjunction with the Kasparov Chess Foundation's 15th Anniversary Celebration, the Kasparov Chess Foundation Asia-Pacific proposed five activities as its contribution and four of them came together with a tour of four countries in Asia with the common theme of Chess in Education. Here is an illustrated report by Peter Long

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Kasparov Chess Foundation promotes chess education in four countries in Asia

By Peter Long

Michael Khodarkovsky, a Senior FIDE Trainer who is a multiple time captain and coach of USA teams, and the President of the Kasparov Chess Foundation, agreed to be the key speaker.


First up was Guam where Khodarkovsky received a warm welcome on his arrival on 22 March and enjoyed very much both the atmosphere of a chess club and that of a closely-knit island community.

Michael Khodarkovsky playing with Guam Lt Governor Ray Tenorio, a great supporter of chess in schools

Family affair!


Then it was on to the Manila on 25 March where he was joined by Ignatius Leong, also a FIDE Senior Trainer, and Director of the Kasparov Chess Foundation Asia-Pacific.

Red Dumuk, Philippines Director of the Kasparov Chess Foundation Asia-Pacific had pulled out all stops to involve not only the National Chess Federation of the Philippines and the Department of Education but also the participation of Grandmaster Eugene Torre led Professional Chess Trainers Association of the Philippines with Cliburn Anthony Orbe kindly made available a top-notch venue in Alphaland Makati Place.

On 26 March a 700 player Young Talents Rapid Age Groups Chess Tournament took place but the numbers would have been much much more if there was space with over 2,000 inquiries and more than 200 players had to be turned away!

Bird's eye View of one of the two Playing Halls

What do chess players do when there are games going on and they cannot play? Play each other of course! It's Leong vs Khodarkovsky but Orbe who is here pretending to be arbiter had already taken the first place!

What else to do until the closing ceremony? How about some sightseeing?

But hey, where there is a park, there is chess, right? Some found it easier than others and so have time to take in other games.

It was then back to give away the prizes to the many winners

The trophy(s) shot

You don't have to be Kasparov to have kids want to take their photo with you!

In the Philippines, in chess, there is no one bigger than the living legend that is Eugene Torre

The next day, 27 March, was the day of the Chess in Education Training for Teachers Seminar. Here it was s mix of teachers, professional and wannabe coaches, and all as could be expected from the Philippines, very decent chess players!

Group photo of participants with lecturers


On 29 March, it was a long flight to Yangon via Bangkok but well compensated by the warm hospitality of Myanmar Chess Federation President Maung Maung Lwin who personally picked everyone from the airport and straight to dinner.

Then it was 30 & 31 March for further recovery and what better than the sights of Yangon and beyond?

Shwedagon Pagoda - Nothing less than a Wonder of the World

Just a glimpse of the thousands of elaborate temples within

Lush greenery - the view from Kandawagyi Lake Gardens

Fully energized it was back to work on 1 April with the Chess in Education Seminar but here it was Training for Teachers. The seminar took place at the e-Learning Hub, Yangon University of Education

The 250 teachers from all over Myanmar who came to learn how to teach chess!

Concurrently the organizers took the opportunity to hold a Young Talents Rapid Chess Tournament

The seminar itself was a very serious affair with many of the faculty taking a special interest in how chess could be applied for learning during the benefits of chess portion while the post-graduate student teachers were particularly inspired as to how they could set up clubs ins chools and get kids playing in competitions.

L-R: Maung, Professor Dr. Aye Aye Myint, Rector, Yangon University of Education, Khodarkovsky, and Leong

Myanmar National Champion May Hsu Lwin helped present the prizes


On 2 April it was off to Kuala Lumpur via Singapore.

The following day, 3 April, 80 teachers and state representatives from the Ministry of Education attended a day-long seminar at the Ministry of Education Auditorium in Putrajaya with a particularly lively Q&A following.

During the Question & Answer, several interesting questions were taken by the KCF speakers.

L-R: Leong, Rabitah Abdul binti Razak, Director (Chess), Sports Unit, Ministry of Education, Khodarkovsky and Mohd. Firdaus Ismail, President of Putrajaya Chess Association

In Manila and Yangon, winners of the Young Talent Rapids were given subsidies by Kasparov Chess Foundation Asia-Pacific for this year's ASEAN Age-Group Championships and in the case of Malaysia, these were instead awarded to winners of the National Youth Championships held two weeks earlier where 555 players competed in U8, U10, U12, U14 & U18 categories.

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