School students to be taught chess to sharpen mindsJanuary 4th, 2012 - 8:17 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, Jan 4 (IANS) Ruy Lopez, Sicilian Defence, Caro-Kann Defence, English Opening — all these might become popular terms with school students across Tamil Nadu in a couple of years’ time.
The exotic sounding terms are chess strategies - opening and defence variants - that the school students across Tamil Nadu would be learning and playing.
The Tamil Nadu government has started acting upon its earlier announcement to teach the game of chess to students in schools owned or aided by it, and setting up chess clubs in the state.
“We have started training physical education teachers in some schools. They, in turn, would train some more teachers in their schools to teach the game to the students,” K. Muralimohan, Tamil Nadu Chess Association (TNCA) secretary told IANS.
Welcoming the government’s move, T. Padmanabhan, assistant head master of the P.S. Higher Secondary School here told IANS: “The game will surely sharpen the student minds and thinking power. The game would develop the analytical ability of the students which will be beneficial for them throughout their life.”
The P.S. Higher Secondary School has a history of churning out good chess players like V. Ravikumar, India’s first Asian junior Chess champion and national players like R. Vijayaraghavan and R. Raghunathan.
“Couple of my college mates used to play chess and they used to score well in academics as well,” remarked Padmanabhan.
“It is a welcome move by the government. Tamil Nadu students lack the logical thinking process as they are more focused on rote learning to score marks. Even in objective type questions, students skip problem-oriented questions and focus on theory-oriented ones,” Jayaprakash Gandhi, education consultant and analyst told IANS.
He said the game would enable students of fourth-to-sixth standards to think which will be good in the long run.
If India is the birth place of chess then Tamil Nadu is the capital state of the game in the country.
The state has churned out 10 chess grandmasters, three women grandmasters (WGM), 24 international masters (IM-including WGM S. Vijayalakshmi who got the IM title in the open category) and five women IMs.
World champion Viswanathan Anand is from Tamil Nadu.
“The game will also get more popular across the state and the chess talent pool will go up immensely,” said Muralimohan.
He said initially the scheme will be tried out in five districts of Erode, Ramanathapuram, Tiruchirapalli, Dharmapuri and Kanchipuram.
As per the scheme, each school will have a chess club and a trained co-ordinator.
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