London Chess Conference

18th March 2023 - Chess and STEM

09:00 – 10:00


Conference Welcome

10:00 – 10:30

John Foley (UK) – Conference Director I ChessPlus 

John Foley has been Director of the London Chess Conference for ten years. He has curated its growth from a side event of the London Chess Classic to becoming the premier international conference for chess in schools. He is fully committed to the educational benefits of chess and teaches chess in a school and privately. He is the Director of ChessPlus Limited which provides teacher training courses and develops classroom resources for teaching strategy games and chess. He was the Secretary of the Education Commission of the European Chess Union from 2014 – 2022. He has been involved with chess in England in various capacities: Director of Training at Chess in Schools and Communities, board member of the English Chess Federation and of the Surrey County Chess Association. He is President of Kingston Chess Club which has achieved recent successes winning the online national chess league (4NCL) in 2021 and the Surrey team championship in 2022. As a junior, he was London u16 champion and the Oxford University champion.

Prior to turning his energies to chess-based education, John had a varied career around strategic decision making. He started as a corporate planner for Total Oil after which he founded an energy trading software company in the USA. At PwC he developed business strategies for major companies in the energy and media sectors. For a decade, he ran a strategy consultancy advising the European Commission and several European transmission and telecommunications companies on the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting. After qualifying as a barrister, he managed the performance of legal aid in the criminal courts for the Legal Services Commission.

Session 3


10:30 – 11:15

Jerry Nash (USA) – Chairman of Chess in Education Commission I FIDE

As Chairman of FIDE’s Chess in Education Commission, Jerry Nash believes in the power of chess to enable student success – both in and beyond the classroom. His 20+ years of experience as a leader of professional development for teachers has provided ample evidence that when teachers introduce chess as an educational tool, the classroom dynamics change because of the increase in student engagement and skill development. In 2021, Mr. Nash led the FIDE EDU Strategy Group and FIDE-EDU Certification and Endorsement Group, both tasked with outlining FIDE’s goals and strategies for Chess in Education over the next four years. In November of 2022, Mr. Nash was appointed Chairman for FIDE EDU.

We believe that students engaged in chess and chess-related activities are acquiring critical thinking skills such as pattern recognition, analyzing alternatives, and making decisions. We can bring these fundamental thinking strategies into the classroom so that teachers can make deliberate connections for 21st century skills, HOT thinking, and introducing the Scientific Method. These deliberate connections enable us to make the case for chess as an educational tool.


Alexey Root USA –  Chief Science Officer I Chessable

Alexey Root, Woman International Master, has a PhD in education from UCLA and was the 1989 U.S. Women’s Chess Champion. She became Chessable’s Chief Science Officer in April of 2022. Root also teaches online courses, available worldwide, about chess and education for The University of Texas at Dallas. Root is the author of eight books, including Science, Math, Checkmate: 32 Chess Activities for Inquiry and Problem Solving,

The Chessable Research Awards are for undergraduates and for graduate students. Winning undergraduates each get $500; their faculty research sponsors each get $500. Winning graduate students each get $1,000; their faculty research sponsors each get $500. For more information, and to apply, go to The Chessable science team also coordinates Featured Projects (including “sex differences in chess ability” research by Harvard University’s Angela Li and Dr. Mark Glickman), Research Help, and a Blog.

Allen Tsui (UK) – Head of Computing and STEM Enrichment I Willow Brook Primary School Academy

Allen Tsui is a subject specialist for Computing at Willow Brook Primary School Academy in Leyton, East London. Allen is also the Community Leader for the Computing at School Waltham Forest Primary and Secondary community, hosting the fortnightly #CASChat via Twitter @CASChat_UK. Willow Brook is part of the Griffin Schools Trust of Primary and Secondary schools in London, Kent and the Midlands.

How chess has had an impact on attainment and enrichment for Primary aged children.

11:15 – 11:45

Coffee break

Session 4


11:45 – 13:00

Host: Stefan Löffler

Mike Klein (USA) – CCO I ChessKid

FM Mike Klein, better known as FunMasterMike in ChessKid videos and streams, has worked for ChessKid for the last 10 years after having taught chess for 15 years in the classroom. He is currently the Chief Chess Officer and his goal is to use technology to give the gift of chess to every child.

Carey Fan (USA) – CEO I ChessKid

Carey Fan has been leading ChessKid for 5 years. During his tenure, ChessKid has grown from 1 million to 8 million members worldwide. Carey has been a tech entrepreneur for 20+ years. But when he saw an opportunity to merge his passion for Chess, technology and kids, he couldn’t resist the opportunity!

Re-thinking Chess. How we make chess a mainstream activity and grow the game. How we overcome obstacles of chess in schools

Pep Suárez (Spain), CEO I ChessForEdu SL

José Francisco Suárez (Pep) has a Ph.D. in psychology and a diploma in business consultancy. For the last 30 years, he has worked as a teacher trainer in the Balearic Islands and all over the world promoting chess as an educational tool. He is also the trainer of ECU101 – The SMART Method to Teach Chess Training Course in Spanish language, developed by the ECU Education Commission and ChessPlus. He is president of the Technical College of Instructors and Coaches of the Spanish Chess Federation (FEDA) and a member of the Education Commission of the European Chess Union (ECU).

Chessforedu’s Caissa platform presents a solution how to integrate chess into the curriculum in primary schools. Students can progress through playing games by combining cognitive, social, and behavioral parameters, and teachers can work in a rich environment with many options. Furthermore, the reports generated by the platform are also excellent and transferable tools for making decisions in other subjects.

Please join our Zoom Meeting demonstration on how to use Chessforedu in the Classroom

Monday, 20th March at 17:00 (Madrid Time)

Register your interest here: ChessForEdu Demonstration

Registration is open and free for anyone (not just conference attendees).

Boris Bruhn (Germany) – Member I FIDE Education Commission

Boris Bruhn has been a chess trainer and coach for over 30 years, he has held almost all voluntary positions in clubs and federations in Germany. He has been on the FIDE Chess in Education Commission since 2019. Boris is a speaker for teacher training, among others for the ECU101 and ECU102 courses. By profession he is a class teacher of a 5th grade in a hotspot school, he teaches the subjects of mathematics, society and computer science.

Meet my teacher colleague Dirk and join him in the first weeks of the new school year 2022/2023, where he has not only introduced chess to the classroom but also some technical innovations (hardware and software). Find out what highlights and challenges awaited him in the process. Take inspiration from his experiences. Also bring a technical device if you want to try out some things yourself.

Michał Kanarkiewicz (Poland) – CEO & Founder I Kanarkiewicz Chess Academy

@michalkanarkiewicz (150k) on TikTok. Author of 7 books, strategic consultant, MBA lecturer, and chess player. He runs his TV Show, ‘Królewska Gra’, on the biggest polish sports channel – Kanal Sportowy. Owner of Kanarkiewicz Strategy Consulting training and consulting boutique. Michal teaches strategic thinking, building strategies and making decisions by playing chess. He has trained over 60,000 leaders and managers. He has worked for brands such as Coca-Cola, ING, Volvo, EY, PwC, Siemens, L’oreal, Heineken, Santander and Lufthansa.

TikTok is a trending social media platform, but what has it got to do with chess? In this presentation, I will explain not only its relevance but how you can leverage TikTok to attract more people to play than you ever imagined possible.

I will answer the following questions:
1. What is the “Queen’s Gambit effect” and its impact on chess marketing?
2. What is TikTok and how does it work?
3. What are the demographics and expectations of TikTok users?
4. How did I encourage 150k+ Polish people to play chess via TikTok?
5. Can anybody create interesting TikTok videos?

13:00 – 14:00

Lunch break

Session 5


14:00 – 15:15

Rolf Niemann (Sweden) – Education Coordinator I Vattenhallen Science Center Lunds University

Rolf Niemann has worked as an education coordinator at Vattenhallen Science Center at the University of Lund since 2015 with the responsibility for educating teachers. During these years he inspired more than a thousand teachers from primary school to upper secondary schools in the field of STEM and educated them in coding and robotics. He is even involved in collaboration with different researchers from the University in the development of new exhibitions at the Science Center and in the development of teaching material. Originally from Germany, he got an early inspiration by his teachers for science, technology and engineering and studied mathematics, physics and pedagogic at the University of Hannover where he did his PhD in physics in 1992. After moving to Sweden in 1996 he worked for 20 years as a teacher in technology, mathematics and physics at different higher secondary schools.

Democracy and equality requires equal education – everyone needs general knowledge in computer science, programming and robotics for an active role in the social development. Software is the reason for the largest societal transformation of all time and it is our children who will form the future society. In my talk, I will speak about the wonderful combination of chess and coding and will show some ideas on how to get robots on the chessboard.

There will be a workshop during the conference where everybody is welcome to test both some programming and some robot activities.

Paolo Sartorelli (Italy) – Project Designer and Manager I Centro Culturale Asteria/Milan

Paolo got a M.Sc degree in Physics, with a specialization in didactics. He was active in high school teaching, VET training and design of training courses and related audio-visual supporting tools. After over 10 years as consultant of the UN’s FAO (mainly in European, African and Latin American countries) he started managing several development cooperation projects of the EU (East Europe). In the late carrier he focused on applications of Open and distance learning methodologies. Paolo is an amateur chess player. A lover of chess and with long experience in education, he has become increasingly interested in Chess-in-Education initiatives in recent years and has collaborated with Alfierebianco (Alessandro Dominici) in this area.

The Erasmus+ short project has just been approved. The presentation is limited to an introduction to the structure and scope of the project, with a look at the potential follow-up (2024-2027) that will design and implement a comprehensive educational proposal on “Chess and Artificial Intelligence” for the entire K1-K8 cycle. A key objective is to connect with qualified counterparts of proactive STEM actors. No reference is made to content and methodologies, as the project is still in the start-up phase.

Pawel Kacprzak is the founder of, a versatile solution for scanning and recognizing chess diagrams on major platforms, including desktop and mobile devices. has gained worldwide popularity for its ability to scan diagrams from various sources, such as images, books, videos, and eBooks, and its integration with popular social platforms like Twitter, Reddit, and Discord, making it a go-to solution for chess players of all levels.

In this talk, I will explore how cutting-edge technology can transform the world of chess content, making it more interactive, richer, and interconnected. From leveraging image recognition and machine learning to integrating with social media platforms and automating key tasks, I will showcase the innovative ways that technology can enhance the experience for players, teachers, and all enthusiasts.


15:15 – 15:45

Coffee break

Session 6


15:45- 17:00

Monika Muselik (Austria) – Professor I University of Education Vienna

Monika Musilek heads the Regional Competence Centre for Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Her main focus is on discovery learning in the field of mathematics didactics for primary and secondary schools as well as exhibit design. She also directs the “House of Mathematics” (HdMa). Originally conceived as a science centre for schoolchildren, the HdMa has taken on an important role in mathematics education. It offers a world of experience in which mathematical phenomena can be explored through interactive exhibits.

Tiago Hirth (Portugal) – Researcher I University of Lisbon, CIUHCT, Ludus

Tiago Hirth is a maths & science communicator, researcher and educator. His main interests are Recreational Mathematics, Magic and Games. He is currently doing his PhD in History and Philosophy of Science at the Inter University Center for History of Science and Technology (CIUHCT) at the University of Lisbon. He works with Associação Ludus popularizing and promoting mathematics, among others through the Circo Matematico project, which he jointly funded a decade ago. He does various consultation works for school book publishers, recreational mathematics foundations, and science centers. He believes that play is serious and mathematics is the greatest game of them all.

As a joint presentation representing the Austrian Haus de Mathematik of the Pedagogical University of Vienna and the Portuguese Associação Ludus for the promotion of maths, we will share our use of Recreational Mathematics. We will focus on Mathematics Education through games. In this regard, we will speak about some of the outputs of the 8by8 project and Key Action 2 Erasmus+ venture done with ChessPlus. We intend to show how the games we use stimulate mathematical thought and promote key features vital for mathematical thought.

Chess and Mathematics in Primary School – Hari Neocleous (UK), Primary maths and chess teacher I The Maths Nuts

Hari Neocleous is a primary maths and chess teacher. She is a specialist intervention teacher, supporting children who struggle with maths and is currently studying dyscalculia. Hari is a Curious Maths and LogiqBoard teacher, inspiring a ‘can do’ approach and passionate about gamebased learning. She has a maths column in Cherubs parenting magazine and writes for Rise Edumag. Check out her teaching tasks on instagram, @the_maths_nuts or look out for her on the LogiqBoard blog. She is passionate about an inclusive approach to chess and knows that in order to reach more children we must reach more teachers first. ‘Chess is a gift for our children, there are different benefits for different children and that’s why chess is so amazing!’

Hari will be taking us on a tour of her ‘maths + chess’ activities, showing us how problem solving skills can be developed through the theme of chess. Through carefully planned tasks, using the CPA approach and key questions, she will share how we can inspire and develop our young mathematicians by providing rich learning opportunities. Her activities have been tried and tested, sharing ideas for the chess club, chess classroom or for maths lessons.

Rita Atkins (Hungary) – Secretary I FIDE Education Commission

Rita Atkins holds a degree in Mathematics and Physics as well as a Diploma of Education from Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, and an MSc in Computing Science from Imperial College, London. She has spent over ten years as a teacher of mathematics and physics in the UK and in Ireland. She is a WIM. Rita has been recently appointed as Secretary of the FIDE Education Commission. She strongly believes that chess is a great educational tool, and her role she intends to use her experience in competitive chess as well as her teaching skills to bring chess into many classrooms around the world.

Chess, with its humble eight-by-eight grid and pieces that have a variety of moves is a wonderful game. The mathematical characteristics of this constrained domain are also very rich: they give rise to interesting problems in geometry, combinatorics, game theory and computer programming. Get ready for some creative problem solving and enjoy Caissa playing her magic in a secondary school maths lesson: listen to tales about rooks touring the battlefield and kings attending a chess conference. 

Vince Negri (UK) – Founder and UX Consultant I GameAhead Consulting

After initially training for education, Vince moved to the technology sector where he has been working for over 20 years in several disciplines including management, product and user interaction design, and staff upskilling. In addition to ongoing work in augmented reality, through GameAhead he advises firms and individuals on how to use gamification and game-based training to improve engagement and performance. A long-time enthusiastic amateur at chess, he has been mentioned within the hallowed pages of BCM, and has attended the Chess Conference regularly, chairing roundtables at the 2020 event.

Chess and strategy games are frequently discussed as assistive in teaching critical thinking – but there is a subtle yet real distinction between critical thinking, the scientific method, and what can be dubbed “mathematical thinking”. Abstract games can be used not merely as a way of exploring mathematical concepts, but as a tool to break individual’s preconceptions that they “can’t do maths”.




17:30 – 18:00

Host: Stefan Löffler

Zoom Meeting demonstration on how to use Chessable Classroom

Saturday, 18th March at 17:30 (London Time)

Join here: Chessable Classroom demonstration by Luciana (remote)

Participation is open and free for anyone (not just conference attendees).

Luciana Morales (USA), Classroom Manager I Chessable

Luciana Morales is a Woman International Master born in Lima, Peru. She has represented her native country in olympiads, continental and world championships. Luciana won 3 times the Pan-American Youth Festival in the categories of Girls U-16, U-18 and U-20. Following her international achievements she relocated to the United States to study in university. Completing her master’s degree in public policy and management separated her from competitive chess. But in June 2021, Luciana marked her return to chess by joining Chessable. She now heads many special projects within the organization. The most visible one is the FIDE Chessable Academy, which aims to give kids access to top-tier chess education and talent development. She also manages the Chessable Classroom, where she gets to interact with leading players and coaches, from Judit Polgar, Ivan Sokolov, to Andras Toth and more. More recently, Luciana made her debut as a Chessable author with Queens of the Chess Board in March 2023.

Classroom is Chessable’s innovative interface for online chess coaching. With its video call capabilities and interactive features, Chessable Classroom offers an engaging virtual learning environment where teachers and students can converge from the convenience of their homes. A variety of tools including assigning control of pieces to students, quizzes, tournaments and simuls are provided to make the experience as interactive and engaging as possible for students, often a barrier in online learning. In this presentation, WIM Luciana Morales will walk participants through Classroom’s essential functions.