London Chess Conference

19th March 2023 - Chess and STEM

08:00 – 09:00


Session 7

09:00 – 10:00

How should we meet the demand for the professionalisation of chess teaching? Regular teachers have too much on their plate to add chess; chess players lack teaching skills.  What learning skills are transferable? Should there be more focus on social and emotional skills? How to monitor teaching through self-recording and observation? Can we distinguish beween curriculum chess lesssons and after school chess clubs? Will games ever be incorporated into school education?

Philippe Vukojevic (Belgium), member I ECU Education Commission

Pep Suárez (Spain) member I ECU Education Commission

Boris Bruhn (Germany) member I FIDE Education Commission

Anzel Laubscher (South Africa) member I FIDE Education Commission

10:00 – 10:30

Coffee break

Session 8

Chess for all Children

10:30 – 11:45

Host: Stefan Löffler

The public usually perceives chess as being for smart children or as an elite activity. Yet chess can reach to all children irrespective of their cognitive faculties. We look at some important projects where chess can make a positive difference.

Marion Schöttelndreier (Sweden) – Assistant Principal I Hedda Andersson High School, Lund

Marion Schöttelndreier has during the last 12 years worked as assistant principal at different lower and upper secondary schools and works since 2020 at Hedda Anderssongymnasiet in Lund (Sweden). Originally from Germany, she studied biology in Göttingen and came for her PhD to Lund in 1995. After her PhD she stayed in Sweden and started working as a teacher in biology and chemistry for upper secondary students.

For 20 years I have worked at lower and upper secondary schools, both as teacher and as assistant school principal. During this time, I have met many children that struggle, often as a result of finding at hard to concentrate over longer times. Sitting still during lessons is difficult, not only for younger children but even students up to 19-20 years. When I had a teacher who started organizing afternoons with chess and even used his breaks between lessons for playing chess with the students, it was amazing to see how the same students could sit concentrated for an hour or more and played chess. In my talk I will talk focus on those students and the social advantages of chess in schools.

Beatrice Rapaccini (Italy), Mathematics Teacher I I.I.S P. Cuppari – High School

Beatrice Rapaccini is a passionate teacher who promotes creative learning. She has developed innovative approaches to teaching chess in kindergarten and primary school that encourage students to think creatively. Beatrice is also a facilitator for the MOOC Learning Creative Learning offered by the Lifelong Kindergarten, MIT Media Lab. Currently on leave in Sweden, Beatrice is continuing her work as a STEAM teacher trainer, helping educators integrate creative thinking into their curricula. In addition, she is also a strong advocate for promoting women’s participation in STEM fields. She participates in projects and designed workshops focused on this topic.

Creative thinking and creativity are essential for preparing students for the challenges of the 21st century. The presentation highlights the potential of chess as a platform to foster innovation and encourage imaginative thinking, encouraging individuals to approach the game not only as a competitive activity but also as a means of enhancing their overall creativity.

Mikkel Nørgaard (Denmark) – Chief Learning Officer I Danish Scholastic Chess Federation

I’ve been one of app. 12 full time employees with the Danish Scholastic Chess Federation for 13 years. I manage a number of projects the organization has with the Danish government, municipalities, foundations etc. Among those are “The Day of Scholastic Chess” which takes place every year in february. This year, 47.000 students took part and 313 schools were involved. I will be speaking about another project of ours: “The brain on the curriculum” which involves 49 schools and +1,000 special needs pupils aged 6 – 17.

Using the methodology of mini-games and alternative chess variants, “The brain on the curriculum” explores how scholastic chess might enhance learning capabilities, self.-efficacy and awareness of mental health with special needs pupils aged 6 – 17. The project runs 2021 – 2024 all over Denmark. The pupils challenges vary between social problems, cognitive challenges and various psychiatric diagnoses. I will be presenting samples of the material that has been developed and outline the theory and practise of how the project works. I’ll also present key insights from the half-way evaluation which was recently concluded.

Anastasia Sorokina (Australia), FIDE Social Project Leader I WOM Chairperson I Chairperson of ACF Social Commission

Women International Master (2001), International Arbiter (2002), FIDE Trainer (2005), International Organizer (2018). Born on 26 January 1980 in Minsk, Belarus. In 2003 moved to Australia and worked as a chess coach in the Queensland School of Chess, and then in Chess Kids in Melbourne, later opened her own chess academy. She is representing the Australian Chess Federation. Now living in Warsaw with husband and 12 yo daughter. Has Bachelor degree in sport and Masters in Strategic Communication and Governance, From 2021 running important social projects in FIDE, main one is Infinite Chess- Chess for kids with autism spectrum disorder, Anastasia Sorokina was awarded as FIDE outstanding chess arbiter 2022 . In arbiter career been Deputy Arbiter at several Olympiads, Chief and deputy arbiter at a number of FIDE Grand Prix events, as well as numerous other major FIDE tournaments. She has been a Chief arbiter in such prestigious events like London Chess Classic, Norway Chess and Cairns cup.

FIDE’s INFINITE CHESS Project aims to increase knowledge and awareness of chess for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), give practical advice to teachers and parents, study the benefits of introducing them to chess and develop various teaching methods.

11:45 – 13:00

Lunch break

Session 9

National Education Projects

13:00 – 14:15

Host: Stefan Löffler

CataloniaMarta Amigo Vilalta, Catalan Chess Federation

Romania – Mădălina-Maria Lejean-Anușca, Secretary I ECU EDucation

United KingdomMatt Piper Senior Manager I Chess in Schools and Communities

Pakistan – Hanif Qureshi, President I Chess Federation of Pakistan & member I FIDE Education Commission

IndiaAbhijit Kunte, member I FIDE Education Commission

Marta Amigó Vilalta – Vice-president I Catalan Chess Federation & Coordinator of the Chess School Program in Catalonia I Educational Department of the Government of Catalonia

Marta Amigó is the coordinator of the Chess at School programme in Catalonia. She is a primary school teacher with a degree in History and Music Sciences, and a teacher trainer in the field of educational chess. In this field, she is the author of several materials and books for teachers and children and has given workshops and conferences internationally. In 2010 she won the Baldiri Reixac Sports and Citizenship Award with the project “Shake my hand. Chess as an educational tool”. She is currently the second vice president of the Catalan Chess Federation.

The Chess at School programme in Catalonia was launched in 2012. The aim is to use chess in schools, during school hours and at different levels, as an educational tool. To carry it out, several training courses are organised every year for teachers to give them the tools to implement it in their classrooms. In this presentation we will explain what this programme consists of and what kind of activities are carried out.


Mădălina-Maria Lejean-Anușca (Romania) – Secretary I ECU Education Comission & Manager of National Project “Education Through Chess” I Romanian Chess Federation 

Mădălina is a primary and preschool teacher with a master’s degree in “Alternative Pedagogies and Theatrical Art in Education”, a National Chess Master, and a teacher trainer in the field of educational chess. Her favorite methodological approach for teaching educational chess is the use of the theory of multiple intelligences and the initiatory story of a character during the school year.

The “Education through Chess” program in Romania was updated in December 2022, when the Romanian Ministry of Education accredited the training course for teachers. This is a very important step for the use of chess in schools, a step without which optional education through chess could not be implemented at the national level. The aim is to use chess as an educational tool in schools, to favor the harmonious development of students, in a pleasant environment where all the students of a classroom act as a team, where each individual is important, and where all students have equal opportunities.


Matt Piper (UK) – Senior Manager I Chess in Schools and Communities

Matt works in the London office of Chess in Schools and Communities, running the charity’s activities in several of the capital’s boroughs, managing its online presence, and working on the recruitment and training of new tutors. Matt is also part of the team that coordinates CSC’s large events – the London Chess Classic and ChessFest – and is the charity’s Safeguarding Lead. Before this, Matt worked as a tutor for the charity in several schools in east London. Matt is a lifelong chess player and has a background in mathematics and mathematical physics.

A brief overview of the CSC community and schools programmes followed by some thoughts on the impact of our work in schools, both STEM subjects, and on wider social skills.


Hanif Qureshi (Pakistan) – President I Chess Federation of Pakistan & member I FIDE Education Commission

National Master, represented Pakistan at the 29th Chess Olympiad, Chess enthusiast, organiser and sponsor. Interest in chess history, implementation of CIE in the birthplace of chess, the youngest country on the planet.

Very brief background of chess history of Pakistan and its indus valley civilization which is believed to be the birthplace of chess. Brief introduction of the chess federation of Pakistan and its CIE activities in Pakistan schools, universities and other such institutions. Nobel Laureate Malala Yusufzai’s girls’ school in Pakistan and its chess activities and training programs. The potential of CIE in Pakistan.

Abhijit Kunte (India), Member I FIDE Education Commission

India’s 4th Grandmaster, winner of ‘Dhyanchand Award” National Sports award for Achievement in Sports, by Govt of India in 2021. Non playing Captain and Coach of the Bronze medal Winning Indian Women Team at Chess Olympiad in 2022. and Silver Medal winning Indian Women team at World Women Team Championship in 2021. Two times National Champion from 97 -2000. British Chess Champion in 2003. Member of the Indian Team in 4 Chess Olympiad and 3 World Cup. Winner of 7 Asian and 2 Commonwealth Medals.

Introduction on how chess has evolved in India with more and more children taking up chess, from school level. Current initiatives of chess in education in India, and future action plans.

14:15 – 14:45

Coffee break

Session 10

Chess Research

14:45- 15:50

Host: Stefan Löffler

 Mark Nowacki (Singapore), Head of Research I FIDE EDU CHESS Research Workgroup

Mark hails from a small town in Massachusetts. He was a chess prodigy, and at the ripe age of 12 taught lab techniques to postgraduate students in marine biology. His first book (on databases) was published at 16. Starting out as a Wharton finance major, Mark ended up with a PhD in the eminently practical field of medieval philosophy. He taught at GWU until the siren call of Singapore Management University proved too great to resist. There for 13 years he happily taught, researched, and published in the humanities and social sciences. In 2005 Mark co-founded LogicMills, a school dedicated to teaching 21st Century Skills through games.

The Post-COVID Global 50 study is intended to answer 2 questions:

1. What does the global educational landscape, with regard to skills, look like post-COVID?

2. Is there a “chess effect” that helps mitigate the impact of COVID?

The study is conducted with support from FIDE. Anticipated outcomes:

• Demonstrating the positive impact of chess on skills relevant to educators; and,

• Increasing demand for Educational Chess.

Tamara Sargsyan (Armenia) – Researcher I Chess Scientific Research Institute (CSRI), Republic of Armenia

Tamara Sargsyan is a former chess player she has a Master’s degree in age and educational psychology and has worked in public school as a psychologist for about 7 years. Then, she continued her career as a researcher in CSRI, first in the field of educational chess, then extended her field of interest toward the preparation of chess teachers and lecturers and now she is more interested in adult education.

The presentation includes data from different research conducted in Armenian schools where chess became a compulsory subject 11 years ago. Based on this data on how chess affects children’s skills and effectiveness in learning other school subjects, recommendations are provided for the preparation of chess educators.

Mikhail Korenman (USA), Chess Project Manager I Cook County (Chicago) Sheriff’s Organization

Professional educator with over 35 years teaching experience. Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instructions. Manage Cook County Department of Corrections (jail) chess program since 2012. Organized numerous international on-line chess competitions for prisoners. Member of FIDE Social Commission

The presentation is to share the data collected from the participants of the chess program at Cook County (Chicago, USA) Department of Corrections (jail). The impact of the chess program on the level of depression, anxiety, and stress as well as the outcome of the program in regards of the level of recidivism for incarcerated male population.

15:50 – 16:00

Conference closing: John Foley