Category Archives: Mathematics

Classroom Chess and Mathematics

Chess is evolving – its purpose has moved towards the needs of schools. Whilst playing chess competitively remains an important motivating factor for many children, there is so much more that can be done. Chesss may be regarded not as one game but as a resource for all sorts of logical and mathematical mini-games, game variants and puzzles.
The rapid rise of classroom chess has been achieved by teaching the game from the simplest beginnings. By working with children on the basic components of the game, literally one piece at a time, they grow in confidence and enthusiasm. Rather than throwing children in at the deep end, modern educational methods have been used to deconstruct the game into digestible components. Continue reading Classroom Chess and Mathematics

Programme Updated and Extended

We are very pleased to add Anna Nicotera as a Keynote speaker. She is presenting a brandnew systematic review of research on the effects of school chess, which she has conducted on a grant from the St. Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center. We have also added presentations by Joaquin Fernandez Amigo, who wrote his PhD thesis on the use of chess to teach mathematics, and by Marisa van der Merwe on transforming an educational chess curriculum into an app. To give all speakers enough presentation time, we introduce a parallel session after lunch on Sunday.

We have added another workshop on Sunday on the training of teachers for chess instruction, reflecting the big interest to present and discuss projects as well as its strategic importance in roling out school chess. The extended programme comes with the names of the experts who will contribute to the workshops. When you arrive at the conference and pick up your badge, you will be asked which workshop you plan to attend on each day, so we can make sure that the most demanded workshops will be in the big rooms. All attendees will also receive a printed programme.

John Foley is Sixty Today

John Foley pictureThe co-director of our conference and frequent author of this website is celebrating his sixtieth birthday this Tuesday. Of Irish origin, he studied in Oxford, Lancaster and London. He is also a qualified barrister. Apart from practicing law he worked in highly qualified positions in the film and media industries. Full of ideas, he has always a fascinating project on his hand.

A couple of years ago John saw opportunity and demand for better mathematics education at the time Chess in Schools and Communities was set up. It was a match at the right moment. The charity started to work with John and appointed him Director of Training and Education. John has since trained a thousand of teachers and chess tutors in England, Wales and Ireland, and has written teaching manuals and children workbooks. Always up for something new, this summer he co-organized an international chess summer camp in Riga. Continue reading John Foley is Sixty Today


MarienbadposterIn the stylish 1961  nouvelle vague film Last Year at Marienbad two men vie for the attention of a woman. This spa town was the venue for the famous 1925 tournament won by Nimzowitsch. However, the film protagonists decide the matter with a game of Nim. In the crucial scene, the players nervously remove sticks from four piles: the last one to remove a stick is the loser in both senses. Their nervousness defines the message of the film – casting doubt where there should be knowledge, chance where there should be strategy. Nowadays there is no prospect of a Nim challenge because the players would discover that the game had been cracked. Continue reading NimChess

Life is a game

Jorge Nuno Silva learned the rules of chess as a yjnsoung child but only started playing in 1972 when the Fischer-Spassky world championship match captured everyone’s imagination. He did what all enthusiasts do – joined a chess club and seriously studied the game by reading books on chess theory. Short of local competition, he played correspondence chess, when he had to put a stamp on the envelope and take it to the letter box. Jorge claims never to have been a strong player but he once beat an International Master whilst playing the Black side of the Budapest Gambit. It all depends upon what you mean by ‘not strong’.

According to Jorge, there is something inherently wonderful about playing games – as if one comes alive through the experience of play. Like many games players, he distributes his favours and also enjoys bridge, poker, dominoes and so on. The passing years have not diminished his keen interest – in fact he is more active now than ever. In Portugal, Jorge instigated the national abstract strategy games competition in which thousands of young people participate each year. This admirable activity is a cross between a chess congress and a mathematics olympiad.

Continue reading Life is a game

Registrations from 18 Countries

2013 ConferenceOne day before publishing the program of the Chess and Mathematics London Chess and Education Conference 2014 we are pleased to have confirmations from participants and speakers representing 18 countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US. We are fairly optimistic that the two-day meeting, that is coinciding with the beginning of the London Chess Classic 2014, will be as international as the first edition in 2013, which brought together school chess experts from 25 countries on all five continents.

Even if you have confirmed your participation by e-mail or phone, you are kindly requested to  register online. It will take only two minutes.

While everyone who pays the registration fee is welcome, we want to encourage active and committed contributions. Therefore we grant free access and ask you to claim free entry if you contribute either a presentation, a poster or a game.  Also if you are a CSC tutor, if you travel from outside of Europe, or if you have been invited as an exhibitor.