There is no national school chess programme in Germany, as education policy varies significantly between the 16 regions or Bundesländer. The Deutsche Schulschachstiftung, a national pressure group that promotes chess in schools, deals with this diversity by providing support and encouraging creativity. It has introduced the Schulschachpatent, a two day chess instruction course, which is an approved teacher training all over Germany. By now there are more than 2500 patent holders, the big majority of them are teachers.
Another success story is the Schulschachkongress, a joint initiative with the German Youth Chess Association, that is a subsidiary of the national federation. This annual gathering draws more than hundred experts to exchange ideas on many different aspects in school chess, and we reported here earlier on the 2014 edition. The Schulschachstiftung, which will be represented at our conference by its chairman Walter Rädler, is also certifying the Deutsche Schachschule. Schools apply and get approved if their school chess activites tick enough boxes. In 2014 seven schools have received this status, more than in any year before. Another prestigious award is the German Chess Teacher of the Year.
Out of many initiatives in Germany, the Munich Chess Academy and Munich Chess Foundation stand out connecting private donors with socially motivated chess projects. Dijana Dengler has been working with refugees, physically and mentally handicapped, children with autism and ADHD. We are glad that she will be sharing her experience at our conference.
The Hamburg based company Chessbase has recently intensified its support for school chess. The digital chess powerhouse has teamed up with Barclaycard for the Yes2Chess campaign in eight countries built around an online competition for schools. Frederic Friedel and Pascal Simon will present Chessbase´s offer to schools at the conference.