A new step towards strengthening the place of chess in schools

Jean-Michel Blanquer, Minister of National Education, Youth and Sports, Roxane Maracineanu, Minister Delegate for Sports, Véronique Moreira, President of USEP, Olivier Giraud, Director of UNSS, and Eloi Relange, President of the French Chess Federation (FFE), welcome the signing of Tuesday, March 15, 2022, new agreements that highlight the mind sport that is chess.

A framework agreement signed in 2007 with FFE is now bolstered by the signing of the launch of Class’Echecs, and FFE will also sign a joint agreement with two public school sports federations, USEP and UNSS.

In France, chess, with 5 million players, is indeed one of those historical disciplines that has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years. The explosion of online practices during the 2020 lockdown, coupled with the streaming of Le Jeu de la Dame on Netflix, had an immediate impact on the number of licensees.

In December 2021, FFE registered 42,000 people, which is a record for this period. The discovery or rediscovery of the game of chess has become a sporting practice in clubs. The performances of the French national team at the international level also contributed to the enthusiasm of the general public.

The introduction of the game of chess in the school resonates particularly among the educational devices offered on the occasion of Mathematics Week, which takes place from March 7 to 14, 2022, with the theme “Math in the form (s)”, as this game has become an educational tool for young people.

By mobilizing logic, strategy, rigor, and the capacity for abstraction, while promoting the teaching of citizenship through respect for the rules and for others, the game of chess falls under the recommendations of the THOROSSIANA-VILLANI report and is part of the Mathematical Strategy.

Practiced from an early age, it promotes personality formation by encouraging attention, imagination, anticipation, judgment and self-confidence. It also finds its place in the context of school sports, as it is an element of culture that has both an educational, social and public health function, and carries the values ​​of equal opportunity. In addition, the renewed partnership is especially targeted at students in the Priority Education and Career Path Networks who are experiencing difficulties in school, especially in mathematics.

The Class’Echecs program, which targets 250,000 primary school children over the age of 3, is taking a new step. School teachers who volunteer for the program will have access to free education on the [email protected]ère platform, while 5,000 chessboards will be distributed to 500 schools from the first year of the partnership.

The free system was made possible thanks to the financial and material support provided by the Crédit Mutuel Enseignant and Échiquier de la Réussite. USEP will provide practical continuity by organizing interclass and interscholastic meetings. The research laboratory will study the impact on classes from the first year.

Getting public service will also give the FFE concrete means to strengthen its activities in two main areas of each sports federation:

  • sports performances with the federal performance project: performance plan for French teams today and tomorrow;
  • social performance through the implementation of the national FFE strategy covering the fight against violence in sports, sports health, inclusion, disability, international influence…

Resources provided by the Ministry Sports and the National Sports Agency will be financial, human and material for the best athletes.

Actions taken under this agreement shall be jointly overseen by the MENS and the representatives of the signatory federations.