Ex-chess champ wants to take game to Africa kids

New Straits Times - - World -

PARIS: Rus­sia’s for­mer world chess cham­pion Garry Kas­parov wants to take the game to a mil­lion chil­dren in Africa as an ed­u­ca­tional tool to sharpen their learn­ing skills and build con­fi­dence.

“We have plenty of data col­lected from around the world... that proves be­yond any doubt that classes with chess, es­pe­cially at early age, 6 to 9, dra­mat­i­cally im­prove the skills of the kids... to learn how to process in­for­ma­tion and make de­ci­sions,” Kas­parov said here.

The chess le­gend at­tended the launch on Thurs­day of the fran­co­phone branch of the Kas­parov Chess Foun­da­tion, which will fo­cus on Africa, ini­tially in Morocco, Ivory Coast, Sene­gal and Mada­gas­car.

Chess “is a tool, not a recipe for all ed­u­ca­tion prob­lems, but it’s a an in­ex­pen­sive and a ef­fec­tive tool,” the 53-year-old cham­pion of the game said.

He said it was im­por­tant to fight the prej­u­dice “that only cer­tain coun­tries can pro­duce cham­pi­ons”.

“There was noth­ing that spe­cial about the Soviet Union, just a lot of at­ten­tion from the state and in­fra­struc­tures in place that

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