School kids to learn chess

CHESS is to become a compulsory subject in Spanish schools as a way of improving academic performance.

Political parties across the board have unanimously agreed at a discussion in Congress this week that the game of chess should be introduced to the Spanish school curriculum following the recommendations of the European Parliament.

A study carried out by the Universities of Lleida and Girona found that students who study chess as a school subject have a higher level of intellectual development, as well as improved maths and reading skills.

Pablo Martin of the Socialist PSOE party, who presented the proposal, said that playing chess, “improves memory and strategic capacity, teaches students to make decisions under high pressure and develops concentration, with a very low economic cost.”

According to El Pais, the Partido Popular spokesman, Francisco Cabrera, reminded Congress that the European Parliament voted in favour of introducing chess as a school subject back in March 2012.

He noted that politicians should, “remember the great importance of Spain in the history and evolution of chess and that modern chess, with its current rules, was invented in Spain around 500 years ago.”

President of the Spanish Chess Federation, Javier Ochoa de Echaguen, was present in Congress and said he has requested an interview with the education minister to speed up the process.

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