Chess connects and unites!

Feb 14, 2016
  Janiro
StaffCoach 970

Chess connects and unites!

Chess has its stereotypes. For too many people, the image of chess is that of two elderly white men sitting in a dark corner of a cafe, withdrawn from the rest of the room, while a clock almost audibly substitutes the conversation other people would have in a similar situation. Chessity defies stereotypes. We prove that chess is for everyone, and has a big social component.

In fact, the widespread popularity of chess can make it a unifying factor instead. Perhaps the two men in the first paragraph don’t speak the same language, never met each other before they sat down to play, and the game still creates a bond between them. This is exactly what happens on the Chessity website every day, and with our workshops for students in schools, we teach children of all different backgrounds how chess can bring them together.

 

Another big project that shows the unifying factor chess is shown in The Dream Multiplier,

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a documentary film by Kees Hoogeveen and Johan Wakkie. They follow Mustapha Eljarmouni, who started teaching chess to a few neighborhood children, and expanded into several classrooms after he won a grant at a community festival in the Indonesian neighborhood in Amsterdam.

The neighborhood is a typical minority neighborhood, with many immigrant families and different backgrounds. According to some estimates, about 100 languages are spoken in the neighborhood alone. The chess lessons provide a unifying factor and tie in kids from all kinds of background, defying the stereotype that chess is a ‘white kid game’.

The success of the chess club project even reaches beyond the Indonesian neighborhood itself. Mustapha convinced seven elementary schools to adopt a chess project in the school’s after hours. Just like Chessity, he understands the importance and potential of offering chess to young students as a way to expose them to the fun and benefits that chess has to offer. Judging by the rapid expansion that his work has seen since inviting the first children into his living room, the power of helping children through chess is unstoppable.

 As we can see in Chessity, the chess lessons in the Indonesian neighborhood also combine the cognitive benefits of playing chess with a sense of community and building problem-solving skills. Aside from that, these children also learn a vital life skill: patience and delayed gratification. Wherever people come together to play chess, the game will build a unifying factor that crosses cultural, generational, and linguistic boundaries.

Chess improves problem-solving skills, but it can even be used to solve problems instead. The community aspect that comes with chess and its popularity can be a bridge to other areas for people to connect; whether online on the Chessity page, or in real life at a neighborhood chess club. The universally known rules of chess can be a language on their own, a game for everyone, and a unique way to connect.

If you’re looking for a way to tap into a global community of chess players, and join people from all backgrounds, ages, and languages, sign up or login at the top right corner of your screen.

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