THE CHESS GAME — WISDOM AND CULTURE by Levon Ovanezov Minassian

 

Translated from Bulgarian into English by Stefan Nikolov

The oldest game — the chess — dates back more than 1500 years. There are many legends about its emergence as well as the chess game — whether it is art, mathematics, logic, psychology, etc. I would share with the players of this game, that it is above all a set of material and spiritual values from its creation so far and will continue in the future.

Here are some advantages of the chess game:

–    It is a great way to develop imagination, to display science and creativity. An important role is played by two factors in the game — intuition and logical thought.

–    Inherent from the chess game are the experiment, the discovery, the creative process and the plan to achieve the strategic goal MATE.

–    There is no other sport, that requires concentration for a long time on attention, analytics, and a rapid completion.

–    Strengthens belief in one’s own power, helps for psychological communication with people.

–    Raises emotional sustainability, teaches mathematical calculations.

–    It requires rapid reflexes and active participation of the chess player’s sensory organs.

–    It requires an assessment not only of the existing position of the board but also of moves (to think for many days, months ahead).

It is no coincidence that in many countries the chess game has become a school subject. The international school chess development project, developed by specialists, scientists and pedagogues from Russia, the United States, and England, deserves attention. Its main goal is to raise the culture of the growing generation, to prevent the negative sides and to fight, above all, drug addiction and crime. In this direction, there are statements in the press from many world champions such as Robert Fischer, Garry Kasparov, Veselin Topalov, and many others.

For several decades, chess in schools has been applied in many countries and places – Montreal, Cape Town, Amsterdam, and so on. Curious is the experiment, which takes place simultaneously in two schools one next to another in a location in Venezuela. The average level of development of students, the social environment, the economic development of the area is the same. In the experimental school, chess is being taught as a school subject. The results are astounding. The average level of development of pupils studying chess increases significantly, increasing is also their success, discipline, cultural behaviour. Improving is the functioning of a number of mental cognitive processes. A similar experiment is taking place at Harvard University, which confirms the results obtained in Venezuela.

An important cultural and humanitarian quality of chess is that it helps to develop the skill to respect the opinions and ideas of the partner. Chess as a game form is easily accessible and shapes the struggle between two bits of intelligence very well. The chess game, like wisdom and culture, is recognised as a cultural treasure of the modern civilised world. Chess contains objective, non-economic, non-politically and discriminatory restrictions on truth and fairness.

The connections the chess has with philosophy, cybernetics, psychology, mathematics, computer science, pedagogy, art, heuristics, and others are considered to be proving productive.

The role of the chess game for the efficient organisation of mental work as well as for the more complete recreation of the central nervous system is enormous. One of the contestants of our chess house, Stoyan Velichkov, says: “When I play chess I feel like I am in another world of peace and quiet. I play chess for a healthy and harmonious body.”

(БФШ)Bulgarian Chess Federation has made multiple proposals to the President, the Ministry of Education, and other institutes, but for the time being, chess is not introduced as a regular school subject. In some schools, both in Varna and in other cities in the country, it is organised for optional teaching as an experiment. In Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and other countries chess is introduced as a compulsory subject to third grade. There is an Academy of Chess in Yerevan. This year sets the foundations of the World Academy of Chess in one territory.

The chess goddess and patron of the ancient game, Caïssa, was first mentioned in the poem by Marco Girolamo Vida, “Scacchia Ludis”, published in 1527. It tells of a chess game between the gods Apollo and Mercury. The name Caïssa later appeared in 1763 in a Latin poem by English poet Sir William Jones. In it, the poet describes how Mars, the god of war, is dazzled by the beauty of the nymph, called Caïssa. But she does not respond to his feelings. Mars does not accept the rejection and seeks the help of Euphron, the god of sport and games. Euphron creates the game of chess and gives it to Mars, to win with it the grace of the beautiful nymph. Mars teaches Caïssa to play chess and so earns her love. For her part Caïssa wins glory through all chess players around the world, who love and play this wise game, their muse is a goddess. Caïssa’s prisoners are the admirers of the chess game, who remain faithful to their muse throughout their lives. For chess players, Caïssa is a patron, a source of inspiration and luck. “Caïssa was with me in this (партия) chess” often the winners say.

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