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World Chess Champion, Gary Kasparov is visiting South Africa!! Kasparov was the top rated player for 21 years.  He will be playing some chess on the 12th November. Pres Zuma has recently launched the MOVES FOR LIFE Chess development programme. From the link:

Kasparov comes from Moscow to South Africa on 12 November to form a joint venture with Tshwane/Pretoria based chess educational project Moves for Life (MFL).

13th Chess World Champion, Garry Kasparov, has announced that he wishes to link his Kasparov Chess Foundation to MFL to take the successful MFL formula to other African countries.

He has added that he plans to work with MFL to make Johannesburg the chess capital of Africa

Kasparov stated:. “I was greatly inspired by the words of President Zuma last October, when he spoke so movingly on the many benefits of chess for children – and of his remarkable connection to my beloved game. I am happy to join him and the South African Moves for Life programme in a commitment to bringing chess to schools across the country and for turning Johannesburg into the continental capital for chess.”

Kasparov will be visiting South Africa as the guest of MFL from the 12th – 15th November to promote the Kasparov Chess Foundation link up with the Moves for Life programme.

The Moves for Life programme was launched by President Zuma last year and has since expanded to over 50 schools around the country, resulting in measurable improvement in maths and science performance amongst children

Watu Kobese, Moves for Life trustee and one of South Afriva’s top chess players Operations says: “The game of chess impacts positively on Maths, Science and comprehension abilities while also imparting valuable life skills to children. In learning to play chess, children are mastering a wide range of skills such as pattern recognition, classifying information, reasoning by analogy, following principles, calculating possible sequences of events and critical thinking — which in fact helps with all their academic subjects,”

President Jacob Zuma, is clear that there is a place for chess in South Africa’s education system. When President Zuma launched the MFL initiative in 2010, he highlighted the benefits of chess saying, “We want to convince parents and teachers that chess is one of the most powerful tools available to strengthen and enhance a child’s mind.”

Moves for Life is now training over 6000 children per week and has trained more than 200 educators in 2011 both to teach chess in schools and also as an extra-curricular activity.. According to Kasparov, “The Moves for Life programme is already doing a wonderful job and we expect to cooperate and aid them in developing both their chess and sponsorship efforts. To promote our activities, chess in the media, and to inspire the grassroots, I will personally donate my time, to train South Africa’s most promising young players as well as the country’s elite teams, as I have done in the United States with great success.

The mission of the Kasparov Chess Foundation: Africa will be to bring the many educational benefits of chess to children throughout Africa by providing a complete chess curriculum with associated enrichment programs. The foundation promotes the playing of chess as a cognitive learning tool in classes and in after-school programmes for primary and high schools. The Moves for Life programme has both the South African experience as well as the material developed uniquely for the African situation. Through collaboration both KCF and MFL will be able to optimise all available resources and reach their respective goals.

“Chess is an individual sport, but promoting chess is not. With your support, Johannesburg will take a prominent place alongside New York, Brussels and Sao Paulo,” says Kasparov.

In June this year the Kasparov Chess Foundation launched its European leg, based in Brussels. The Foundation has ambitious plans to develop a programme for the entire European Union. On September 20th, the Kasparov Chess Foundation Europe presented its proposal at the Headquarters of the European Union.

Update: Saturday 12/11/2011
 Was really disappointed when reading on CHESSA’s site about MFL, Kasparov, etc. I agree, MFL is a PRIVATE company and HERE is Dr Kemm,  one of the 5 trustees of MFL and hopefully he will do something to get CHESSA also involved in this important visit – a visit our Chess players look forward to.  This is a visit that happens only ONCE in a life time and Chess South Africa is not even fully involved! MFL: You CAN do something about it.

Update [again] – Saturday 19/11/2011

If you are interested to read Mickey’s reaction as a MFL-trustee – you can read his comments in the comments box. It’s sad to know that MFL actually contacted CHESSA and that CHESSA asked MFL to cancel Kasparov’s visit. I think CHESSA needs to ‘grow up’ and show that they are there for the Chess community in South Africa and that they are serious about developing Chess in South Africa. CHESSA’s article is misleading the general public about their role in Kasparov’s visit. CHESSA is obviously not thinking about their international image.

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