Chennai: Ruy Lopez,
Sicilian Defence, Caro-Kann Defence, English Opening -- all these
might become popular terms with school students across Tamil Nadu
in a couple of years' time.
The exotic sounding terms are chess strategies - opening and
defence variants - that the school students across Tamil Nadu
would be learning and playing.
The Tamil Nadu government has started acting upon its earlier
announcement to teach the game of chess to students in schools
owned or aided by it, and setting up chess clubs in the state.
"We have started training physical education teachers in some
schools. They, in turn, would train some more teachers in their
schools to teach the game to the students," K. Muralimohan, Tamil
Nadu Chess Association (TNCA) secretary told IANS.
Welcoming the government's move, T. Padmanabhan, assistant head
master of the P.S. Higher Secondary School here told IANS: "The
game will surely sharpen the student minds and thinking power. The
game would develop the analytical ability of the students which
will be beneficial for them throughout their life."
The P.S. Higher Secondary School has a history of churning out
good chess players like V. Ravikumar, India's first Asian junior
Chess champion and national players like R. Vijayaraghavan and R.
"Couple of my college mates used to play chess and they used to
score well in academics as well," remarked Padmanabhan.
"It is a welcome move by the government. Tamil Nadu students lack
the logical thinking process as they are more focused on rote
learning to score marks. Even in objective type questions,
students skip problem-oriented questions and focus on
theory-oriented ones," Jayaprakash Gandhi, education consultant
and analyst told IANS.
He said the game would enable students of fourth-to-sixth
standards to think which will be good in the long run.
If India is the birth place of chess then Tamil Nadu is the
capital state of the game in the country.
The state has churned out 10 chess grandmasters, three women
grandmasters (WGM), 24 international masters (IM-including WGM S.
Vijayalakshmi who got the IM title in the open category) and five
World champion Viswanathan Anand is from Tamil Nadu.
"The game will also get more popular across the state and the
chess talent pool will go up immensely," said Muralimohan.
He said initially the scheme will be tried out in five districts
of Erode, Ramanathapuram, Tiruchirapalli, Dharmapuri and
As per the scheme, each school will have a chess club and a