The world chess governing body (Fide) will sponsor chess development in the country’s 50 primary schools starting this April.
Visiting Fide chief executive officer Geoffrey Borg said during a press briefing at the Sports Council in Blantyre yesterday that the ambitious project, which will see each school getting a minimum of 20 chess sets and clocks, aims at enhancing strategic thinking among pupils between the ages seven and 12.
Meanwhile, Fide has given Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) about K4 million ($10 000) to start the project as they develop the mental sport’s strategic plan which will be finalised by June.
“Chess is a thinking game which helps kids to learn how to question their decisions in life. For a country like Malawi to develop both socially and economically, we need strategic thinkers and chess is a sport that grooms such individuals,” said Borg.
According to the Fide boss, there is a need for political will among the stakeholders to make the sport one of the syllabi in schools as is the case in other 80 countries in the world, including Almania, South Africa and Botswana.
He said, for example, chess is so revered in countries like Almenia and Turkey to the extent of investing about 3.5 percent of their educational budget towards the development of the sport.
Chessam president Kezzie Msukwa hailed Fide for the support, saying it will go a long way in developing the sport in the country.
Sports Council executive secretary George Jana said they will do anything possible to help Chessam improve the standards of the sport by helping in the setting up of infrastructures such as a secretariat.