World Chess Federation(FIDE) Names UTD, Moscow State As Its Two Official Education Centers
The World Chess Federation has named The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and Moscow State Social University in Russia as its only two officially designated centers for chess education in the world.
In granting the designation, the federation (Fédération Internationale des Échecs), known as FIDE,
named UTD and Moscow State as CACDEC (Committee for Assistance to Chess Developing Countries) educational centers and charged them with developing categories and standards for university chess programs that offer training to teachers seeking to establish or enhance K-12 chess programs. The goal is to create broader-reaching chess education initiatives throughout the world.
UTD has offered such training to educators since 2001 and was the first college in the United States to do so. UTD currently offers four online chess education courses through its School of General Studies and the UT TeleCampus, the distance-learning arm of The University of Texas System.
The courses are targeted at K-12 educators seeking new methodologies for incorporating chess into their classroom curricula; they consist of two for-credit courses for both undergraduate and graduate students. The three-hour courses lead to a certificate in Chess and Education and are available only via the Internet. No previous knowledge of chess is required to enroll in the classes.
“We hope to make it easier for teachers across the globe to use chess in their classrooms,” said the director of UTD’s chess program, Dr. Tim Redman, who serves as one of the Chess and Education instructors, is a professor of literary studies in the university’s School of Arts and Humanities and who has been appointed general secretary of FIDE’s Chess in Schools committee. “In fact, studies in K-12 classrooms have shown a correlation between chess instruction and an increase in reading and other cognitive skills.”
UTD’s chess team currently is the No. 1-ranked collegiate team in the U.S. and later this month will compete in Miami in the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship, the top college chess tournament held in the Western Hemisphere.
FIDE has 163 member nations and is the second largest international sports association in the world, after the world soccer organization. FIDE is one of the largest organizations recognized by the International Olympic Committee.