Perpignan Chess Kingdom?  More than 2,000 students learn to play it annually

Perpignan Chess Kingdom? More than 2,000 students learn to play it annually

The 5th International Chess Festival took place all week in Perpignan (©Actu Perpignan)

Chess is on the rise Eastern Pyrenees ! Use of benefits 5Thursday edition International Chess Festival from Perpignan, News Perpignan went to a meeting with a local club King Tet. An interview with his manager, also the chairman of the branch committee, Stephane Laborde.

News: Is there a chess tradition in Perpignan?

Stéphane Laborde: There are 60,000 licensees in France and 540 in Pyrénées-Orientales. In the past, the club L’échiquier Catalan became known throughout France, so there are chess players who have had a long career in the department. On the other hand, there was a break in the transmission and it was necessary to train the youth again. Pyrénées-Orientales was a somewhat devastated department compared to the rest of France on a chess level.

An “educational asset” for thinking about complex problems

Have you been pursuing a proactive development policy since then?

SL: Our primary goal is to educate as many young people as possible based on the agreement between National Education and the French Chess Federation. This considers the game of chess as an educational asset for all science education: calculations, references in space, reasoning, anticipation… We have been working in schools for three years and are currently training 2,000 schools (last year 1,200, 700 2 years) in 22 establishments of the resort , especially elementary schools.

What is the feedback from teachers?

SL: Great enthusiasm and all the teachers are asking for it to continue. This activity plays on concentration, creativity by inventing movements that are out of the ordinary, it also works on ideas of calculation, reasoning, alone or with others. A whole series of elements, which the teachers then transfer into complex problems. It also helps guide some students.

That allowed the Catalans to break through?

SL: Last year, Joachim Bennani was crowned champion of Occitania under 8 years. His little brother Johan took part in his first under-8 championship at the age of 4. Julien Martinez finished 5th in the last French Youth Championship and is part of the Pole of Excellence league. Charlie Cassagnères was in the top ten and is also very promising. On the 12th and 13th of November, a divisional youth championship is being held in the Al Sol hall. Considering the number of trained three-year-old children, this is an event that should reveal new talents.

Computer engineer Stéphane Laborde created the start-up Diagonale TV, the first video channel on the Internet, which broadcast the 2000 World Chess Championship between Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik. More information:

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