26 November 2017

FIDE's Social Commissions 2017

Last year's post on FIDE's Social Commissions (December 2016) was one of the first in the series on the sociology of chess, which I had just started the previous month. Last week's post on Spectating the 88th FIDE Congress promised to look again at both commissions, and we find their recent reports together with other documents from the Congress (see the 'Spectating' post for links):-

26. Social Action Commission’s meeting minutes [SAC]
27. Social Projects Commission’s meeting minutes [SPC]

Of the two commissions, the SAC produced the more comprehensive minutes. Adding the SAC report that I featured in Applying Chess Skills to Life (May 2017), gives the impression that it is more active than the SPC. The SAC reported on five activities of which I've summarized four in the following composite image showing photos from the minutes.

Top row, left: Smart Girl Chess Project • 'SOM Chess Academy through the support of the Uganda Chess Federation has continued to implement the ‘Smart Girl Chess Program’ which was created by Beatriz Marinello and is supported in part by the FIDE Social Action Commission through the leadership of FI, FA Robert Katende.'

Top row, right: First International Congress on Social and Educational Chess in Argentina • 'The FIDE Social Action Commission, together with the Province of Cordoba Chess Federation and the National University of C√≥rdoba organized the First International Congress on Social and Educational Chess in Argentina. This event was held in July 2017 with the participation of 180 teachers, social workers, chess trainers and organizers from Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay, Spain and the USA.'

Bottom row, left: "Children of the World" - Spain • 'Children from the five continents are again united by the Cross Culture of Chess in this new edition of EXPOCHESS CHILDREN OF THE WORLD. This intercultural project will be presented in Budapest (Hungary) on 14 October at the Global Chess Festival with Judit Polgar. [...] In addition, we will convene one of the main activities of the festival, the second edition of the International Drawing Contest.' • The Polgar Festival was the subject of another post on this blog: Chess Knives Chopping (October 2017).

Bottom row, right: Cameroon • 'The SAC Chair, Beatriz Marinello, met with the Minister of Women's Affairs and the Family, Abena Ondoa, and other officials during her visit to Cameroon.'

As for the SPC, the minutes are badly written and frequently hard to understand. The projects mentioned in the minutes (I'm quoting their titles) are:-

  • Chess in Prisons
  • Chess as a tool working with Autism & Asperger syndrome and Down syndrome
  • Chess and Environment Education and Sustainability program
  • Chess to help integration for minority groups in society
  • Chess and Peace
  • Chess as a tool in treatment for chemical dependence

The high point of the year was a high profile match:-

We did for the first time by the SPC Commission an online match between prisoners took place. This historic online international match between prisoners from the project "Chess that Gives Freedom" in the Municipality of Viana, Espirito Santo, Brazil, and the project in Cook County, Chicago, Illinois USA, was held on 17 May 2017, on the FIDE and CBX Online Platform (Chess Arena). [...] The match generated national and international media.

Given the potential positive impact on society and on chess, it's a pity the SPC projects aren't explained more clearly.

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