Graham Watson MEP
Liberal Democrat Member of the European Parliament for South West England and Gibraltar
A local champion with an international reputation
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Published on Thursday 16th February 2012
South West Member of the European Parliament Sir Graham Watson has met with former Grandmaster and World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov to discuss a new initiative to get chess into school curriculums across Europe.
Garry was in Strasbourg this week lobbying Euro-MPs to get behind his campaign to bring more chess programs into schools. The program is designed around a series of short exercises that can be given to children with the aim of practicing concentration skills that will have a positive impact on a child's education.
Sir Graham, who hosted an event in Strasbourg this week to promote the initiative, commented,
"Chess is a game that stimulates the mind, helps build problem solving skills, develops concentration and gives a child the opportunity to take responsibility for their own thinking. All these skills are vital when young people enter higher education or the working world."
"I am very privileged to help Garry's campaign and I hope schools across the South West will consider bringing chess into the classroom if they do not do so already."
Garry Kasparov also commented on the intellectual benefits of chess in schools, '"It starts with a sense of responsibility. With playing chess, it means you are fully responsible for the result. If you make a good move, you win; if you make a bad move, you lose and there's no one to blame," he said.
"You are there to make all the difference. And today, in the modern environment with sharing responsibility, I think concentrating on your own decisions as the key to your success, or failure, is important."
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