Restore Academy Chess Tournament Pics Wednesday, Sep 16 2009 

At each of our chess programs we hold tournaments toget the students excited about the game and show off their chess talents.  So far we’ve been holding looong double elimination tournaments which become big events at the schools.

Below are pictures from the first official CEA tournament at the Restore Academy in Northern Uganda.

Siobhan and Paul Facilitating the Restore Ac Chess Tourn

Siobhan and Paul Facilitating the Restore Ac Chess Tourn

Above Paul Chiariello, chess tutor for the CEA, and Siobhan Riordan, director of media resources for the CEA (she’s taken most of these photos), are watching and organizing games for the Restore Academy’s first chess tournament.  Only weeks ago these students didn’t know what chess was.  Now they’re planning several moves ahead and securing checkmates left and right.

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Me and the 4 Winners of the Restore Academy's Chess Tourn

Me and the 4 Winners of the Restore Academy's Chess Tourn w/ Trophies

Above are the first, second, third and fourth place winners of the all day saturday and sunday affair.  These students came out through the thick and thin of it, neck and neck, each losing at least one game before it came down to the finals.  The Principal of the Restore Academy and Restore International, the non-profit which founded the school, promised to continue to hold tournaments seeing how much of a success they were.  Though currently we dont have the funds, in the future the CEA plans to offer small academic scholarships to tournament winners.

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Thank you,

Paul Chiariello

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New Chess Oppurtunities in Indonesia Saturday, Sep 12 2009 

Currently I am in Bandung in Java learning Bahasa before I go out to Kalimantan (Borneo).

I was not planning on starting to work on CEA stuff before I got to my site, but while i was driving down the street earlier this week I saw a sign for “Chess for Life.”  More than intrigued, I copied down the number and later met with some of the tutors there find out about their program and tell them about Chess for Education abroad.

After meeting with two of the teachers there, Jimmy and Marulitua, and losing a game of chess was told that C4L is a for-proft chess club and gives private lessons to kids in the area.  There goal is to teach life skils through the game of chess.  They just recently opened this past year and are already doing so well they hope to expand to other cities in Java.

There are a lot of possibilitiesof partnering for both sides.  The CEA may be able to provide small scholarships and introduce othe chess variants while C4L would be able to provide tutors and help manage CEA programs.

The future is a fruitful place and i’ll be back at the C4L office next week to see what it holds.

Thank you,

Paul Chiariello

A Few More Pics from Uganda and Kenya Wednesday, Sep 9 2009 

Me teaching the basics at Isegeretoto Primary

Me teaching the basics at Isegeretoto Primary

At the Isegeretoto Primary School in Malaba, Kenya I was able for the first time to work with primary, or elementary, school children.  It was also the first time where i had to work with 30-40+ students at once.  The board I’m working with was very helpful.  I was able to draw simple illustrations of each of the pieces and how they moved.  In the center you can also see the “Rules of Checkmate.”  These are five simple rules that slowly evolved to help explain wht check means, the need to escape, how to escape, and what happens if you can’t, i.e. checkmate.  FYI: pawns are very difficult to explain!

Bird's Eye View: Collaborative Play

Bird's Eye View: Collaborative Play

The large number of kids also worked to my advantage in some ways as they would play in teams.  Their separate chunks of knowledge concerning the rules balanced out so that they made, as a whole, fewer mistakes.  They were also able to refer to the board in arguments about the rules, bishops and rooks were often confused.

Copying the basic rules of Checkmate and Movement

Copying the basic rules of Checkmate and Movement

Eventually I came up with a more precise set of rules for checkmate that the students could understand without any other background knowledge of chess.  For example using the word “eat” and other synonyms instead of “capture.”  Above is a secondary, or high school, student at the Kakemer Resource Center in Western Kenya copying his own set of the rules for the movements of the pieces and the rules of checkmate from another student as he watches some of his friends play.

Pointing out good moves and other pointers at the Restore Academy

Pointing out good moves and other pointers at the Restore Academy

The Restore Academy was the CEA’s first  pilot program.  Northern Uganda, especially Gulu, was ravaged for 20 years by a civil war which only subsided (but not ended) two years ago.  Many of these students didnt have a chance to go to school for long periods of time throughout their lives and had never even heard of chess before.  However, they picked it up quickly and with a passion.  Here I’m pointing out to day old players how to think ahead a few moves and watch out for some obvious attacks.

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hopefully i’ll publish more photos and media from the CEA’s programs in Uganda and Kenya before we start our new initiatives in Indonesia!

Thanks for reading,

Paul Chiariello

A Few Pics from our Programs in Uganda and Kenya Sunday, Sep 6 2009 

Last summer we set up three pilot programs in Gulu, Northern Uganda in an area recently torn apart by a 20 year civil war  and Malaba and Kakemer, Western Kenya which is the lowest scoring educational disctrict in the country.  Currently we are setting up more programs in Borneo, Indonesia and elsewhere on the archipeligo.

Playing a few games at the Restore Academy in Gulu, Uganda

Playing a few games at the Restore Academy in Gulu, Uganda

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To the left – you can see myself (the only mzungu in the picture) and a bunch of the other kids at the Restore Academy.   This was our first pilot program.  For details about all three of these programs you can check out my personal blog: paulchiari.wordpress.com.

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Teacher and students getting into the game at Isegeretoto Primary in Kenya

Teacher and students getting into the game at Isegeretoto Primary in Kenya

To the left – the kids at Isegeretoto Primary school in Malaba, western kenya learned a lot quicker than their teachers.  It was a beautiful thing to see the pasison and interest that these little kids had for the game.  With very few other intellectually stimulating activities outside of the rote learning of the classroom, these kids couldn’t get enough.
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Two high school girls playing at the Kakemer Resource Center in Kenya

Two high school girls playing at the Kakemer Resource Center in Kenya

At the Kakemer Resource Center in rural           western Kenya I was finally able to get the girls as interested in     Chess as the guys.  With the first two programs there seemed to be the notion that chess was a guys game and a lot of the girls stepped aside (though in both places there were a few female stars).  However, at the KRC the girls were just as aggressive and interested.  A lot were even better than most of the guys.  It was a beautiful thing.

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Thanks,

Paul Chiariello

Arrival to Indonesia Friday, Sep 4 2009 

Hello all,

I just arrived in Indonesia less than a week ago.  Spent some time in Jakarta for Fulbright orientation and will be taking three weeks of relatively intense language courses in Bahasa Indonesian.  After that i’ll be heading straight for Bontang to the site where I will be teaching English and setting up several CEA programs.

I’m going to be spending 9 months in Bontang inside Kutai National Park in Borneo, Indonesia.  I hope to set up several western chess programs as well as the CEA’s first Xiangqi (chinese or elephant chess) and Go clubs.  Hopefully these programs will be as great of successes as we had in Kenya and Northern Uganda.

I probably won’t be writing too much over the next few weeks but hope to write as often as i can while in borneo working with the chess clubs.

Thank you,

Paul Chiariello

CEA Recent Progress Saturday, Aug 22 2009 

Hello everyone,

Recently we just finished opening a bank account. Last week we finished all of the incorporating and tax registration with the state of New Jersey. You can also check us out on facebook. There is now a Causes page where you can show your support for Chess for Education Abroad. Please join!

We are still working on getting a website. hopefully we will have something up soon.

Also, I am soon leaving for the island of Borneo on the Indonesia side on my Fulbright grant and will be establishing another few chess programs with the CEA. I leave Friday the 28th.

If you have any questions about the CEA or would like to help, either by volunteering your time or creating a partnership with chess clubs in the states, please leave a comment.

Thank you,

Paul Chiariello

Chess Quote by Benjamin Franklin Sunday, Aug 16 2009 

“The game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired or strengthened by it, so as to become habits, ready on all occasions.

1. Foresight, which looks a little into futurity, and considers the consequences that may attend an action; for it is continually occuring to the player, ‘If I move this piece, what will be the advantages or disadvantages of my new situation? What use can my adversary make of it to annoy me? What other moves can I make to support it, and to defend myself from his attacks?

2. Circumspection, which surveys the whole chessboard, or scene of action; the relations of the several pieces and situations, the dangers they are respectively exposed to, the several possibilities of their aiding each other, the probabilities that the adversary may make this or that move, and attack this or the other piece, and what different means can be used to avoid his stroke, or turn its consequences against him.

3. Caution, not to make our moves too hastily. This habit is best acquired, by observing strictly the laws of the game; such as, If you touch a piece, you must move it somewhere; if you set it down, you must let it stand. And it is therefore best that these rules should be observed, as the game becomes thereby more the image of human life, and particularly of war . . .

And lastly, we learn by Chess the habit of not being discouraged by present appearances in the state of our affairs, the habit of hoping for a favourable change, and that of persevering in the search of resources. The game is so full of events, there is such a variety of turns in it, the fortune of it is so subject to sudden vicissitudes, and one so frequently, after long contemplation, discovers the means of extricating one’s self from a supposed insurmountable difficulty, that one is encouraged to continue the contest to the last, in hopes of victory from our own skill, or at least of getting a stalemate from the negligence of our adversary.”

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Thank you,

Paul Chiariello

What Chess for Education Abroad, Inc. is All About Tuesday, Aug 11 2009 

Hello everyone, some people reading this may have read part of the other, general blog where i wrote while in Uganda and Kenya this past summer where discussed the CEA and the projects I was working on there.  Now that the CEA has taken off so well i decided to devote a blog to follow its progress and programs.

The idea for Chess for Education Abroad, Inc.  (CEA) came after realizing how well a few little ideas fit together that could continue to build on the success of the chess club I started at the Restore Academy in Gulu, Northern Uganda.

The basic idea for the CEA is that we make connections between chess clubs and other organizations in the US and develop and nuture chess clubs abroad in rural and disadvantaged schools in developing economies.

US chess clubs will partner with overseas schools to provide chess supplies, hirer tutors and give small scholarships for tournaments. Each of these are relatively small sums. Chess supplies will cost less than $30 (though more with books) and maybe that again to ship them overseas (for now we have volunteer contacts to bring supplies to most locations). In schools where we could not find volunteers, tutors would only cost 10-20 dollars a month.  Lastly, scholarships would not only help with student fees to (which for many children in the areas where we work are hard often to meet) but also encourage the clubs and tournaments.   Prizes would  be small by US standards but would cover 20/15/10% of tuition for 1st/2nd/3rd places, relatively.

We envision chess clubs holding tournaments with a portion of the entry fee going to the CEA clubs overseas.  Our goal is to help both the supporting US club members expanding their global perspective as well as develop quality chess clubs in areas where rote memorization and resourceless classes are what “education” means.  Currently interactive communication between clubs in the US and clubs overseas will be limited because of limited web access in these overseas rural areas.  We expect this to start to change soon as the internet access expands.

All of the CEA staff is made of volunteers who donate themselves to the organization and its programs.  We will be partnering with educational organizations abroad to continue to expand our contacts. Already, organizations like the Global Literacy Project and Invisible Children, though informally, have expressed a strong interest and work closely with several dozen schools in Uganda, Kenya and South Africa.

I have already set up the second and third pilot programs in Kakemer and Malaba in Western Kenya at the Kakemer Resource Center and the Isegeretoto Primary School. The 1st pilot program in Uganda was at a secondary school, while both of these programs involve only or a mix of primary students.  So far each of the programs have been beyond expectation successes.

I am also planning on setting up 3-5 more pilot programs in Indonesia on my Fulbright grant starting in August.  And I would like to introduce XianQi, or Chinese Chess, to one school while in Indonesia as well.

After the CEA is settled, i.e. all pilot programs are running well, we have a stable support base in the US from partnering clubs, all incorporation documents have been finalized and we have worked out a set curriculum, the non-profit will start setting up chess programs vicariously. Hopefully this goal will be achieved around a year from this post in 2010.

* *  If you would like to help and know of a possible chess club in the states that may be willing to hold such tournaments, please leave a comment with details. * **

Thank you for reading,

Paul Chiariello

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