Visit of FIDE General Secretary Ignatius Leong to Myanmar
Friday, 13 January 2012 09:50
FIDE President visited Myanmar for the first time in July 2011 where he met senior officials from the Ministries of Education and Sports. From 10th to 12th January, FIDE General Secretary Ignatius Leong became the first foreign chess official to visit the new capital of Nay Pyi Taw where he continued from the ground work laid by the FIDE President.
He first met the Deputy Minister for Sports and Vice President of the Myanmar Olympic Committee, Brig-Gen Aye Myint Kyu and Director General of the Ministry of Sports and Secretary General of the MOC Col Thaung Htike. They confirmed that Chess will be one of 25 disciplines in the official program of the South East Asia (SEA) Games in 2013. The plan is to include Chess, Random Chess, ASEAN Chess and Myanmar Traditional Chess events making a possible total of 24 Gold Medals. In order to create a better sporting atmosphere, these events will be conducted using Rapid and Blitz rules.
The Minister noted that Myanmar had never competed in the Winter Olympics and welcomed the idea of FIDE to pursue the inclusion of Chess in these Games.
FIDE General Secretary Leong received by Minister Aye Myint Kyu, the Director General and 3 Deputy Director Generals.
MCF President Maung Maung Lwin, Leong, Minister Aye Myint Kyu and MOC Secretary General Thaung Htike
Leong also called on the Ministry of Education where he met Deputy Minister Prof U Ba Shwe and Deputy Director General for Basic Education Mr Ohn Myint Oo. Leong reiterated FIDE’s main mission to develop and promote Chess in Schools.
The Minister briefed Leong that at the end of December last year, Chess was for the first time included in the program of the Myanmar Schools Sports Festival. Chess is regularly played in most universities in Myanmar and that he will lead the Myanmar contingent to the second edition of the ASEAN University Games to Laos later this year whereby Chess is also to be included. The Minister had received the report from his representative who met the FIDE President in Yangon City last year. Minister wholeheartedly agrees that introduction of Chess is crucial to education especially at the Basic Education level. He added that Chess learning and playing teaches a child to be creative and honest.
Leong informed the Minister that FIDE will be conducting a Trainers Seminar in Yangon the following week. The seminar will be useful for those attending as they will later impart their teaching skills to players and teachers across the country to help with the introduction of Chess in Schools. He repeated the commitment of FIDE and the Asian Chess Federation to continue to support Myanmar in terms of technical assistance and equipment.
Leong in conference with the Deputy Minister for Education Prof. U Ba Shwe
Minister Shwe presenting a copy of Myanmar Traditional Chess to Leong