School pupils make their move in National Chess Competition in Laos
Friday, 18 May 2012 06:25
Students get in some practice before the competition at Chao Anouvong Secondary School
Chess enthusiasts from secondary schools in Vientiane (Laos) and four provinces tried out their moves at the 1st National Chess Competition held at Chao Anouvong Secondary School on Tuesday.
Thirty biys and twelve girls are taking part in the event? from schools in Vientiane and the provinces of Oudomxay, Vientiane, Borikhamxay and Champassak.
Many provinces have not been able to raise the level of chess in their schools, so could not be represented at the competition. However, it is hoped that in the future, more provinces will have students who can compete at this level.
The competition was organised by the Lao Chess Federation, the Physical and Arts Department of the Ministry of Education and Sports, and teachers. The opening ceremony was attended by chess federation President Mr. Khammanany Inthirath, and senior officials from the ministry and the chess federation.
Mr. Khammany said the federation's target is to select the six best players - three males and three females - to compete in an international Asian chess tournament for secondary schools to be held in Vietnam in the near future.
He said the event would give children and young people the chance to familiarise themselves with chess and develop their skills. The game will be good training for the younger generation on their path to becoming useful members of society.
The federation plans to hold a chess competition at the National Student Games in 2014 and at the National Games, also slated for 2014.
Mr. Khammany said the federation was keen to support and develop the game of chess at the international level.
Interest in the game is growing in Laos, and more people are learning how to play.
He estimated that about 10 000 people in Laos play chess and that by 2014 about 200 000 people will be aficionados. It is hoped that many provinces will be able to send players to compete at the Student Games and the National Games.
Chess is relatively new in Laos but is popular in most other countries, and has a strong following worldwide.
In November last year, the chess federation and the Physical and Art Department signed a cooperation agreement on the Chess in Schools project, aiming to provide training in centres of education around the country.