Cooperation agreement between the FIDE Social Comm. and the Magic Extremadura CC Print
Saturday, 20 April 2019 08:57


FIDE Social Commission and Magic Extremadura Chess Club signed a cooperation agreement on April, 2. The club in Spanish Merida has created a specific methodology called ECAM, Cognitive Training Through Chess, and is successfully applying it as a therapeutic tool.

The President of the Social Commission of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), GM Pablo Zarnicki, visited Merida, a city with a Roman past located in the southwest of Spain, from April 1st to 3rd, 2019. The purpose of his visit was to find out more about the social and therapeutic programs carried out for more than 20 years by the Magic Extremadura Chess Club, and signing a mutual collaboration agreement.

The agreement between FIDE and Magic Extremadura Chess Club was signed in the presence of the General Sports Director of Extremadura, Manuel José Hernández at the headquarters of the Sports General direction. Merida is the city where the club's physical headquarters are located. There are several therapeutic workshops that have as their common denominator chess or a specific therapeutic methodology that the club has created and which is called ECAM, Cognitive Training through Chess. However, workshops of this type are spread throughout Extremadura, and eighteen workshops are currently operating in the following centers: eight centers for the elderly, a center for the elderly with cognitive impairment, a neurological rehabilitation center, a center for severe mental disorder, a disability center, a center for people with Down syndrome, two therapeutic communities for drug addicts, a center for homeless people and two prisons.

Before visiting workshops to attend real classes, the Argentinian Grand Master offered a lecture at the Magic's club, where he talked about his personal and professional career, and where he showed some of the games, he played in the Junior World Championship that he won. 

Zarnicki visited the Therapeutic Community for addicts "La Garrovilla", a large public owned center, where people who have decided to detoxify and stop using drugs, voluntarily interned in the center. The quota of seats is twenty people and they have to attend the therapeutic chess clinics, as one of the mandatory activities. The workshop has been uninterrupted since 2010.

Activity that is highly valued by the users of the Community, who see in it a means of recovering many of its cognitive functions (attention, memory, reasoning, etc.) deteriorated by the consumption of substances. Zarnicki checked during the hour and a half of the workshop the operation of this "therapeutic chess": the monitor of the Magic, Juan Francisco Calero, performed on the wall mural board (instrument of work by antonomasia of this methodology) different exercises that work focal attention, sustained attention, visuospatial functions, a set of exercises, practical and participatory. President of the Social Commission of FIDE could take good account of what was done there.

FIDE Social Commission Magic Extremadura

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