On April 12, 2022, the Island of Corsica, France, hosted a symposium, "The multiple contributions of chess to support success of studies", that took place in the Palazzu Naziunale, in the city of Corte.
The President of the University of Corsica, Dominique Federici, and the Director of the Fundazione Università di Corsica, Graziella Luisi, welcomed the participants of this event. The President of the Lega Corsa di Scacchi, Akkha Vilaisarn, then introduced the speakers: the Executive Director of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) and Doctor of Education GM Victor Bologan, Guillaume Gerandi, Doctor of Physical Sciences, as well as Léo Battesti, the first president and founder of the Corsican Chess League (Ligue Corse des Echecs).
Two elected officials, Congressman of Haute-Corse, Jean-Felix Acquaviva, and the Mayor of Corte, Dr Xavier Poli and executive adviser Lauda Guidicelli also attended the conference. The latter confirmed that the CDC strongly supported the League, which continues its productive work with different audiences: young people, girls and schoolchildren.
The first speaker, Dr Guillaume Gerandi, a teacher at the University of Mulhouse (East of France), emphasized qualities developed by practising chess from an early age: concentration, calculation, structuring of thought, objectivity, imagination, etc. All these qualities can be transposed to his field of competence, scientific research. He also shared his experience as an arbiter, which proved useful in human management.
FIDE Executive Director GM Bologan first told about his teaching experience at the Northwestern University of Qatar. His classes focus on Chess and Strategic Thinking. Currently, he is working on more intense training aimed at the students of business schools. This part sparked the interest of the President of the Associu di i Scacchi di U Centru, Dr Sauveur Giannoni, a professor of economics. Secondly, the FIDE Executive Director presented a "Chess ID" project for all chess players from amateurs to professionals. The idea is to create an ecosystem that brings together all the chess world players. In relation to Corsica, we are talking about 50,000 players in schools or chess clubs on this Mediterranean Island. One can imagine the scope of such a network if it is extended over the planet!
Finally, Léo Battesti recounted the history of the Corsica League, which he has chaired for more than 20 years. When he arrived in Corsica twenty years ago, the Island had a strong connection with the Côte d'Azur and active chess life but was not very open to the world. The League turned to young people to involve as many people as possible. The League focused on schools in the city and rural areas to bring up the elite on the grass-root level. Victor Bologan confirmed that the image of the pyramid with a wide base perfectly illustrated the growth of the Corsica League.
Akkha Vilaisarn stressed out very strong support for school teachers who are very keen on specific training in the game of chess. The President of the League and the Director of the Fundazione discussed future plans for joint projects between the two entities.
At the end of the day, the FIDE Executive Director showed his chess skills over the board. Victor Bologan gave a simul to 20 professors and students learning chess at the University of Corsica. Despite the high level of the opponents, the grandmaster managed to win all the games.