Over the years, countless people have often discussed ideas about making chess BIG. Well, chess is ALREADY big. According to CBS News, the USCF and a number of other sources, there are more than 45 million people in the United States who know how to play chess. Everywhere I go, when I mention the word chess, most people tell me they DO know how to play.

This number is obviously much bigger worldwide. A number of sources including FIDE estimate that there are over 700 million people who know how to play chess worldwide.

If each of us just takes a little bit of our time every week to promote chess in our own areas or just teach chess to children in local schools or clubs, imagine how big this number can grow to? I put an item on my blog about the FREE curriculum / Training Guide from the SPF and nearly 2,150 people from around 70 countries requested for it. How many children will benefit from this? The number is unimaginable!

Many teachers, principals, superintendents, parents, volunteers, etc. have told me that they really want to introduce chess to their children. The problem is they do not know how to start. That is why there is a need for this Training Guide.

Regardless of our backgrounds, religions, race, economic situation or gender, we can do our parts to make chess big. I thought a lot about this issue when I attended the Global Leadership Summit a few days ago. There were many influential people from all over the world attending the summit. What I got out of it is sometimes a small silly misunderstanding can trigger wars and loss of lives.

The conclusion is there are a lot of lack of understanding, mutual respect and tolerance among people. Chess can bridge that. When children play chess, regardless of their colors, race, gender or religions, they shake their opponent’s hands. We teach them the same after the game. That is why I heavily promote “Win with grace, lose with dignity!”

Chess can teach children respect, understanding, tolerance and it can create unique long lasting friendships. Let’s not forget the universal values of chess. Let’s teach our children right. That was why I agreed to join and supported the Chess for Peace initiative with former President Mikhail Gorbachev and WC Anatoly Karpov.

We can do out parts to make this world a better place. We can do our part to help our children. Together, we can make it happen. It is up to US!
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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar