Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF) would like to invite public to sign the petition for Ministry of Education Malaysia (KPM/MOE) to maintain chess as a sport in Malaysian School under MSSM.
“Your brain is like your muscle and it regresses if you don’t use it.”
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister and Patron of Malaysian Chess Federation.
While the body needs physical exercise to stay fit, the brain requires mind activities as a form of exercise to continue staying fit. And what better way to stimuli the brain by having it to work and train via chess – the ultimate game for the mind. And there is no better way to start having the mind to exercise than at a very young age in order to explore its full potential to develop and grow.
With those points in mind, it came as a huge surprise by many when Majlis Sukan Sekolah-Sekolah Malaysia (MSSM) had recently discussed and almost concluded that Chess will be out from its calendar by 2020. Without any rhymes nor reasons, chess faces a near extinction as a sport for young kids in school.
Chess has many followings around the world with 194 countries affiliated to the World Chess Body (FIDE). In Malaysia alone, there are almost 11,000 chess players registered with the world body, a growth of almost 10% in just 8 months. With the game being contested at the schools and university levels, and at government and private sectors sports meet, chess is a popular sport that is cheap to maintain, good to learn and easy to set up. And beyond all that, chess continue to maintain its competitive value, as a knowledge enrichment tool and promotes interactive communication between players.
Chess made its grand appearance in Olympics as an exhibition sport at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Australia, a year after gaining recognition from the International Olympic Committee to include chess as a sport. In ASEAN, chess was contested in Indonesia in 2011 and Myanmar in 2013 and will again make its appearance at the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines.
It is almost unthinkable that chess is on the verge of being erased as a sport in our educational system, and those that are making these decisions should review chess beyond its value as a “just a sport”. Because chess is more than just a game on a board – chess is an activity that can help to teach and educate young children the value of patience and discipline, the importance of planning and reasoning, a valuable tool to hone their analytical skills and strategic thinking, and when times get tough, it teaches humility on how to lose gracefully, to learn how to evaluate your mistakes, restart your game and maintain your focus to continuously move forward for a better ending.
Don’t let the mind go to waste – develop, compete but more importantly, play chess!