Interview with Frau Dr. Vivian Papafakli-Strouza, Director at Main Taunus International School
The MTIS offers chess as a regular class. Why?
We are of the opinion that a school needs to include in its program not only the highest level of portable academics but also various enrichment courses which contribute to a well-rounded education. Chess is a mental sport that fits perfectly with this concept.
What do you think are the main benefits, besides fun and joy to play chess?
Chess players are usually well structured, have a high IQ, high ethical standards and are well mannered. Chess is an activity that takes young people away from their computer games addiction and helps the players to develop strategic thinking. Through tournaments, young people enlarge their social circle and learn to deal with stress. Chess as a game offers all the elements of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Learner Profile:
MTIS offers the IB Diploma Programme and we are very much interested in preparing our students accordingly.
Do you think chess as a class is a concept that might work in more and eventually all schools?
Chess can add tremendous value to education and it is our goal to promote it as much as possible. At MTIS we are thinking of developing an academic course based on chess. This is a very ambitious long- term idea and it would be our small contribution to a sport with a long tradition.
What are your personal experiences with chess?
As I said before, the development of young people, who play chess at a very high level, has been a very rewarding experience during my long career in education. Chess is fun but at the same time guarantees mental growth. It allows people to discover themselves and gives them the tools to face the various challenges of our era.
Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers, all club players and chess enthusiasts in Hessen?
I would like to certainly encourage them to continue playing chess and promote the game as much as possible. Creation of thinkers and reflective citizens should be part of our mission as educators. As part of the international community, we must be the pillars of peace and mutual respect. We are certain that chess can be one of the means that we use to achieve that.