LSMedia, UK
March 29 2013

In an attempt to make the world a brighter place, Armenia has added
compulsory chess lessons to its curriculum for pupils as young
as seven.

Armenia - as a former soviet state and a place of eccentric
cultural heritage - is as obsessed as any other developing country
with improving the quality of its education. Over the past 7 years,
Armenia have won the comically pretentious 'chess olympics' three
times. Their leading chess player Levon Aronian is a national hero;
Bestowed the title 'Honoured Master of Sport of the Republic of
Armenia' by their leadership, he is essentially the Armenian David
Beckham, minus the angelic face and athlete's physique - yet crucially
in possession of a fully-functioning brain. I suppose you might say
he's a bit more like Sebastian Coe. If you were Sebastian Coe. The
blubbery narcissistic prick.

As any civilised member of society knows, the natural
progression from domination in any sport is a dogmatic
shoving-it-down-the-throats-of-anyone-and-everyone. The Armenian
leadership has even gone so far as to legislate to such an effect,
by forcing their premature kinderwinks to play the family-friendly
war simulator. Beyblades and Pokemon cards just won't cut the mustard
for adolescent strategic training these days, chess providing you
with strategic know-how, competitivity and hours of fun. Right...

The games of chess I experienced at a young age were about as
tactically coherent as the Pyongyang guide to military strategy and
about the same level of fun as turning on a tap. The only thing I
found more boring at the time was the activity that led me to consider
playing chess, such was the drudgery involved. All this aside, given
some actual insight into how to play the game - and a suitable reward
for winning - maybe I would have found some enjoyment in the game,
perhaps even suffered some irreparable brain development. God forbid.

But hold on a minute! Chess teaches children the raw basics of
aggressive military combat. Flank your opponents, attack their most
vulnerable resources and if all else fails, shatter the foundations
of their society with religious extremism. Those forwardly challenged
bishops, a covert metaphor for the subversive nature of religion. This
is what we should be teaching our children? That we should ruthlessly
strike at those who are our equals, but for the colour of their skin?

What exactly is Armenia's plan? To condition a super-race of ruthless,
xenophobic tactical experts? The Hitler youth had it all wrong! Start
them off earlier and subconsciously impregnate them with your sadistic
views through the most socially acceptable of violent war-games. In
twenty years time we'll all be hailing Aronian as our 'Supreme Master
of Racial Cleansing' as we goose-step through the black-and-white
marble streets, a blunt homage to the game that started it all.

Or perhaps not. Perhaps it will merely plant a seed of intellectual
strategy, one that will blossom into a nation of sharp-minded,
forward-thinking individuals. Or perhaps, as is most likely, it will
be quickly forgotten about and have zero impact on their meagre lives,
as they toil through the economic wasteland we are so happily laying
out for them. Either way, it might be worth a go Cyprus, you've got
very little to lose.