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Armenia's Compulsory Chess Curriculum (And How It Might Change The W

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  • Armenia's Compulsory Chess Curriculum (And How It Might Change The W


    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.