Bahrain Chess Academy

How the ancient art can help young minds grow Discuss this article

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As the weather heats up, it’s time to look at indoor activities to keep youngsters occupied. We checked out the Bahrain Chess Academy to learn about one classic way of developing childrens’ minds.

Chess – a classic test of wits which has fascinated great minds and settled scores for more than 800 years. Regarded in Renaissance times as a distinguished sign of nobility, and in the Middle Ages as a tool for teaching war strategy, today a talent for the classic two-player test of wits is still seen as a sign of intelligence and worldliness. So it’s understandable you might want your young ones to pick up the skill early.

Enter the Bahrain Chess Academy, the island’s most prominent proponents who claim to have introduced the game to schools across the kingdom, including the Bahrain School, St Christopher’s, the French School, Creativity Private School, Palms Primary School and the British School. The academy also made headlines earlier this year when it hosted the largest simultaneous chess event Bahrain has ever seen, when 78 players gathered in Seef Mall to test their wits against opponents. We found out more.

What is Bahrain Chess Academy?
Bahrain Chess Academy is a chess training centre for all levels, the first private chess school in the Gulf and only one in Bahrain. We teach chess in the academy and in schools.

What age group does it cater to?
We teach children starting from five years old upawrds, there’s no age limit to start learning chess.

When was it founded and by who?
The BCA was founded in June 2012. but the idea itself goes back to 2005. It was established by The World Chess Federation International Master Mohamed Tissir, a professional chess player who took a gold medal at the 36th Chess Olympiad of Palma de Mallorca (Spain) 2004 and is an Arab and African champion.

Who are the teachers?
The teachers are Mohamed Tissir from Morocco and Ismael Karim from France, well known players and trainers, with many world achievements. They are highly skilled Chess Masters who have a long experience of playing and coaching at the international level in the UK, France, Spain, Morocco and more.

Is it only for children or do you do adult classes as well?
We teach chess for both kids and adults, all levels. Chess is a game for people of all ages, and unlike in many other sports, you don’t ever have to retire.

How does chess help young minds to develop?
Chess teaches focus, visualising, thinking ahead, weighing options, analysing concretely, thinking abstractly, planning, juggling multiple considerations simultaneously and much more, none of these skills are specific to chess, but they are all part of the game. The beauty of chess as a teaching tool is that it stimulates children’s minds and helps them to build these skills while enjoying themselves. As a result, children become more critical thinkers, better problem solvers, and more independent decision makers.

Tell us about your greatest success stories.
Two of our students achieved a very good result in the Qatar Gas Chess Championship organised last October – Salman Al Mahmoud got sixth place out of 176 participants and he’s only nine years old. Isa Al jowder took 17th place and he is ten years old. Both are from Bahrain.
Bahrain Chess Academy hosts classes daily from Monday till Saturday, costing BD 130 for three months of classes. For more details see www.chess.bh.

By Time Out Bahrain staff
Time Out Bahrain,

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