The University of Technology's Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences will be the venue for the Jamaica Chess Academy, which is being organized by the Jamaica Chess Federation (JCF). Registration and preliminary lectures are schedule to begin this Sunday, August 08 starting at 10am in Lecture Theatre 23 (LT23).
According to JCF Vice President Peter Myers, the Academy has become necessary, as the demand for structured chess coaching is now at an all time high, and the existing chess clubs do not have the capacity to satisfy the demand.
The Academy will focus on two levels, Beginner to Intermediate (BTI) and Intermediate to Master (ITM). BTI will take individuals from knowing nothing about chess to a level where they will know how to deliver a basic checkmate. ITM will take individuals from being able to deliver basic checkmates to being able to compete at the master level.
The ITM level will involve a rigourous programme intended to take individuals to a level where they have mastery of certain key elements in chess such as: the thinking process in chess, evaluation and planning, endgame play, modern tendencies in the opening and how to build an opening repertoire, improving calculation in chess, systematic analysis of ones own games and preparation for tournament play.
The Academy is open to individuals of all ages, and JCF members are eligible for a discount on the monthly cost. Initially, all Academy Lectures will take place on the second and fourth Sunday of each month. The BTI lectures will take place from 10 am to 12:30 pm, while ITM lectures will take place from 1 pm to 3:30 pm.
One of the special focuses of the Academy will be a study of the effect that the sport of chess has on the performance of students in mathematics. Numerous studies overseas have suggested a positive relation between the playing of chess and performance in mathematics, and the JCF will be seeking to ascertain the extent to which this is true in the Jamaican context.