Armenia makes chess mandatory in schools.
Readin’, Ritin’, and Rithmatic have long been the staples of a young person’s education. In Armenia they’ve added chess to the list…by law.
Armenia is the first country to make chess a compulsory course for grade-school children.
According to Armenia’s education minister, “Chess develops various skills - leadership capacities, decision-making, strategic planning, logical thinking and responsibility"
He went on to offer, "We are building these traits in our youngsters. The future of the world depends on such creative leaders who have the capacity to make the right decisions, as well as the character to take responsibility for wrong decisions."
It seems to be working. A group of psychologist have been assessing the effects of the program. They have noted that children involved in the chess program exhibit elevated social skills and mental abilities.
Plus, some of them end up being like rock stars. They’re on billboards and have fancy cars and adoring fans.
More than 30 chess grandmasters have come from Armenia. That gives the country a 6th world-ranking. Russia tops the list at over 200 Grandmasters.