Chess is a universal game (191 countries in the International Chess Federation) that goes back over a thousand years. It came to Europe through the Arabs, who in the 8th century brought it to the Iberian Peninsula. The chess that is played throughout the world today was created in Spain at the end of the 15th century, when the queen became the most powerful piece. From there it spread to western Europe and the Americas. Its common language allows people to communicate regardless of race, language, religion, age or gender.
The Spain Pavilion in Expo Dubai 2020, in line with the theme of this universal exposition of "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future" invites all member countries to participate in an event that aims to "increase intelligence for life" and expand awareness of the potential of chess as a key educational tool, as supported by sound scientific studies.
Given the unanimous opinion that education is the best tool for ensuring an intelligent future, what better than a game that consists of thinking and developing many different values? Moreover, there are also very reliable studies that consider chess the best mental gymnastics for delaying or preventing the ageing of the brain and Alzheimer's.
Event organization and schedule
The event we propose is unprecedented in the world of chess in terms of the potential participants involved, as it is open to all the countries (almost 200) that will participate in Expo Dubai 2020. Combined with its duration, this scope will make the competition a global model for interconnected chess via the Internet.
2.1. Age range of the school participants Any player born after 31 December 2003 can participate (any category up to Sub16 inclusive ).
2.2. Participation in the Tournament
All interested schools may enter, provided that they have the minimum technological requirements for participating in the competition (details below).
Countries participating in Expo 2020 are asked for their support in publicizing the event; and the countries that have a team classified for the finals are asked to help by paying their teams' travel costs to Dubai and giving visibility to the presence of their teams in the Expo.
2.3. Registration and selection of the teams
Each educational centre interested in participating must register by a computer application installed on the official Tournament portal. It will have to provide details on its activities related to chess.
If there are more than ten applications from a single country, the application will select the ten teams to participate based on the following criteria: five of them on the basis merit (sporting results of their players, introduction of chess into the curriculum or extra-curricular activity in the school, etc.). The other five teams will be selected by lot, with no criteria of merit used.
This system provides the opportunity for all the schools to take part, while also stimulating those who have incorporated chess into their activities, or want to increase its importance.
When a team classifies classifies for the on-site final, the country will pay the costs of the trip and stay for its teams in Dubai, as well as ensuring the visibility of their presence in the Expo.
2.4. Participants per team
Each team will be composed of: 7 first-team players
There will also be:
and an adult delegate responsible for the team during the whole competition.
Section 3, the Tournament Rules, explains these requirements in more detail.
Schools are urged to make their balance between male and female players as equal as possible.
2.5. Speed of the games
The games will be played over 20 minutes, with 10 more seconds per move for each of the two players. The time will be controlled by an online chess clock for each game. The average duration of a game will be around 60 minutes.
2.6. Schedule and competition phases
The competition will consist of three phases:
• A registration period for the countries that are interested: 15 January to 31 May 2020; and from 1 July to 1 November 2020.
• Online classification phase: from 15 November 2020.
• Knock-out rounds in 2020, taking into account the school calendar. The finalists will be decided in 2021.
• The on-site final phase will take place in Dubai during the Expo.
2.7. Number of teams in the on-site final phase in Dubai
The number of teams that will reach the final phase in Dubai will be a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 12. They will have passed the elimination phases, with a total of 90-108 young people, depending on the number of teams that reach the final.
2.8. Technological requirements for entry
To ensure the competition operates correctly, the participating schools will have to guarantee that the teams entered have access to certain minimum technological resources, as follows:
> Fast fibre-optic or ADSL connection.
> Computers with one of the latest Windows operating systems (Windows 8 or 10)
>Ability to communicate with those responsible in the competition administration via email/ Skype/WhatsApp on the days when each team is playing.