FIDE Vice President and Chairman of the Chess in Schools Commission, Dr. Ali Nihat Yazici, visited Trinidad in April 2014. He had an official meeting with Chief Education Officer, Mr. Harrilal Seecharam where a decision was taken to launch a Chess in Schools pilot in 70 schools in Trinidad. Dr. Yazici also visited Tobago where Assemblyman Huey Cadette of the Division of Education, Youth Affairs and Sports, made a commitment to launch a Chess in Schools pilot programme in 10 schools in Tobago.
Following up on this, Dr. Yazici is sending Trainer Kevin O’Connell to conduct train the trainer seminars with primary school teachers from Trinidad and Tobago. O’Connell is scheduled to arrive in Trinidad on July 1. Trinidad & Tobago is also scheduled to receive a first tranche of chess equipment including 120 sets and 12 demonstration boards.
Dr. Yazici, who prefers to be called Ali, also took time out to meet with a few primary schools in the Victoria district. Guided by School Supervisor Roydon Rampersad, Ali visited Palmyra Hindu School where he was introduced to the steelpan. (See picture above). Ali also visited Harmony Hall Presbyterian and Point-a-Pierre Special school and promised that FIDE will send special sets for blind children to learn and play chess. The issue of chess and autism was also raised. According to Ali, chess helps children with autism.