Hugh Pickens writes "AFP News reports that chess will become a required subject in primary schools in Armenia, where children from the age of six will learn chess as a separate subject on the curriculum for two hours a week. The lessons, which start later this year, will 'foster schoolchildren's intellectual development' and teach them to 'think flexibly and wisely', says Arman Aivazian, an official at the Ministry of Education. President Serzh Sarkisian, an enthusiastic supporter of the game, has committed around $1.5 million to the scheme in a move to turn the country of 3.2 million people into a global force in the games, says Aivazian. 'Teaching chess in schools will create a solid basis for the country to become a chess superpower.' Armenia's national team won gold at the biennial International Chess Olympiad in both 2006 and 2008, and the country's top player, Levon Aronian, is currently ranked number three in the world."
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