World Chess Day, which falls annually on July 20, this year brings together chess players, United Nations, government officials and all relevant stakeholders in a high-level virtual event titled “Chess for Recovering Better”.
“Throughout history, games and sport have helped humanity to survive times of crisis by reducing anxieties and improving mental health,” according to the UN website.
“While the coronavirus outbreak has forced most gaming and sports activities to scale down, chess has demonstrated remarkable resilience, adaptability and a very strong convening power in time of pandemic,: it added.
Chess is one of the most ancient, intellectual and cultural games, with a combination of sport, scientific thinking and elements of art, according to the UN.
The UN General Assembly adopted the resolution designating July 20 as the International Chess Day in December of 2019, acknowledging the important opportunities the game of chess offers in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals , including strengthening education, realising gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, in addition to fostering mutual understanding and respect.
“This game has no limits,” Wael Hismawi, a Jordanian International Master told The Jordan Times over the phone on Sunday.
“Chess instills self-esteem, increases IQ levels, unleashes players’ potentials and boosts creativity,” accordng Hismawi.
“We never stopped playing chess. In fact we continued with our tournaments and games on the virtual format and there has been regular contact with all of the players,” according to Hismawi, who founded Jordan’s first chess training centre in 2011.
“There is no doubt that chess is the number one smart game worldwide,” Hismawi said.
During the ongoing pandemic, chess showed that it is not only “a great tool for intelligence, but also a resilience tool”, people from across the world were able to play the game through online platforms, he added.
“Chess is an international game, which encourages an atmosphere of respect between nations, brings about mutual understanding and enhances harmony between people worldwide,” Hismawi said.