To briefly highlight some of the measurable successes of the MiniChess educational program since its inception in 2010, take a look at our “MiniChess Today” presentation here

University Studies and Participation

The University of Pretoria performed a MiniChess impact study on School-readiness. The study results below illustrate the impact (%) on holistic early childhood development, doing the MiniChess program at a test school, once per week over a 5 month period:


The MiniChess program is currently being implemented at 200+ schools in South Africa with 57,000+ learners participating weekly, and also piloting in Australia, New Zealand, USA and Central Asia in 2015. Many sponsors and universities have shown interest in the benefits of the MiniChess program: University of Johannesburg and the North West University (Vaal campus) are currently doing comprehensive MiniChess-studies with large numbers of learners, Grade R-3, and preliminary results are very promising.

Local & International Educational accreditation

Marisa van der Merwe, developer of the MiniChess program, won the Shoprite Checkers Women of the Year Award 2012, Education category (Top educational program for 2012). It is accredited by CHESSA, FIDE and is considered a “game-changer” by many schools using MiniChess for early childhood development. MiniChess was invited to present at various international Education Conferences: Women in the World Summit (New York, 2013), the biannual Global Conference of The Association for Childhood Education International (Vancouver, 2014), The London Chess & Education Conference (2013 & 2014) and at WISE (World Innovation Seminar on Education) in Qatar 2014 – where 120+ countries attended. MiniChess was nominated for one of the WISE prestigious awards... awaiting results. MiniChess was invited to co-presenting at the “Creative Engagements – thinking with children” Conference in Lisbon, March 2015 and attended the Kasparov Chess Foundation’s Annual Conference at the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis, US in April 2015.

Kasparov Chess Foundation Endorsement

The Kasparov Chess Foundation-Africa endorses the MiniChess program, and also incorporates the program into their roll-outs in 16+ countries in Africa, as well as further abroad. Garry Kasparov calls MiniChess “the most scientific program in the world linking chess with Education”. The Kasparov Chess Foundation was founded and is headed by the world chess champion (1985 – 2000), Garry Kasparov.

The Kasparov-MiniChess mobile game

The Kasparov-MiniChess mobile game is available on all platforms – for enrichment towards the MiniChess in-class program.