Skärholmen Students' Ambitions Encouraged Through Chess

Chess-fans from IES Skärholmen teamed up with entrepreneurs and business people for a contest in the middle of Stockholm, that showed that any ambitious pawn can be promoted to knight, rook, bishop or even queen.

Thirteen students from the school took part in the event Näringslivet möter Förorten, held at Stockholm’s busy central station during the afternoon rush hour. Every student played in partnership with a teammate from the business community.

Alexander Lindholm (above, second from left), a politician from Stockholm City Council, was partnered with Iva Taticof class 5D at IES Skärholmen. He said: “It is fun to meet the young people and play with them, it is also embarrassing because they are always better than I am at chess, so I learn a lot, but if I stay out of the way of my teammate, my team can win.

“I think it is good for students to meet with companies, meet successful people and have their own dreams. We have great opportunities in Sweden with free education and university, everyone has the opportunity to go as far as they want.”

Ida (above, left) added: “He has different ideas and that is good because you can look at the other person’s ideas, learn, and be better at chess, it’s also true for life.  He has many good ideas that I don’t have.”

Alexandra Ohlén, principal of the school in Skärholmen explained why she was so pleased for her students to take part. She said: “This is an opportunity for my students to meet people who work with different occupations, and who inspire them to chose their own path.  You can be whoever you want to be. It is also a good opportunity to see that adults who seem far from their reality can have the same interests as they do.

“It was interesting that our students got to teach their teammates how to play better.”

Emmanuel Eneh of 4B was pleased to take part in the contest, he said: “You might get a new friend from the event. I have never played with an adult I don’t know before.”

Emmanual was paired up with Ilija Batljan, CEO off SBB Norden (both pictured, right). He said: “The young people taking part learn how to be in a contest and have the ability to meet some other people that they don’t meet every day.”

Aaryaman Sachdeva, 8A (above, second from right), also took part in the event. He said: “It is a very good combination because you play chess and can get to know how adults feel. When you start it can be a little bit awkward because you don’t know a person, but then you start to feel the fun.”

He was paired up with Ashkan Pouya of Systematic Growth (above, right), who said: “The kids are much better than the grown-ups, so it is such a great thing to have a reversed culture, they coach you. The kids get to interact with grown-ups. Kids from the suburbs get together with people from industry and learn each other’s perspectives.”

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