Alp Aydınlar: the little boy who introduced Syrian children to chess
23 Oct 2017
Alp Aydınlar is only 10 years old. He won a very prestigious award in Canada for his social responsibility project “A Move for Hope”, developed for Syrian children. Aydınlar has also become the youngest contestant to receive an award from the International Play Association. 5 of the 123 Syrian children between the ages of 8 and 12 who were introduced to chess with this project are now registered chess players.
Last month, Alp Aydınlar stood among all other contestants with the social responsibility project he developed for Syrian children and won a very prestigious award that has a history going back to year 1993. During the conference held by the International Play Association (IPA) in Calgary city of Canada, Aydınlar became the youngest contestant to win the “Recognition of Excellence and Impact” award among the two contestants from Canada and the contestants of Italy, New Zealand and Hong Kong. Alp Aydınlar stated that while receiving an award made him feel proud, what made him happy was to introduce Syrian children to chess and become friends with them.
Playing chess made a difference for the children victimized by war
Alp Aydınlar, a 5th grade student at Istanbul Enka School, provided the following information on his project: “We had a class trip to Zehra Ülker Elementary School Temporary Training Center in order to pay a visit to Syrian students for a social responsibility project. I realized that while Syrian students had an intensive lesson program, they had no activities outside of it. I felt sad about this and wanted to develop a project that would allow them to play games. I also play chess and I am registered player. I thought that they should also play chess.”
Stating that he got to work to develop a project for this under the name “A Move for Hope, Alp Aydınlar continued as follows: “The first thing to enable my Syrian friends to play chess was acquisition of materials. I raised funds and purchased special chess boards and other materials with the donations. Furthermore, with the help of my mother and father, I arranged instructors to give chess lessons. The lessons started in January 2017 and have been continuing since.”
Alp Aydınlar also stated that 123 Syrian children learned to play chess with his project and 5 of these children went on to become chess players registered in the Turkish Chess Federation and participate in tournaments. Aydınlar noted that they gave each child a chess set within scope of the project and said, “They also play chess at home. They even teach their siblings the game”.
Pointing out that his aim in participating in the contest of the International Play Association was to show everyone how badly the war victim Syrian children needed to play games, Alp Aydınlar said, “I want to encourage them to become registered players, participate in tournaments and achieve their goals”.
For more information on the project “A Move for Hope”: www.umuticinbirhamle.com