P R E S S R E L E A S E
Playing chess for more mutual understanding in Europe
On January the 14th, 2002, a new edition of the Twinning Chess Competition will
start. The TCC is an unrivalled international chess tournament. About 150 cities
of 15 EU-countries will compete against each other via the internet. Through chess
the Twinning Chess Foundation, organiser of the competition, is aiming to improve
the communication between Europeans and in this way to stimulate and improve mutual
understanding and the exchange of knowledge.
Chess is probably the best means to reach the goal of the Twinning Chess Foundation.
By playing chess on such a large scale, European municipalities and their residents
come into contact with each other and have the possibility to start communicating.
In the last competition, 30% of the participating cities ended up visiting another
Positive effects for chess and for municipalities
The competition will have many positive effects, for local authorities as well
as for citizens and chessclubs. Local authorities can use it as an instrument
to improve contact with their residents, to promote the city in other European
countries and to enhance the use of the municipal website and internet in general.
At the same time, it is an opportunity to exchange ideas with local authorities
in other countries and it can give a positive impulse to the co-operation of the
different departments. For citizens it is a nice opportunity to come into contact
with people from other parts in Europe. And last but not least: for chessclubs it
is an opportunity to gain exposure within the municipality in order to attract new
members or to have better contacts with the local authorities and with chess clubs
abroad. Also, the Twinning Chess Competition is an effective way of focussing attention
on chess among non-players and beginners.
How does the Twinning Chess Competition work?
The municipalities are divided into groups with opponents of comparable size and
each municipality plays several matches against others in its group. The website
is the central point around which the tournament revolves. A coordinator relays
each move via the website. The site will also have a forum where people can discuss
issues with each other or exchange ideas. In addition, each participating municipality
gets the opportunity of presenting itself via its own page on the site.
For recent developments, trial games or information about the competition and
its participants, please visit www.twinningchess.com
If you have any questions, please contact us via telephone (+31 23 547 72 50) or via e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org. With this press release
two examples of cities that will play along in the TCC are included.
The Twinning Chess Competition is subsidised by the Ministry of Internal
Affairs and Kingdom Relations The Netherlands and the Province of North Holland.
The Twinning Chess Foundation also receives assistance from the European Chess
Union, the European Parliament Information Office The Hague, the Association of
Netherlands Municipalities and the Dutch Section of the Council of European
Municipalities and Regions. The Twinning Chess Foundation is a non-profit
HOW CITIES ORGANISE THEIR TWINNING CHESS COMPETITION
Eindhoven (The Netherlands)
The enthusiasm of the city of Eindhoven to take part in the Twinning Chess Competition,
originates in bygone days. "When the first TCC was organised, there was no doubt about
our participation," says Frank Wessels, who is PR-manager of the city of Eindhoven. The
city attracted a lot of publicity by playing along in the TCC. In the end, Eindhoven
had several exchange visits with Essen (Germany). A bus full of civil servants, chess
players and other citizens took part in this exchange. The city of Eindhoven didn't
hesitate too long for subscribing to the upcoming edition of the Twinning Chess Competition.
There are two factors which make the TCC even more interesting for the city than it already
was. An important one is the international factor.
Frank Wessels: "The approach of the TCC has become more international. We want to
make ourselves known in the rest of Europe, which is very hard indeed. Not many
people know that on a high-tec level we are the fourth most important city in Europe."
The use of internet is another important factor. Eindhoven wants to introduce citizens
who yet don't make use of it. Also, the internet is seen as an opportunity for the
municipality to have more contact with citizens who already use internet. The fact
that the TCF uses internet as a basis, makes it an instrument for Eindhoven to
The chessclub in Eindhoven is closely involved in the competition. They designed
a website especially for the TCC, on which visitors can discuss the move. Within
Eindhoven, citizens can enter a competition too: the person who predicts most moves
in the right way, will be the winner and get a digital camera.
Amersfoort (The Netherlands)
Amersfoort is extensively experimenting with modern technologies. The municipality
wants to find out how modern technologies can be useful for municipal services and
communication with their citizens. The Twinning Chess Competition will be part of
the experiment. It is a way to be interactive with each other in a casual way. At
present, about 55% of the population has a connection to the internet. Are those
people willing to use the municipal website for matters for which they normally
come to the City hall?
The city of Amersfoort has been playing a trial game on our website against Leeds
(in which Amersfoort won). "During the trial, we didn't involve our citizens," says
Casper van Hoorn, co-ordinator for the city of Amersfoort. "We played with a few civil
servants. It was a good opportunity for us to find out how we want to organise the
Twinning Chess Competition when the real competition starts." For than, the Amersfoort-team
wants to invite the citizens to think along. Contact with citizens is a rather important
factor for participation anyway. They will probably make use of cable TV information
services and they'll invite a local newspaper to get involved in the competition.
Citizens will be invited to discuss the game in the City hall, so that people without
an internet connection can also play along. A beamer will project the course of
events on a wall. And last but not least: the TCC is considered as an instrument
for city-promotion in the rest of Europe. Amersfoort is proud of the fact that
Nyfer, an office for economic research, considers the city as the most attractive
city in the Netherlands.
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