Let’s play together


In Sweden, Norway, and EU there are several funds that you can apply from. Each fund has got their special statutes for what projects they give money too, like research, charity, youths in general, education, sports etc. Jesper Bergmark Hall and Martin Göransson have worked together for a long-time making applications and running projects. Normally Martin Göransson has overseen the applications and Jesper Bergmark Hall has been working as the project manager.

The problems to solve

In Europe there is three trends of growing areas when it comes to chess: 1) School chess 2) Senior chess 3) Play on Internet. How to develop these areas?

The main goal for school chess is inclusion and to use chess as a bridge between different groups of people. Many of the pensioners today are healthy, want to have fun and many take up their free time activities again, like chess. The Covid pandemic was a disaster for many pensioners as they got stuck at home in quarantine. Finally, on Internet the competition is in focus, but for both CiS and the pensioners this is not the main thing. How to create a set-up on Internet focusing on co-operation instead of competing?

The fund

In Sweden there is a fund for projects called “Allmänna Arvsfonden”, The Public Inheritance Fund. If someone dies in Sweden and do not have any relatives the heritage will go to the fund. The money is given to non-profit projects that develops the society. The fund is the most important one for supporting projects run by organizations.

The applicator

Stockholm Chess federation has got more than 50% of all members in the Swedish Chess Federation. The Stockholm Chess federation have several employed persons, a well-run office, and long experience in administration. The problem is that the human resources normally only last for regular activities. To get external money and employ people part-time for a project is a good solution to develop the organization and try to deal with the problems. 

The project

The idea with the project is to create meetings and co-operations between pensioners and school children in real life and/or online. The main slogans are “Play with your grandchild!” and “Play with your grandparents!”

The project is in two parts: 1) One child and one pensioner starts to learn, train and play chess together regularly according to a concept that focus on co-operation. 2) Every year there will be a “Let’s play together festival” to which the partners are invited as well as organizations representing the categories of partners, and the general public.

The fund told us after the approval that they “did not care about chess” but that the effect of chess as a tool was unique with pensioners and children having a meeting on equal ground, and that this can be done just as good online as in real life.

The application step-by-step

  1. Bergmark Hall and Göransson have made an analyse of the funds in Sweden. They felt that “Allmänna Arvsfonden” was suitable for solving the problems mentioned earlier. They started to analyse the new directives from the fund that are published yearly and could see that they had three target groups: youths, seniors, and handicapped people. This fitted in well with a project to solve the problems mentioned earlier.
  2. Bergmark Hall and Göransson made a draft of a project set-up, approached Stockholm Chess federation, and asked if it was interested in being the mother organization and applicator of a project. They were, and a co-operation started.
  3. The draft was discussed more in detail, like what roles to play if the application was to be granted and a more developed project set-up was created. In this set-up the needs of other partners were identified. 
  4. Potential partners were contacted: Stockholm Senior Chess organization and the best chess school in Stockholm. They were interested to take part. 
  5. Interviews were made with the partners by Bergmark Hall. Needs, resources and interests were identified.
  6. Now the writing of the application started. During the writing we realized that to strengthen the application we wanted to involve The Swedish blind chess federation. They wanted to join in, not the least as there are improvements to be done when it comes to chess on internet for people that are blind or visually impaired.
  7. Göransson oversaw the writing and sent out a draft to all partners for feedback.
  8. The partners gave feedback and signed a letter of intention for the application, with contact information to the keypersons in each organization.
  9. The application was discussed and rewritten several times before it was sent in.
  10. Then we had to wait as the processing took 6 months before the fund started to work with our application.
  11. As the application was for a three-year project asking for a large amount of money the fund contacted all partners, came up with a battery of detailed questions and interviewed the contact person of the project two times for 1,5 hours each time. 
  12. In the end the project was approved with 250 000 Euros in support.