The Government will support the implementation of the National Program ‘Education through chess in pre-university education,’ Prime Minister Victor Ponta declared at the opening of the ‘Elisabeta Polihroniade’ National School Chess Championship. On this occasion, president of the Romanian Chess Federation Sorin Avram Iacoban signed a cooperation protocol with both the Ministry of Education and the World Chess Federation (FIDE). ‘Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, chess will be an optional subject of study in all Romanian schools,’ said the head of the Romanian Chess Federation. ‘(…) We will support this initiative with whatever stands in the Government’s power. I am in favour of all initiatives which encourage children to play sports and I am angry with the parents who exempt their kids from gym classes,’ said the Premier. In turn, Minister of Education Remus Pricopie announced that, in a first stage, the program introducing chess as an optional subject in the curriculum will be implemented in 500 schools, particularly in rural areas.