About the Chess for Freedom programme

The rights and opportunities of self-realization and development for people in imprisonment are essential prerequisites in order to consciously build their future after liberation. Access to training and learning, as well as to quality ways of socializing could give strong motivation to change for better.

Chess is a game that not only allows the inmates to spend a quality time and socialize in a smart and safe way, but also can serve for decreasing such common symptoms like depression, stress, and anxiety. Developing memory and logical thinking, improving concentration skills and imagination may foster their reintegration after liberation. Chess inspires self-motivation, develops the capacity to for-see consequences and demonstrates the success is a reward of hard work.

To support and promote this line of work, the International Chess Federation (FIDE) and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office (Chicago, USA) have signed a cooperation agreement and launched the “Chess for Freedom” program. This project kicked off in May 2021 with an online conference and an exhibition tournament with four participant countries. Later on, in October 2021, the first Intercontinental Online Chess Championship for Prisoners was held. It attracted 42 teams representing 31 country. 

The 2nd Intercontinental Online Chess Championship for Prisoners is scheduled for October 13-14, 2022, on the International Day of Education in Prison. The registration deadline is September 21, 2022.

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About The Gift of Chess:

The Gift of Chess is a nonprofit organization transforming lives through the universal language of chess. It distributes chess sets and training technology across the four key initiatives (educational, prison, global, and elderly outreach).
Using a network of vetted domestic and global partners for distribution, the aim of the Gift of Chess is to leverage the power of chess to create community, expand opportunity, and ultimately change lives.
Its goal is to use chess as a cognitive rehabilitation tool for at risk youth along with those currently and formerly incarcerated.

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