Teams of India and Mongolia became the champions of the third Intercontinental Online Chess Championship for Prisoners, the event organized by FIDE and the Cook County (Chicago, IL, USA) Sheriff’s Office, after winning the final matches in youth and women’s sections of the biggest-ever chess event among correctional facilities.
The team of Pune prison (India) clinched the title in the men’s tournament of the Intercontinental Online Championship for Prisoners 2023 after beating El Salvador in the final.
The final matches in women’s and youth sections ran concurrently. In the women’s final, Mongolia beat England and took the title; England claimed silver medals. The women’s match for third place between El Salvador and the Philippines was not played due to technical reasons. Both teams shared third place.
It is the third gold medal of the Intercontinental Championship for Prisoners under Mongolia’s belt. In 2021, the country won gold in the inaugural event open competition. A year later, Mongolia came out on top in the women’s section. Mongolia’s triumph is hardly a big surprise, as Mongolia has a long-standing tradition of teaching chess in prisons. Since 1956, chess tournaments have been running in all correctional units across the country.
In the youth section, team India lifted the trophy after defeating the defending champions Serbia in the final. The bronze medal went to team Ecuador.
FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich congratulated the winners and finalists:
“This has been an event filled with remarkable stories, incredible talent, and a shared commitment to the transformative power of chess and the resourcefulness of the human spirit. What is most important is that over the past three days, we have all taken part in something new and meaningful that gives a chance for change and improvement. You are all now part of the global chess family. And wherever you go or wherever your life may take you, remember FIDE’s motto, which in Latin reads “Gens Una Sumus” and means – “We are one family.”
Players were also greeted by the Deputy Chair of the FIDE Management Board, Dana Reizniece-Ozola: “I congratulate all of you who have succeeded in being the top teams in the 3rd Intercontinental Online Chess Championship for Prisoners. I hope it brings you great satisfaction because I know you have been working very hard to achieve these results. All the officials who have been supporting you also get my warm thank you and appreciation. The competition in our tournament does increase together with the number of countries participating, and there will be more! Next year, we have the goal to engage 64 countries!”
The third Intercontinental Online Chess Championship for Prisoners aims to popularize chess as an efficient tool for reintegrating incarcerated people. This year, the event attracted 118 teams from 50 countries representing all continents, providing an opportunity for inmates to play with their peers across the globe.