The 3rd Intercontinental Online Chess Championship for Prisoners

The International Chess Federation is excited to announce the third Intercontinental Online Chess Championship for Prisoners, to be held from 11-13 October 2023. Being a part of the Chess for Freedom program and a continuation of the international championships among prisoners first held in 2019, the event aims at introducing chess as a tool for education and social inclusion in prisons of different countries.

The championship, organized by FIDE and the Cook County (Chicago, IL, USA) Sheriff’s Office and hosted by, is open for teams made of 4 players in three categories – men’s, women’s and juvenile correctional facilities.

Each country can have up to three teams for the event:

– main team

– team representing a female correctional facility with all four female team players

– team representing juvenoid correctional facility (Under age of 20).

The participating countries can also submit more teams for the waiting list in a case that tournament organizers may look for additional teams to complete the 8-teams field for each group. Each correctional facility shall submit an application via an online registration form.

The registration deadline is September 22, 2023.

There is no entry fee.

Tournament regulations 

Technical meeting – Presentation

The contact person for the tournament is:

Mikhail Korenman,

Chess Program Coordinator at Cook County Department of Corrections,

FIDE International Chess Organizer and Member of FIDE Social Commission


Tel.: 1-785-906-0402



We have started the Chess for Freedom program in May 2021 with an exhibition online tournament with four participating countries. Since then, the event has rapidly grown, as in October 2022, the Intercontinental Online Chess Championship for Prisoners boasted 85+ teams from 46 countries, becoming the largest event of its kind. And we will keep growing this year, providing an opportunity for a bigger number of inmates to play chess with their peers across the globe.
Arkady Dvorkovich
FIDE President



About the Chess for Freedom program

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. To support and promote this line of work, FIDE and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office (Chicago, USA) have launched the “Chess for Freedom” program.

This project kicked off in May 2021 with an online conference and an exhibition tournament with four participating countries. Later on, in October 2021, the first Intercontinental Online Chess Championship for Prisoners – a much larger competition with the participation of tens of prisons – was held. The 2nd edition of the event, organized in October 2022, attracted more than 85 teams from 46 countries.

As a next step, in May 2023, the Chess for Freedom Conference was organized in Chicago, USA. It attracted 40 participants, including FIDE officials, representatives of national chess federations and experts involved in chess programs for inmates, who discussed concepts and approaches to using chess as a rehabilitation tool for incarcerated people.

In recent years, we have witnessed the successful introduction of chess in prisons through different educative programs in many countries. They demonstrated that chess improves behaviour, helping to reduce inmate violence and developing communication skills, while promoting positive use of leisure time. Chess also drastically improves the decision-making capabilities, fights depression, stress and anxiety.