The International Chess Federation has announced its first event of the Chess for Freedom program which will be held virtually. The event is said to start on May 11, 2021, with an online conference. It will also feature an exhibition online tournament with four participant countries – Armenia, Russia, Spain, and the USA.
According to the post made on FIDE website, the conference will feature FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, the 12th World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, and other invited guests. The conference will also be broadcast live on FIDE’s Youtube channel.
Chess for Freedom is a project promoting the game of chess among inmates. The program is meant to help improve inmate decision-making capabilities, fighting depression, stress, and anxiety, and motivating inmates to change for the better.
The post made on FIDE’s website explained that “in prisons, just as in wider society, the impact of sport and games can be far-reaching. The experiences referred above demonstrate that chess improves behavior, helping to reduce inmate violence and developing communication skills while promoting positive use of leisure time.
Chess also drastically improves the decision-making capabilities of a group of people that, very often due to the lack of opportunities and access to proper education, has ended up in jail after making a wrong choice in life. Besides, the game has a positive impact on the inmates’ overall health, fighting depression, stress and anxiety, and motivating them to change for the better.
As a result, chess greatly contributes to efforts towards rehabilitation, and some studies have already proven it to reduce reoffending. It can be potentially life-changing, as many testimonies show.
With the aim to support and promote this line of work, FIDE is launching the “Chess for Freedom” program, is under the patronage of the 12th world champion Anatoly Karpov.”
Below are the events planned for 2021 online conference.
11 May 2021
8:30 am US Central Time / 15:30 pm CET
The first FIDE Online Conference “Chess for Freedom” for officials, authorities, scholars, etc. FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, the 12th World Chess Champion Grandmaster Anatoly Karpov, and Tom Dart, Cook County Sheriff, will be the guests of honor for the conference, among other distinguished guest speakers.
Invitational Online Chess Exhibition Tournament for Prisoners. Teams from USA, Russia, Armenia, Spain, Germany, and Australia have been invited (TBC)
13-14 October 2021
(International Day of Education in Prison)
The First Intercontinental Online Chess Championship for Prisoners 2021. This will be a continuation of the international championship first held in 2019, where we expect to involve tens of teams from all the continents.