The Children Correctional Home team from Bhopal, India, achieved a remarkable victory by securing the Gold Medal in the Youth Category at the Intercontinental “Chess for Freedom” online chess championship for prisoners. This championship, organized by the World Chess Federation (FIDE), aimed to promote chess as a powerful tool for the reintegration of incarcerated individuals.
Held over five days, from October 11th to 13th, 2023, this three-day tournament attracted 118 teams from 50 countries, representing all continents, offering inmates a unique opportunity to compete with peers from around the world. In the Youth Section, India II (Children Correctional Center, Bhopal) faced off against Serbia for the coveted gold medal, while Ecuador and India I (Tihar Jail – Youth) battled for the bronze medals.
The Children Correctional Home team from Bhopal emerged victorious, defeating Serbia with scores of 2.5-1.5 and 2-2 in the final, under the guidance of their coach, Shri Ravi Palsule. Meanwhile, India I (Tihar Jail – Youth) put up a valiant effort but narrowly missed the bronze, finishing in 4th place after a thrilling encounter with Ecuador.
The Men’s category matches are scheduled to take place on October 16, 2023.
The Women’s team from Mongolia and the Indian Youth team made history by becoming champions at the Third Intercontinental Online Chess Championship for Prisoners, which is the largest chess event ever organized for correctional facilities. This tournament, orchestrated by FIDE and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office in Chicago, Illinois, USA, coincided with the International Day of Education in Prison.
In the Youth category, India had two teams, representing Children Correctional Center, Bhopal, and Tihar Jail – Youth, which excelled in the Intercontinental “Chess for Freedom Tournament.” Both Indian Youth teams performed exceptionally well, qualifying for group 2 matches within the Asia Australia group. They clinched the top positions in the group, earning their spots in the finals for Gold and Bronze, respectively.
In the Women’s category, the Children Correctional Center Girls, Bhopal, team represented Indian Prisons in the Intercontinental “Chess for Freedom Tournament.” They secured a commendable 3rd place in the Asia Australia Group, which included six teams.
To ensure the success of the tournament, IndianOil, in collaboration with the All India Chess Federation (AICF) and Prison Authorities, provided all necessary facilities for training, including computers and internet access, to Indian prisons.
The selection of teams for the Indian prisons was determined through the 2nd “Parivartan – Prison to Pride Online Chess Tournament,” organized by IndianOil in association with the All India Chess Federation. This unique tournament saw the participation of 21 prisons and correctional homes across India.